Teaching Traveling: Ever wanted to spend part of your vacation doing something to give back?
For inspiration, listen to the experience of Charlie, a young woman who just volunteered abroad during her holiday with a program that YOU can do, too.
Charlie, tell us about your experience.
Charlie: I just got back from Goa, where I spent two weeks. I had an amazing time in this part of India, and did a number of different things, including making the most of the many beaches. However my favourite experience of the trip, by far, was participating in a Holiday with a Heart volunteer experience.
With this program, I spent one day volunteering in one of the day centres of the Charity “Child Rescue” in Calangute, North Goa. This charity works with children with little or no access to education and provides them with a safe day centre where they are fed, taught and looked after.
Here I helped teach both a fun arts and craft lesson and an English lesson to the children in the centre. It was challenging as there were many children and they all spoke little English. However, I was provided with lesson plans to follow and the Holiday with a Heart representative was there to help. In the afternoon we took the children to the beach where a number of different games were played. The day really was amazing and rewarding. The children were so eager to learn and welcoming that you really can’t help but love the day and want to do more.
TT: How did you find this volunteer opportunity?
C: I found this travel opportunity though searching on Google. I typed in searches for volunteering and found Holiday with a Heart’s website, which offers a number of volunteer opportunities in different countries.
TT: How did you find the money to fund this travel?
C: I funded this experience through savings. However it did not make a big dent in my budget as it was only ?99 and is for charity!
TT: Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly powerful.
C: Seeing how eager the children are to learn, and how happy and grateful they are about small things truly was very touching.
TT: How have your travels impacted you in your career?
C: I’m not a teacher, however it is something that I may look into. That one day was so rewarding and knowing you have made a positive impact on children’s lives seems to me to be a very worthy profession.
TT: How have your travels impacted you as a person?
C: The whole experience has made me much more grateful for everything I have and has made me realise the importance and the enjoyment of giving back.
TT: What advice do you have for other teachers who are dreaming of travel, or travelers dreaming of teaching?
C: Don’t think… DO! And you can also combine both travel and teaching by taking part in one of Holiday with a Heart’s volunteer opportunities. You will have a wonderful day and meet some truly inspirational people.
TT: Thanks, Charlie! Readers, what questions or comments do you have?
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld L.com Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!