Unearth the World specializes in pairing travelers with meaningful international volunteer projects. And though we believe there is a lot to gain from solo travel, volunteering with a group allows for different but equally meaningful experiences. We work with university groups, families, and companies to plan volunteer trips to our various partner sites and have seen firsthand how powerful and valuable they can be. This post highlights some of the benefits of group volunteering and why should you consider it for your next trip.
1. The value of shared experiences:
Whether you choose to join a group trip as an individual, or organize a group program for your friends, family, university, or company – there is nothing like the friendships formed and deepened during travel. Shared experiences, particularly those that challenge you or push you past your comfort zone, can be more intense and life-changing than individual experiences. Group volunteering sparks meaningful conversation amongst your group and with others – conversations that can lead to new perspectives and insights. Through volunteering abroad with a group, companies see their employees grow as a team and become better leaders. Universities see their students become more civically engaged. And families see their children gain important insight on the world around them. You’ll return home with deeper relationships and an experience of a lifetime that you’ll always share.
2. Safety, and strength in numbers:
Volunteering abroad can be a daunting experience. Through the hundreds of trips that Unearth the World has planned over the past few years, we have found that traveling with a group is a great way to feel both emotionally and physically safe in a new and challenging environment. Having a group of people with whom to share the dynamic emotions and adventure of volunteering abroad will help you feel secure and ready to get the most from that experience. It is also true that a group can have an even greater practical impact on a project through sheer number of hands. This strength in numbers is meaningful for both the functional goals of a volunteer project and for the personal experiences of those in the group.
3. Friendship and perspective:
Group volunteering will not only lead to new and enhanced relationships with others; it will also enable you to have a deeper experience through the constant sharing with those you are traveling with. Volunteering abroad in an unfamiliar setting often comes with its own unique set of challenging and rewarding feelings and situations. Having a group of people with whom to undertake this transformative and often jarring experience can make your trip even more meaningful. It will also help you deal with the challenges of post-trip life because there are others who understand the life-changing adventure you just shared. Unpacking the experience with others who come from a similar worldview enables reflection both in real-time and once the trip is over.