Have you ever thought about how your life could look if you said YES to the volunteering opportunity which you found on Facebook or to the one recommended by your «crazy friend who volunteered abroad»?
Let’s dream with me and take these 10 steps which change your life forever!
Maybe for the first time in your life, you will buy a one-way ticket. Just because you are coming back home in a few months, so just click on the website «No, I don’t need a ticket back». Yet.
You will pack all you need in 1 suitcase (okay, okay, maybe you will need a 2nd smaller one!). But suddenly you will realize that actually you don’t have to buy more clothes, or shoes, or that sweater on the discount. If you are lucky like me, maybe some events like a quarantine will show you that it’s possible to live for 3 months with 1 pair of jeans, 3 t-shirts and a pair of sneakers.
If you are from a non-EU country or going to volunteer in a non-EU country, you might experience tough moments in dealing with the bureaucracy. And they will make you stronger, smarter, and more responsible. At this point, you can realize that you are responsible for yourself and that almost any situation can be solved.
When you arrive, in your new home-country you will be met by your new colleagues, or even future friends (but of course, you don’t know yet how many evenings of talking about everything are ahead of you).
You will see your new home. Maybe it’s your first time living without parents. And yes, this is your new room which needs a good cleaning and few photos on the wall, your new kitchen for the gaining cooking skills, your new living room with the couch which is perfect for the evenings and talking, and window with the perfect view, especially at the sunset (you will post so many pictures of the sunset on your Instagram!).
Then you will have your first working day. You will be a bit scared to meet all those scary people from your emails and will be wondering how your working day will actually look like. In a while, your office will become the place you will love coming to. Actually that’s how I found out that it’s a certain dose of pleasure to come to the office earlier with your new friend-another volunteer and turn on music as loud as possible and start the day with the crazy dances. So dear HRs, if I can’t do that at your working place, please, don’t even call me!
Soon you will meet your mentor. It will be a life-changing meeting! Because now you will have someone local to ask about a million things like which local food is the best, how to find an English speaking doctor or how to use local transport.
A few months later you will be a real bilingual person because you know all necessary words in a local language (according to your relatives or friends of course). And yes, with the «all necessary words» I mean: hi, my name is Tania, how are you, I don’t speak local language, one beer, please.
During your volunteering period for sure you will find a sense for doing your volunteering, then lose it, and find it again, and maybe a few times more like that. And it’s a totally normal process. That’s how you feel when you are growing as a person and discovering new things. It might be scary, like SUPER DUPER scary, but now, after looking back I see that it was 100500 times worth it.
And then one day you will find out that it’s time to buy another ticket and move on to another stop in your life adventure. You will leave your organisation and finish your project, but you will keep forever the most important things: experience and people. They are incredibly precious!
So if you ask me personally whether you should take this opportunity or not. My answer will be sending your application! Do it, and find out if I am right about this list.