10 Ideas to Travel and Do Good
Travel is one of the best ways to continually learn and maintain curiosity and passion for life. It is also often an escape from reality of life and tribulations. Many of us often experience a new vigour the moment the next holiday is booked, and when one steps foot on the plane, train or boat, normal life ceases to exist. All you have to worry is yourself, the here and now, and, of course, the new world you are just about to discover.
Travel can be addictive however it is very empowering if shared with others: people we share the experience with, and people and communities we meet along the way. To learn about their challenges first hand, and not through the eyes of media, can often change your perspective. And often you come away wanting to support them in any way possible.
This is the start of you social impact journey where you combine your love of travel and your passion to make the world a better place by supporting local community projects in places you visit.
But how can you really travel and maximise your social impact given our limitations on time and money? We put together 10 easy ways to do so.
1 — Go on an adventure
Go to the most remote places Mother Earth has to offer and get out of your comfort zone. The result will be priceless. You will get to meet people you might only see on TV and you will visit places that not many people have been to. You’ll come home with more confidence and a sense of accomplishment. This is one of the best feelings a person can experience.
Stop making the typical excuses — it will cost too much money; I have no time; no one will go with me; I am just not cut out for those kind of experiences. This, nicely put, is all a bunch of baloney! Just do it! Jump on any adventure website and enquire on the first picture or trip which inspires you. First instincts is one of the most simplest and yet accurate suggestions your brain can produce. Far better than long complicated and over-thought rational processes, so get researching.
2 — Go on a volunteer holiday
Same as step one but with a little twist. During your holiday you will spend a few days with a local community or work on a project ranging from animal conservation, humanitarian relief or environmental protection. Ask yourself what particular cause is closest to you heart and then volunteer. If you are not sure, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. You either do a little more research or go experience some projects first hand. Get involved in local causes around your neighborhood, local charities, or attend awareness events to get your mind thinking. You will be well on your way to finding a cause that is in need of your help.
3 — Go on a volunteer expedition
These expeditions predominantly revolve around donating your time to a chosen project but you will also have time to go explore the host country. For more information on these types of escapes you can read our e-book about volunteering placements here, do your own research, consult some of our existing projects, or simply contact us to enquire about something new Whatever you choose, know that you are taking a step in the right direction doing something selfless to help local communities globally.
4 — Open your own personal foundation
If you already are an experienced traveller and know exactly what’s needed and where you want to help why not take it to the next level and take action? A personal foundation is a place where you can channel funds for specific causes close to your heart. You don’t have to be multimillionaire. You just need the vision and drive to raise funds for your chosen causes. For example, if you are an entrepreneur from an African background, you could set up a fund to help young entrepreneurs in various parts of Africa to set up a businesses, thereby helping the people and the economy. This is just one of the many ways you could use your funds.
5 — Organise a group challenge
Most people need a bit of a push or a leader to help point them in the right direction. Well guess what? You can be the one inspiring others with just a little bit of organisational skills. Think about a challenge you’d love to endure: for example cycling from London to Paris, trekking Kilimanjaro or Machu Picchu, run a marathon or survive on a deserted island for 2 weeks. Yes we can certainly organise that here, take a look!
Combine this with a cause close to your heart and you will see how easy it is for your friends and family to support your initiative. They can even join you in this exciting journey! For those who are even more creative, you can always think about something outside the box (or outside our website) and we can bespoke it for you.
6 — Take your employee somewhere
Do you honestly care about your employees happiness and productivity? Then it is time to take them somewhere exotic. But rather than your typical challenge of flipping flipcharts with a mojito in hand on a sunny beach resort, why not open their minds with something really inspiring! Like a Safari in Uganda where they also spend time teaching English in a local school. Don’t think local communities need just doctors or architects, they also need people with passion, creativity and desire to make a positive change and give back.
7 — Suggest to us a project
If you already have a project that you are supporting but feel like you could do more to raise fund or awareness, get in touch and tell us more about it. We could add it to the list of our existing projects and whenever you run a challenge or an expedition you could invite your friends and family to donate to, or even visit, your project.
8 — Take a gap year
After arduous exams and maybe excellent results, you clearly deserve a long break.
Time to put those books away for sometime and go and learn new practical skills that no books can ever teach you. You can wander around the world aimlessly, moving from festivals to festivals if you so wish. But why not also use this time to engage yourself to not only learn but experience new cultures and way of life? The likelihood is that you will come back a year later more mature, perhaps with clearer vision of how you want to live your life. You never know, you might can become a social entrepreneur!
9 — Invest in local entrepreneurs
You can go on an adventure and explore the local culture and its people. But why limit yourself? Why not invest in a social enterprise? This is the story of Fikay, a UK fashion label that recycles cement bags into fashion accessories that are made by a local community in Cambodia. The founder, Aaron Jones, went on a gap year to Asia and saw abject poverty in many places he visited including Cambodia. This was the beginning of his journey. At 24, he is now the CEO of his own UK social enterprise employing many women in Cambodia whilst helping fund the education of their children. But all this happened because he stepped out of his comfort zone and followed his heart.
10 — The next step is on you!
You can choose to not take any action and continue living your life within your own comfort zone. Or you can choose one of the above. Even better is if you can come up with alternative ways to travel and maximise your social impact. And be inspired and inspiring!