Growing up in Canada has afforded me a wealth of travel possibilities and the desire to experience and educate others around the world. Almost anywhere I could dream of travelling to for a holiday or city break is at my fingertips.
When I think about where I would like to go, my main areas of interest consist of cultural experiences, history, opportunities for hands on learning and full immersion. Of course sandy beaches and relaxation appeal to me also but the idea of spending all my time in another country without seeing anything aside from beach bunnies, crashing waves and children making sand castles is short lived.
I have travelled to three countries far away from my homeland to sample life as part of the working class. I held employment and contributed to society while gaining experience, advice and additional qualifications.
I didn’t want to be just another ignorant tourist whose purpose for being in the area is only to see the most reported sights and buy the local memoirs of a town they have only glimpsed. I wanted to assimilate myself into the daily life of the people surrounding me and experience all of the ups and downs the average person has to deal with daily.
I wanted to have my eyes wide open to the poverty and conditions affecting the population at large and also wanted to help in creating services, or working within existing organizations, which would provide the opportunity to change society and daily life for the better.
There are many organizations which enable people from all over the world to assist governments and charities abroad to implement programs designed to infrom and educate the general public. The unfortunate thing about these agencies is that anyone who wishes to take part in their services must first pay a fee of up to but not including $2000 USD. This agency fee is not inclusive of accommodation, travelling expenses, food or drink.
Most often this fee doesn’t even include your flight or cost of achieving the proper travel documentation. A substantial amount of graduate students, gap year students, retirees and people searching for a change and purpose feel a need to travel and assist abroad in a variety of programs. These people are often unable to carry through with their dreams because they don’t have the funds to do so.
It would be great to see a program offered to the public by the government whereby these active and eager individuals can receive some form of financial partnership. Such a difference can be made all ove rthe world if more people were able to spread their love, knowledge and kindness.