Traveling overseas to engage with others can be a rather unique and holistic experience. When it comes to volunteering one’s skills and experiences abroad, there is great magic and richness to arise. Meeting local, beautiful individuals, who are dedicated to their country, and are doing the work to empower it, is a real treat. There is something intrinsic and magical coming to play, when people of different parts of the world are able to come together in making a particular space, beautiful. From that beauty, a particular arena of healing immerses. The volunteer experience is simply more than about “helping out.” On the contrary, a person can come to know that past troubles and traumas are coming to light. Perhaps, we have never truly healed from that, and it took a place from afar, to bring closure to that situation. Whatever it may be, having the international, volunteer experience gives us life. Our persona has the power to be illuminated in more ways, than what we thought was possible.

Then again, there are those times when you have those persons, who bring a negative vibe of jealousy, and envy. Already they have labeled you with stereotypes, and of what they have already made up in their minds for you to be. This is especially if you come from Europe, the United States, Australia, or Canada. Perhaps, you may experience hostilities, as it pertains to the political dynamics of the day. These individuals may ask you where you are from. Perhaps, they are trying to collect information on you. Whatever the case may be, their inquire into your personal business, and life, just doesn’t feel right.

Alright! So, here you are. You are engaged with the community. Removing all cultural barriers, at hand, you made sure to leave your arrogant eye, at the door. Furthermore, all perceptions of “savior mode” were buried away in the ground. You did your part to present yourself as in equal with the local community. After all, you wanted your international, volunteer experience to be a relationship of “give and take. . .” Yet, there are those particular Spirits, who feel you are there for the “taking”; especially, if you come from a wealthy and industrialized nation. Whether that’s to exploit your energy, time, and money, they have come to take. Using your national privilege as a weapon, they have come to place guilt at your feet, as a place of control. Odd, isn’t it? This wasn’t one of the parts that you signed up for. In fact, you didn’t even know that it came with the territory. Goodness! You’re in a jam, and you don’t know how to get out of it. Then again, here are a few tips, that you can use should you find your presence as an international volunteer being taken advantaged of, or met with hostility.

*Set Boundaries; Edits By Lauren K. Clark

When you go as a volunteer, you are not signing up as a “free slave.” Yes, you are donating you services. Key word: donating. Which means there are limits to what you can do, and how long you can serve. Make sure you are aware of what is expected of you, prior to going on the trip. Once you are clear on everything, and have agreed on your responsibilities (and the expectations of your service), make sure you are volunteering within those confinements. Should you be instructed to provide more volunteer time and labor, refer back to the original agreement. Reject additional labor and walk away.

*Be Strict In Your Privacy

You are not required to provide the details on all of your personal business. Often, you have people asking questions, which does not concern them. If a random person (or group of people) asks you where you are from, you can simply walk away, or say nothing at all. You can share such information with the people, you are working with.

*Keep Discussions On Politics and Religion At Home

You came to volunteer; growing mentally, spiritually, and so forth. Therefore, you need to keep it that way. Stick to the adevntures of learning, growing, and volunteering. Certain things you just don’t discuss or argue about.

*Take Your Time In Getting To Know Other People; Edits By Lauren K. Clark

When volunteering overseas, take your time in getting to know people. You do not have to rush. Get to know who you would like to hang out, or partner with. Be selective in who you want to share your bonding time with. It allows you to weed out unpleasant people, and celebrate your travel time with those Beautiful people, who have come to partake in that healing journey with you.

*Educate People On Who You Are Through Your Actions; Edits By Lauren K. Clark

The best way you can teach people about who you are, is through your actions. Give to the right people. Create beautiful things. Allow people to learn about you, based on what you do. If they decide to still hold negative perceptions against you because you are foreign, that’s their problem. Not yours. Some people just want to find and have any excuse to despise you.

*Stay Connected With Other Open-Minded People; Edits By Lauren K. Clark

You will come across people, who are very open minded in their perception of your nationality. Some of them desire to travel to your country, one day. Perhaps, they want to study, or simply observe the sites of your country. Interact with them, and form healthy relationships with such individuals; especially, if they are from the local population. Such persons will come in handy, when negative vibes want to come your way.

*Stay Centered and Confident In Your Journey

Remember, who you are. You are not the full representation of your nation, and culture. You are your own individual. Whatever people want to think, or how they want to categorize you, according to the politics of the day is their problem, not yours. You just remember to stay true for the reason, and journey, as to why you are partaking in this international, volunteer experience. Make it as positive as you can, and protect this particular, travel experience.; Edits By Lauren K. Clark

Volunteering on an international level is a holistic attribute and journey, in itself. That journey deserves protection. It deserves to be treasured. Furthermore, your own humanity deserves to be cherished, as well. While you are giving back, make sure you have stayed aligned with the holistic wellness for traveling abroad. How are you ensuring that this journey is also a sacred one? Due to the international, or political, climate of the day, not every person may welcome you into their country. That’s fine. However, once you have decided that you are on that journey, you have to stick to it. Clear out the naysayers. Furthermore, distance yourself from those persons, from the local population, who simply want to thrive on negative energy. Often, these are the people, who are doing nothing to empower their own communities, and nation. Yet, they want a reason to blame you for the shortcomings in their own lives, or particular circumstances. Distance yourself.

It may not be often that you get to travel the world. So, make it count. Don’t allow anyone to steal your travel joy. And, especially, don’t allow them to tarnish your experience in how you are contributing, and working with others, to empower a particular spacing. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the experience. Feel the healing and ecstasy, within it.; Edits By Lauren K. Clark