The personal benefits of a vacation are well known; they can reduce stress, rekindle a relationship, and rejuvenate your body and mind. But your vacation can also benefit the world around you. If you do a little deeper searching, one can find many 'volunteer vacations' across the country and world that offer many opportunities to study the environment, preserve the landscape, or help those in need. The key to a successful volunteer vacation is being realistic about your desires and abilities. Knowing what you want out of the trip will not only make it more enjoyable for you, but it will also eliminate the possibility of you being stuck in a tent for a week dreaming of a warm shower and running water. Find areas and subject matters that are important to you: do you want to help injuired animals, preserve a favorite park, build a home or study the artic? Whatever the choice, know that offering your time can be fun and enjoyable, all while making a difference in this world
1. Repair Trails in the Montana Wilderness
2. Study Climate Change in the Artic
3. Help Preserve Cheetahs in Namibia
Having been to Namibia, this one is dear to my heart. While I did not see a cheetah, I did see leopards, another endagered animal. To participate in this project, you won't have to keep up with the speedy cheetahs (which can dash at speeds over 70 miles per hour). You just help save them from local extinction in Namibia. EarthWatch volunteers are based in Eland's Joy, the headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. This area is the last stronghold of the wild cheetah, so it's the perfect place to conduct wildlife surveys, feed and care for captive cheetahs and spread the word about cheetah conservation to the local people. Learn more about volunteer expeditions at EarthWatch.org.
4. Sail the Sloop Clearwater
5. Help Organic Farms Across the Country
Think to give back the next time your 2 weeks of vacation rolls around, our Mother Earth deserves it!