FIND YOUR PASSION BEFORE YOUR PASSPORT If you wouldn’t do it at home, you’re not going to magically enjoy it abroad. If you can, try and do a bit of volunteering in different sectors at home before settling on one that you’re going to be doing for a prolonged period in a foreign country.
Adjusting to India was an enormous challenge, particularly because, as a volunteer, I was living in the most un-touristy reaches of the country. And, while this is precisely the beauty of volunteering – the opportunity to eat, sleep and breathe the country in the same taste, feel and smell as the majority of the locals – it is also its greatest challenge.
I was fortunate in that I guessed correctly, hypothesising that my enjoyment of children and relative ability to spell correctly would make teaching the right path for me. But it is better – for you and the people/animals/ organisation you are setting out to work with – if you make sure you’re going to be able to sustain your passion for the duration of your trip.