Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Volunteer abroad New Year’s resolution

A New Year’s resolution is a commitment to that an individual makes to a personal goal, target, project or reforming a habit. As the New Year begins many people have already made New Year’s resolutions and they are hoping to keep them throughout the year. The most common resolutions made are: to improve health; improve finances – get out of debt; improve career; improve education; lose weight and improve one self. With volunteers who are abroad come up with their resolutions to make their life better. Throughout the year the international volunteers should try to keep these resolutions, to get more out of their experience. Here are a couple resolutions for volunteers who are abroad or who are about to embark on their journey:

Travel more

The volunteers will be in foreign country for a limited period of sometime. They could be in the country for one week to three years depending on the volunteer program. In the beginning of the program the volunteers are fascinated about the new country and environment. They travel and visit places during the first days or first weeks and they stop looking for new places. This year while the volunteers are abroad they should visit more places in the country that they are in. After visiting the popular tourism areas, volunteers should look for new places, less popular and the “unbeaten path”. When they are not volunteering they could go to places that are not familiar to them. They could visit smaller towns, go to more indigenous sites or really explore the town they are in. Another way of enjoying travelling is by travelling by yourself if you are used to traveling with people, and travelling with a friend if you are used to travel by your self

Stay on your budget

Many holidays and vacations are cut short because travelers run out of money. As volunteer who is staying in a foreign country, s/he should keep to his/her budget. There times the volunteers are tempted to overspend by going to expensive restaurants or by going out on many nights. They could also be carried away by shopping too much. As this year starts the volunteers should make the resolution to stick to their budget. They are many advantages of staying on a budget but unfortunately staying on a budget is not easy and it requires a lot of discipline. Ways of sticking to a budget is by try to spend less on items by looking for budget deals, negotiating and haggling. Keeping a budget journal will show that the volunteer has been spending money on things they don’t really need. Having extra money on the volunteer holiday always helps.

Keeping a journal

Having a journal and constantly updating it is a great way to document the volunteer experience. Many travelers who are abroad, encourage writing journals about their adventures, encounters and their emotional state of mind. A journal could be a book, diary or a web blog. Journals don’t have any immediate value but in the long term they are great especially at the end of 2011 when the volunteers are looking back at their great year. Writing daily and constantly updating it will help to look at the things that were affecting and influencing the volunteers during the volunteer work.

Meet more people

The main purpose of volunteering abroad is to experience new cultures and meeting new people. While at the host country the volunteers could try meet as many people as they can. The stay in the host country will be very short and shouldn’t not be wasted by just staying in a secluded environment. Going out during the day and night to meet new people and culture will expose the volunteer to the great and wonderful things that are out there. This also helps to broaden the world view of the volunteer.

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