8 Beautiful Volunteer Destinations for a Mindful Travel

Globalization has brought so many opportunities to people with wanderlust. Not only can you visit other continents relatively easily but you can also engage in different activities with the locals and people from across the globe that share the same vision as you. Traveling can be good for your mental health, so don’t miss a chance to do it and especially if it’s a mindful traveling. If you want a mindful traveling experience and not just tourism, then you should consider some of the following options. 

Become a farmer in Portugal

Portugal is a beautiful and underestimated country that is still somehow in the shadow of its bigger and more popular neighbor Spain. If you like nature, agriculture, but also the proximity of the ocean and the possibility to have a couple of weekends surfing, then this country is the right place to spend a month or two volunteering. When it comes to the language, it would be good if you learned the basics of Portuguese but English can work as well. Aljezur is a small town where you can help farmers on eco-farm and reforestation projects. There are recycling projects in Romãs, Sátão as well. Once you´re in Portugal, don’t miss the chance to explore the bohemian Lisbon, historical Coimbra, and Sintra and to try a great vine in Porto. 

Experience nomad life in Mongolia

If you like places that are not too crowded with tourists, that have amazon nature and hospitable people, Mongolia might just be the right place. Situated between Russia and China, it gives an opportunity to visit these two countries as well if there is enough time and financial resources. Mongolia offers a lot of eco-programs for volunteers and it is focused on the nomad life their people are historically famous for. You can help breed the livestock and live in traditional Mongolian tent-like dwellings. You can get similar experiences in Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan. 

Protect sea turtles in Mexico

Mexico is a dream for any tourist. The whole Central American zone offers wonderful lands, such as Costa Rica and Panama among others. When it comes to Mexico, the options are tremendous for a tourist. If you want a mindful travel experience try to be involved in a turtle protection project. It will require a lot of hours at the beach, so it can’t be bad at all. These animals are endangered mostly because of the poachers. They actually spend their lives in the sea, but the females return to lay their eggs on the beach. This is where it gets dangerous for them because the natural predators along with humans who steal the eggs to sell them on the black market reduced significantly the number of sea turtles. It would be amazing for you to contribute to its preservation and enjoy Mexican nature along the way. Beware though, the country has a high crime rate, so avoid non-touristic places.

Hospital internship in Tanzania

If you are a medical worker and want to visit Africa, Tanzania offers some internships in their hospitals. This is a wonderful opportunity both for professionals and students who would like to gain experience in a country that doesn’t count on such good equipment and technology as Western countries. Volunteer overseas and get the chance to help the local people who have little resources in their towns. The statistic is sad, 88% of Tanzanian children live in poverty with thousands of them suffering from malnutrition. Other than helping with the medical work, the places you shouldn’t miss are Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar, if there is time. There are more amazing places you can visit in Tanzania such as Mafia Island Marine Park and Lake Victoria.

Run a surf camp in Namibia

There is a backpacker surf camp in Swakopmund in Namibia, only one hour to the world-famous Skeleton Bay and many other surf spots that are nearby. Skeleton bay is one of the most amazing African beaches famous for its dunes. Other than surfing activities that you can do for fun, there are other things you can do to make improvements in this area. Those are reception duties, feeding animals, keeping the bar stocked up, etc.

Help protect the animals in The Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary in New Zealand

Kiwi is the emblematic animal of New Zealand. They are even called the kiwis across the world. This wonderful country has both beaches, mountains, and fjords. Biodiversity is huge and you can help with conserving it further with your assistance. Your role in the rainforest would be learning about its bird species, learning how to preserve them from extinction, and creating a closer bond with nature. Living off the grid can be a marvelous experience for any nature lover and traveler.

Participate in building and reconstruction in Indonesia

Indonesia is a huge country, being Bali its most famous island, a splendid touristic destination that has been one of the most posted places on Instagram. However, Indonesia is much more than that. Bali people live in poverty and lack some community centers like schools, playgrounds, public libraries, and others. Participating in the construction of these places for Balinese kids can give you the sensation of utter happiness. You can choose English teaching programs as well in the cities like Ubud or Lombok. 

Support unprivileged kids in Brazil

Far from the Rio de Janeiro Copacabana beach and its emblematic Cristo do Corcovado statue, there are numerous favelas, crowded with underprivileged people, many of them being kids. There are many social programs focused on providing them education, food, and different social activities. You can volunteer in an orphanage as well. There are cases of kids who had successful careers later on and kept in touch with the former volunteers after graduating. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help someone and have a friend for life.

The world is full of wonderful places you can explore and leave some kind of contribution to. Don’t think that something is too far because today only a couple of hours in an airplane separates you from some of the most amazing places in the world. Inform well about the place you would like to visit and prepare yourself well. You will see that after trying it once, it becomes easier next time and the feeling of accomplishment after contributing to the local communities is superb. 

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