I recently went on a voluntourism trip to Thailand… probably one of the most fun and adventure-filled trips I have had!
I volunteered with orphans in a school who had lost their parents to the 2004 tsunami. And stayed with local villagers who had lost families and livelihoods during the tsunami. The money that would have been spent staying in fancy hotels went to local villagers for putting us up, and we got authentic delicious home-cooked Thai meals! It was the most fun I had in a long time… the Thai people are some of the most hospitable out there, and theyre known as the land of smiles for a reason.. they are always smiling!!
I met people from all over the world, learnt and enjoyed home-cooked Thai meals and desserts, visited tsunami-stricken islands, rode on elephants, did bamboo rafting in lakes, learnt how to catch fish in the ocean with ginourmous nets, caught some Muay Thai kickboxing, learnt how to make hand-made soap, roofs made of bamboo leaves, had bbqs in the beach, stayed in a jungle treehouses, went kayaking in mangroves, swam in tsunami stricken beaches, trekked up 2 of chiang mai’s highest mountains, stayed with hilltribe villagers, volunteered in an elephant sanctuary park, got bitten by a million mosquitoes, and fell in love… with Thailand! It was anything but a photo trip.
It set me free… Living in shanty towns and homes out of a backpack, with people who had nothing, but who had so much to offer at the same time gave me that much needed perspective. I also found myself…. I realized I was living in limbo, not living my own life, but waiting for others to brighten mine, and that I had forgotten my mantra about living a passionate life. Never again.