With volunteering couples, it’s more likely that a wife invites her husband on a volunteer trip than the other way around. Some 70% of Global Volunteers team members are women. One recent example is Holly and Jake. Holly had volunteered five times with Global Volunteers, but Jake had never experienced a volunteer abroad program. In January, they served together in India, and Jake fell in love! Jake explains:
From the time I first met my wife, I heard about the joy that comes from her volunteer trips. We met just after her trip to Peru, and she was enamored by the sights, tastes, and opportunity to help others in such a different environment than her own. I had never met anyone who had dined on guinea pig, so I was rather fascinated with the opportunities she was sharing! Over time, as we got to know each others’ preferences and passions, it was clear to me that the opportunities offered to her and others, by Global Volunteers, were so very meaningful to all involved. Her travels had already taken her to so many incredible places … Vietnam, Romania, Cook Islands, and then Peru. More recently, Holly made her way to Cuba (under the wonderful team leader, Pam Cromer) and completely FELL IN LOVE! I am not sure if her being on “first teams” for each of her visits had anything to do with it, but it was clear to me that she completely loved the learning she was doing and the assistance she was offering.
As I write this, it occurs to me that learning about her travel, as well as the volunteers and the local people she served was intriguing and made her that much more attractive to me. It clearly took a special person to offer themselves in this way. From the specifics of how she learned from her first trip how to pack (or NOT pack), to the team leaders, and to her fellow traveler (Sue – who has accompanied her on each of her Global trips, including our first one together), to the specific role she played in the lives of local people in all the wonderful places she visited, I was touched and curious about how the mission of Global Volunteers could eventually change my life as well.
Bottom line, each of her opportunities being a volunteer told a new and different story. Being on buses with chickens on the back roads of Vietnam, holding babies in a Romanian orphanage after visiting that famous castle in Transylvania, meeting and being fed by the mother-in-law of Don Ho in the South Pacific, ascending Machu-Pichu in the Andes, and absorbing the culture and art of Cuba… all painted a picture of worldliness, grandeur, personal growth and satisfaction, and had me curious about what I may offer some day.
Ultimately, my own business travels had me gaining more stamps in my passport than Holly’s, so my flavor for international travel was fed by different means over the years. Admittedly, I believe that my interest in this type of travel was not as great as my wife’s, yet I was being afforded the opportunity to visit South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia on educational-based recruiting trips. It wasn’t the same kind of travel that Holly spoke about, however. I rarely spent more than one or two nights in any city or province. I rarely felt that I was making a difference for the people I was meeting. I was doing what I was paid to do.
A Global Volunteer trip would be what I needed to feel “most” in touch with the love of my life, and with the love of offering something more… something of myself. So, with a busy calendar and no ideal time to leave my schedule at home, we set out to make the opportunity work for us both. The headline is true: Wife Gets Husband to Come on a Volunteer Trip. Hello India!