Traveling is one of the ways to change the scenery and see other places that are different from your home. For many, it’s going on vacation and de-stressing from everyday life. However, lying on a beach or sightseeing is not the only option people choose as their vacationing goal. Thanks to ever-present connectivity, the world is more aware of the burning problems affecting the planet and less fortunate communities.
So, travel with a cause has been gaining popularity for the past decade not only among doctors, engineers, and biologists but also among regular people who want to lend a helping hand. And if you want to participate in such work, here are inspiring travel opportunities that will change your life and someone’s world.
Document volcanic activity in Iceland
Iceland is full of volcanoes and you can even get married near one with lava serving as your background. However, this Icelandic characteristics makes it ideal to study seismic activity and magma to prevent future eruptions. Earthwatch Institute works on mapping the area after volcanic disturbances which provide data to determine where activities might occur.
Besides being able to participate in such exciting and ground-breaking work, you will also see some of the most breathtaking sights on Earth. Vatnajökull volcanoes with glacier peaks and active Krafla are some of the sites you will study and document, as well as landscapes created by magma resembling another planet.
Give people a home in Rio de Janeiro
In Barreira do Vasco favela in one of the most famous cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro, people lack proper housing and sanitary conditions. Families of more than a dozen members live in structures built from plywood with no running water. Now you can help these families have proper plumbing, sewer and enough room to live comfortably by building their houses and sightseeing Rio in your spare time.
The project includes volunteers from all over the world and offers accommodations in the Santa Teresa neighborhood famous for its art scene, eateries, and cafés. This will also be a great opportunity to learn Portuguese and even visit Amazon, Sugarloaf Mountain and iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.
Help study great white shark in South Africa
When deciding where to go on a vacation, why not opt for something unique and maybe even extreme. White Shark Africa offers such opportunity since you will be face-to-face with one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. This organization studies the great white shark and its behavior near Mossel Bay that is home to one of their largest populations in the world.
Besides being able to see these magnificent animals up close, you will also learn basic seamanship as well as diving. To record data, you will be lowered in a floating cage and meet the sharks in the safety behind the bars. Nonetheless, it’s a unique experience to find out more about them and be as close to them without being attacked or killed.
Care for wildlife in Australian sanctuary
If you want to participate in wildlife volunteering then it’s best to start with a place that can teach you a lot about animal care. Australian Wildlife Sanctuary North Queensland is an organization dedicated to help endangered species and provide care for the continent’s mammals, reptiles and birds. If you love animals, then this is a perfect spot to travel with a cause and provide care for these remarkable creatures.
With 10 acres of land, this is home to kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, and crocodiles with over 100 bird species native to Australia. Cairns and Port Douglas are nearby to explore and you will have an abundance of Australian landscapes to explore, photograph and even see other animals not present in the Sanctuary.
Assess the effects of climate change in Seychelles
The Marine National Park in the Seychelles’ Curieuse Island is under heavy effects of climate change. It’s coral reef and giant tortoises are in danger so volunteers come here to assess the damage and process data that will help their recovery. Using digital photography of the coastal ecosystem and underwater videos of marine life, you will record data that will allow evaluation of the area’s health.
This project takes place in April and you will be able to see some of the unique marine life, as well as flora in the world like Coco de Mer palms. When you are not saving the ecosystem, you can enjoy the beauties of the area, snorkel and sunbathe on the heavenly beaches.
Revive coral reef in Borneo
Coral reefs are one of the main sources of oxygen on the planet and unfortunately, their numbers are declining. One of the ways to help the planet replenish its coral reefs is to participate in their planting and revivals. Tropical Research and Conservation Centre in Borneo is one of the non-profit organizations that allow you to do so while still being able to catch some sun and beautiful beaches.
You will learn about marine biology and the ecology of the coral reef during their courses with an abundance of fieldwork. Your work on reviving the coral reef will also help the marine ecosystem in the area to replenish its numbers and be lively again.
In the end
Travel with a cause may be a new trend, but it’s certainly the one that’s growing fast and spreading all around the globe. These travel opportunities will inspire change in your life as well as help you make the world a better place for future generations.