Why Solo Volunteer Travel Is the Best Way to Travel

Solo Volunteer Travel Is the Best Way to Travel

You’re never truly alone on a Global Volunteers volunteer program. Joining like-minded and compassionate people from all over the world on important community development projects can be one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of your life. Two-time Global Volunteer Jennifer explains why she believes solo volunteer travel is the best way to travel.

I just returned from India, my second trip as a solo volunteer – and it won’t be the last time either. Only five years ago I had never even been on a commercial plane. Now I’ve seen African villages and crossed streets in India. But more importantly – I’ve made an impact on the lives of children that they will remember their whole lives through my solo volunteer travel. Maybe not me exactly, or the English I taught but our interactions. The realization of the universal truth that we as people are more alike than we are different.

Solo Volunteer Travel

When I tell people that I’ve visited exotic places like Tanzania or India alone, the look is often one of shock. Alone, I journeyed to those places, navigating multiple airports on layovers, eating mystery food on airplanes, and seeking the best exchange rates. My time getting to the sites is alone – I have been far from alone once I depart the airport and begin my service with Global Volunteers. Tired from travel and slightly confused by local practices, I have always found comfort in speaking with the other volunteers. These strangers become your quick allies in a new land that you navigate together, discovering the culture by each interaction or outing to the local store. Quick bonds are made with other volunteers, some which last beyond your term of service.

Solo Volunteer Travel in India

But you may be wondering – why do I do this alone? The short answer – I want to. It’s an inexplicable calling that there are lessons for me out in the world, and I want to learn those lessons. Often my friends are busy with life, getting married, having babies, going to graduate school, etc. My family members are not travelers. But I want to go. So I do. And I learn far more than I believe I give on each trip. I learn not only how other people see the world (and America) but more about myself. I learn to trust my instincts, how I pick up new languages and test my tolerance both morally and physically (whew the Indian heat)! I don’t think I would be challenged in the same way if I was not a solo volunteer.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”

-Cheryl Strayed


Begin your own solo volunteer travel adventure!

Global Volunteers engages people of every generation, ethnicity, and walks of life in a common goal of global possibility. You can join a volunteer team in any one of our 17 country locations. Chat online with a Volunteer Coordinator to learn more about solo volunteer travel.

Chat online about solo volunteer travel

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