The rat race gets everyone down at times, and a superb way to recharge your batteries, get a fresh perspective on life and give something back to the world is to take a little break and work overseas. With plenty of socially and environmentally responsible positions available in exciting and exotic locations across the globe, you can help the world and broaden your horizons in one go. Here is a look at how to circumnavigate the globe whilst paying your way and giving something back.
Monkey Business in Malaysia
The endangered orangutans of the Malaysian and Indonesian archipelago are amongst the most characterful and endearing of all the earth’s creatures, and now you can personally contribute to their protection and conservation. While on a break to South East Asia you can assist trained zoo keepers in feeding these double-jointed, colourful primates, caring for their habitat, maintaining research centres and guiding and informing curious visitors. All of this happens in the wild rainforests of Borneo, one of the world’s most pristine eco-systems, meaning you get to sample some of the planet’s most exotic locations and habitats whilst lending a helping hand to a worthy cause on your career break.
An African Big Cat Adventure
Other animal lovers may be excited to know that there are opportunities to help protect the world’s fastest land animal, the imperious and stealthy cheetah. In the savannah and deserts of Namibia, one of Africa’s most sparsely populated nations, those looking for volunteer work abroad can contribute to essential wildlife reserve maintenance, cheetah and leopard tracking and behind the scenes cub feeding. Basic training is offered on site to help you get to grips with the daily tasks, and new and rewarding activities are organised each and every day to keep you on your toes. Yet it’s not all hard work out on the range, as volunteers also get to sample superb safaris, encountering animals such as oryx, impala, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra and migrating elephant. Embarking on wild walks with Bushmen is also possible and is by far the most authentic way to sample the great Namibian outdoors.
House Building in Guatemala
Heading across the Atlantic Ocean you will find plenty of volunteering activities in Latin America and easily one of the most enjoyable is to help construct sustainable dwellings in tiny Guatemala. This hilly, tropical paradise is known for the incredible bio-diversity of its forests and the warmth of the people, and you can live less than an hour from the capital city surrounded by rainforests in a traditional, working village. This rewarding voluntary position is a great way to see the difference you have made, watching as the house you built over the course of a week is handed over to rapturous families. Yet this is no mere holiday, anyone who volunteers in Guatemala will be working tirelessly on physically demanding and laborious jobs, so make sure you are in peak physical condition before setting off.
The Site of Darwin’s Discoveries
In recent years tourism on the Galapagos Islands has become rather controversial, with some suggesting that too many people are visiting these idyllic islands. Yet there is a way to visit the archipelago and give something back to the community by volunteering on conservation and community programmes. Sample the endemic species of Isabela and Santa Cruz whilst helping tend to organic farms, weeding out invasive species of plants, maintaining nature reserves and even classifying new and unique varieties of flora and fauna. Visitors to this most special natural landscape are well and truly following in the footsteps of pioneering scientist Charles Darwin, who developed his theories of natural selection based on his observations on the Galapagos Islands.
John has written hundreds of travel articles on subjects such as where to go on your mid-life career break and how to secure the best hotel rooms for discount prices.