Travel: Afford to See the World, Try a Volunteer Vacation

Written by Brenda Fraser Posted in Travel on

  • Ever wanted to see the world but lacked the funds?

  • Are you curious about cultures of the world?

  • Want to experience international travel in a whole new way?

  • Want to improve your language skills or learn a new language?


Then a Volunteer Vacation is for You!


For years, I dreamed of exotic locations. I briefly considered joining the Peace Corps, the time commitment was not for me. I just wanted a few weeks abroad, where I could see another culture without the filters of a museum, a resort or the typical tourists outings.


I have traveled to Austalia and The Netherlands for international conventions, and been to safe places like Canada and the Carribean, but I longed for something “off the grid”. I also wanted to include one of my passions, jewelry-making.


I found a program that included working with women who make African jewelry from recycled glass in Ghana, on the west coast of Africa. This seemed perfect! My sister had lived in Ghana in the 1960s, when I was growing up in plain vanilla New Hampshire. When I had seen the hand-carved wood masks, and colorful dyed fabrics from Ghana, a seed was planted. West Africa was calling my name. To top it off, my passion for jewelry making was going to be fulfilled!


Traveling alone can be a challenge for some, maybe even dangerous.  There are established, safe programs that might be much easier than trying to figure out a new culture on your own. Recently, a customer mentioned her son was about to embark on a several month trip to New Zealand. He was going to live with a local family and learn sheep herding.  As an agriculture student, working on a farm is an invaluable experience. The program is “Workaway” – they have many options for traveling abroad.


A friend with a passion for coffee traveled to Haiti to work alongside the coffee growers and learn about the production of the perfect coffee bean. She enjoyed meeting the farmers, staying in a small village and now sells the coffee here at home. She is a true coffee connoisseur and the trip deepened her knowledge and love for it.

Volunteer vacations are just one way to feed your wanderlust, stay tuned for more travel tales.

Share your travel experiences in the Comment Section below.

Blog Author:

Brenda A. Fraser is a boutique-owner, Butterfly & Moon, 814 So. Main Street in
historic Saint Charles, MO. She is a jewelry designer, mosaic artist, and the host of
a weekly Blogtalk Radio show called Alive to Thrive.
Connect via e-mail,, or on Facebook.
  • Great article! Volunteering is really essential.