A good day to you! I am happy to announce we have a new addition to our #travelbrainster community and this time it is not a kick-ass travel lady or a world wandering couple, but a travel savvy fella. Let me introduce Dave to you, who likes to dig a bit deeper and get to know forreign cultures through volunteering programmes. Plus, twisted ankles are sacrifices he is willing to make for epic views. If you want to know where, read on.
What is your best travel memory?
It was during my summer trip to Cusco in Peru in 2014, when I had the opportunity to take the famous ‘Inca Trail’ to reach the world heritage site of Machu Picchu. And there it was, the wide open reflection of pure ancient grandeur, covered with greenery all over and surrounded with tall mountains. The moment I reached the site, the view was so mesmerizing, I didn’t even realize that my ankle had been twisted. Of course, when I sat down, the realization of the pain surfaced. But if I look back at it today, the pain was worth it all. The view still remains in my memory as fresh as ever.
What is the strangest incident you have had during your travels?
As I have mentioned earlier, I am an ardent traveler, as this is how I get my inspiration for writing. Sometimes, this passion of traveling takes me to places that I probably would have normally not thought of visiting. One such visit was to the village of the people of the Masai tribe in Kenya. Since I am in a habit of adding volunteer work to my travel expeditions (as I believe it brings me closer to the reality of that place), I decided to volunteer with the Masai people during my visit to Nairobi in Kenya. To my surprise, it was nothing like I had expected. The people of that community were very communicative, friendly, warm, and enthusiastic. While, it was a wonderful journey to the Masai tribe, I was stunned to find such exuberance in the people for they generally do not mingle much with the people outside their own community.
What’s the number one item on your bucket-list?
Including all my expeditions so far, I have indulged in a number of adventure activities; such as shark cage diving, paragliding, zip-lining, waterfall climbing, bungee jump, river rafting, and so on. But, the one thing which I have still not done (and so want to do soon) is skydiving. Falling free from thousands of feet and witnessing the world from above; now who wants to miss that!? This, certainly, takes the top spot on my bucket list.
If you were stranded on an island, which one should it be?
From the famous beaches of Thailand, Miami, Australia, and more, to the sound and tranquil coastlines of Sri Lanka, India, Zanzibar, etc., I have been to a number of stellar island regions. However, if it has to be ‘one’ such island that I would prefer to get stranded on, it should definitely be one of the Galapagos Islands. This archipelago took me by storm at the first visit with its stellar coastlines, tranquil atmosphere, adorable wildlife, and I could just go on and on. I certainly wouldn’t mind living my entire life on this gorgeous island; after all, the evolution theory itself came from here.
What is your secret travel tip?
Well, if I share it then it actually does not stay a secret! Jokes aside, I never really had a ‘secret’ for my trips. Yes, they have been different to a regular backpacking expedition, and that is only because (as what I believe) I add a bit of volunteer work to all my travels. It gives me the opportunity to get close to the native lifestyle, understand age-old traditions, challenges in life, and more. Volunteering through a project while traveling abroad is the only differentiator as I see it which has made all my expeditions memorable. Now, if you want to call it my ‘secret’, I won’t stop you.
Never knew there is something called volunteer traveling as well. Sounds like a great idea. Any suggestions how I can do it? I would love to do it.
Travel on the Brain says
Hi David, there are many different companies out there offering volunteering programs, such as the one that you can find when clicking on the last lin in the text. You can also check out Go Overseas or Go Abroad, but always make sure to read reviews and get in touch with former members to get a better idea of what to expect and what is included and excluded (as it is not cheap either). I have not done volunteering myself, only have studied abroad.
Thanks for your comment.
Volunteering abroad is, indeed, a unique idea of traveling abroad as it is not just about traveling, but making it meaningful; plus, of course, the cost effective part attached with it. As mentioned by Anne, there are a number of companies who offer volunteering placements in different parts of the world. The links provided by Annemarie (Go Overseas and Go Abroad) are the perfect platforms for you to figure out which organization would suit you the best. Alternatively, you can also check out the website of the company I volunteer with all the time. It’s called Volunteering Solutions.
Good Luck and hope you enjoy your travel!