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BuildAbroad.org

As the world becomes more and more connected, there are countless opportunities to create positive social change – especially through travel. Purposeful or meaningful travel can take many shapes and cover a wide spectrum. Something as simple as contributing to the growth of a developing community by purchasing local goods or services can make a huge impact. In addition, working directly to improve communities through sustainable volunteering can change lives and foster lasting growth. However, purposeful travel isn’t always black and white. If you’re considering a volunteer trip abroad, there are a few very important steps you should take in order to ensure you are creating lasting positive change.

What is Sustainable Volunteering?

In this context, sustainable volunteering refers to a program that considers the long-term social implications of the work its volunteers are doing. Let’s use construction volunteering as an example. Out of the following scenarios, what do you think is more sustainable for a developing community in Guatemala?

Scenario one: A single school built on the outskirts of the community with modern amenities such as air conditioning, computers, Internet and running water. Current schools are overcrowded – this school will help distribute the number of students by creating new classrooms. Architects and volunteers from the U.S. will be brought in through grant money to design and build the school. It will be designed off-site and will be introduced to the community after it’s completion as a surprise.

Scenario two: A series of additions will be designed and built on existing schools to increase classroom sizes and update the current buildings. Local architects and contractors will work in collaboration with volunteers from the U.S. to design and build these additions. Before construction begins, the community will be consulted, including local residents, teachers and even students on what is most needed to improve conditions.

Click for the answer and to read more about planning a volunteer trip

Campervan_Chris Boyd

After many years of traveling via plane, train, and humble automobile, my perceptions of travel really altered when discovering the wonderful country of New Zealand back in 2011. Unlike my regular journeys, I decided that this was the year myself and three of my close female friends were to travel via campervan. Yes, a campervan!

After checking in, boarding and braving an arduous 28 hour flight the tire finally hit the runway of Auckland airport. I made my way to the front of the aircraft and to my bemusement the heat of the New Zealand sun was beating down aggressively (which was a far cry from the dreary February morning I left behind in the UK). Feeling the sun’s warmth, the girls and I immediately perked up, swiftly disembarking the craft excited to go and pick up our new mobile home for the next two weeks. We managed to get a cracking deal on our camper, picking it up from the airport with the reasonable price tag of just over £1500 between four for the two weeks.

I have to admit when my good friend and colleague Ben Donovan, campervan enthusiast and managing director of major campervan accessory retailer Leisure Shop Direct, initially suggested that I chose a camper for my next break: I was skeptical. I had so many preconceptions about the idea, how it was more appropriate for the ‘older generation’ (I chose my words carefully). And that the cost would be through the roof. But after a small amount of research and the realization of the benefits, I decided to give it a go!

Click to find out why a Campervan Trip should be on your Bucket List

road trip on a motorcycleIf you’ve never driven or even ridden on a motorcycle it’s really time you got out there and gave it a try. It’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before. Many women do it for the freedom and power it gives them. Read on for tips to enjoy the ride and plan a road trip on a motorcycle.

The Joy Of Motorcycle Riding

If you have a fear of riding a motorcycle, now is the time to let it go. If you wear protective leather, a helmet, and make sure you are insured, you are already on the way to a safe ride.

Don’t just hop on a bike and hit the road if you’ve never ridden before. Take some time to learn how to ride and how to be a safe rider. The you’ll be ready to safely hit the road and feel the wind in your hair.

That is one of the reasons many people, women and men included, ride. They love that feel of the wind in their hair, the freedom of not being confined inside a vehicle, but still managing to get where they want to go.

The Best Way For A Road Trip

Whether you want to get away with your significant other, or you want to get away on your own, taking your bike on a road trip is the best idea ever. The adventure of riding a motorcycle is enough to get most women on two wheels. Why ride with him if you can ride by him, right? Click to read motorcycle road trip planning tips

Planning a Camping TripWhile a lot of people prefer to go camping to get away from technology and busy lifestyles, others find that technology can enhance the experience. This doesn’t mean that you strap a satellite dish to your camper and install LCD televisions so you can watch the game, but there are many gadgets that can enhance safety and functionality. Planning a camping trip with the right gear may mean the difference between enjoying your stay in the great outdoors and being miserable. Read on for seven gadgets to pack when camping.

Solar Charging Unit

Small solar charging units can keep your smartphones powered during the day. Although you may be trying to avoid civilization, having your phone available can be invaluable should there be an emergency. Most phones are equipped with exceptional cameras that can take amazing pictures while you’re in nature as well. It may also provide GPS location and mapping abilities should you become lost.

Click to continue…

International Breakup_NinaTWhy is it that you always hear or read about messy or sudden breakups, but you never seem to hear about the one that I now find myself having to go through? The planned separation, the separation that neither of us truly wants to happen but know must?

I have been so fortunate during my time here in Spain to enter into what has so far been the best relationship of my life. I have spent the past one and a half years with a man who has shown me what it means to be respected and loved and accepted unconditionally.

Click here to read more about Nina’s international breakup

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