A volunteering trip abroad isn’t like any other average trip which is just meant for relaxation and fun. The former involves a lot of challenges and reshapes your way to look at life. While apparently, it might seem that volunteering only helps in making a difference to the lives of those you work for, in real it immensely affects your life as well.

Dedicating your time, resources and expertise to any volunteer project in need is an admirable way to contribute to the bettering of the world. And in doing so you’ll also add to the bettering of yourself.

If you have decided to step towards the noble task of volunteering, and wondering how the entire journey can change your life, then here are a few pointers to sort all your doubts:

Breaking free and being more confident after stepping out of your comfort zone.

There’s 100% guarantee of one thing – a volunteering journey will let you push yourself further than you thought you could. In your position, you’ll constantly be bombarded with a plethora of ‘new’ things – friends, tastes, smells, cultures, ideas, lifestyles and much more. You’ll be surprising yourself at each step with everything new that you yourself will be doing. While being in a comforting cocoon, we often don’t try out a lot of things. Stepping out of that will make you feel more confident and independent, and you’ll learn how to take risks when required.

You’ll realize that there’s always something more than what you can plan.

This has might not have happened to you earlier, but during your volunteering journey, you’ll surely get to experience a lot more things that are beyond your planning. It is not just about traveling abroad to help a community or teach kids, but a lot more than that. You’ll realize the true meaning of unconditional love and realize that there are many people in the world who are ready to serve others without asking for anything in return. While you might have plans to teach a lot to the kids at your volunteering destination, you might return home learning a lot from them. You’ll learn to find joy in simple things, you’ll realize that happiness will persist no matter what, you’ll start appreciating the little incidents of life, so on and so forth.

Learning to appreciate what you possess.

This is one of the most important lessons that you’ll learn – to be grateful for what you have. It is a normal human tendency to take things for granted, and we often forget to express gratitude for what have. During your volunteering journey, you’ll see how people who have very little, are happy with their possessions, and they won’t even ask for more. You’ll realize that feeding a street kid brings more happiness than buying an expensive dress. You’ll start feeling thankful for the life you’ve been blessed with, for getting good schooling and for everything else that has contributed to shaping your life.

Making friends out of strangers.

There’s no stronger bond than one shared over making the world a better place. Whether it’s with other international volunteers, local staff or families from the community, the friendships that a volunteering trip will bless you with, would be worth cherishing forever. While those you’ve known for ages will appreciate your decision and effort, they might not exactly understand the value or challenges that the entire process involves. It’s only these like-minded ones, who’ll know it because they have traveled in the same boat as yours. The time, distance and spaces won’t matter with these new friends of yours – you’ll know that these are the ones who helped you in creating one of the most beautiful chapters of your life.

You’ll become a more empathetic and compassionate person.

Perhaps you’ll commit a few weeks for volunteering abroad, but the impact it will have on your worldview will last a lifetime. You’ll leave your volunteering position feeling empowered and inspired to do more good in the world. You’ll feel more empathetic towards others and compassionate to serve the society. Your choices will transform, and so will your habits. You’ll know that you alone can’t change the world, but you can surely make some difference to someone’s life and that in itself is a big thing to do.

To put it precisely, your mentality will change after this particular phase.

By fully immersing yourself into alternative ways of thinking, speaking, acting and living – there will be a change in the way you look at life as a whole. While your main objective should be to help the community and wholeheartedly work for them, you’ll eventually realize that you’re benefitted in ways you never even imagined. And you’ll know that it’s the best decision that you’ve ever taken.


  • Riyanka Roy

    A Thoughtful Traveler!

    She is a traveler who is keen on exploring different parts of the world. An Indian who did her Masters in International Relations, Riyanka has taught in the rural tribal schools in Rajasthan, India, for a considerable period. Riyanka mostly focuses on volunteering trips and responsible tourism. She's a freelance blogger who's equally passionate about photography. Her quest is to turn all her journeys into beautiful stories. Being a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic‘, her favorite destinations are all around the Himalayas! She can spend days gazing at the snow-capped mountains, binge on Maggi and lemon-honey-ginger tea and reading Ruskin Bond books.