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The Responsible Traveler’s Guide to Southeast Asia

Let’s talk about socially responsible travel in Southeast Asia. Although there are general ethical principles guiding responsible travelers anywhere in the world, there are specific considerations for travelers in Southeast Asia. From the dark side of animal tourism to choosing ethical activities to spending money wisely — it’s a complex situation. Let’s jump into activities […]

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How One Organization is Working with Orphanages in India for Long-Term Solutions

Orphanages are a controversial subject in the international volunteering industry. Over the past decade, stories and reports have highlighted poor practices in the industry, sketchy volunteer programs, and enough issues to give anyone pause. The fervor started over the orphanage scene in Cambodia, but spread to questionable tours in Africa and now fears grow for how expanding tourism […]

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The Psychology & Ethics of International Volunteering

The ethical landscape of the international volunteering industry is complex. It’s a twisting network of ideologies, methodologies, and different approaches to development and aid. It’s also the cornerstone of any discussion on volunteering. There’s an automatic trope in the West that volunteering is inherently “good.” This is sold by the media, by colleges, and by […]

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36 Beautiful Quotes About Volunteering & Travel

A good quote can serve of a handy reminder for why you’ve set out on a course in life. These ideas can also serve as a gentle nudge to reconsider and reframe how you see the world. There are many reasons to volunteer and serve, but the profound and underlying truth under them all is that […]

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The 8 Behaviors of Responsible Travelers

“Responsible travel” is a buzzword these days. Pair it up with “sustainble tourism” and you have the magic words that hotels, tour operators and businesses are throwing around to catch onto a trend. It’s a good trend, at the heart. Travelers are becoming increasingly aware of the need for an integrated, responsible approach to travel. But […]

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Giving Helps You Feel More Connected, Here’s How

Through my work in the travel industry, I’ve seen many travelers draw clear lines in the sand around the nature of their vacation. Some plan for only luxurious beach getaways, others a backpacking trip, and some embark on a specifically designed volunteer vacation. Travel, however, is more deeply nuanced than any of these bold delineations. […]

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Meet Our Newest Team Member, Veena

GV is growing and I am so pleased to announce the addition of a new volunteer on the management side of Grassroots Volunteering. Veena reached out a few months ago and was quick to note that she’s worked in public service, with international NGOs, she’s studied the issues at the university level, and she travels […]

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Good for Community: Service Offered Abroad Can Be Just As Powerful at Home

“Community service” is an interesting term. Technically, it is simply another phrase synonymous with volunteering. The word’s connotation, however, implies a style of volunteering with a much more tangible and direct impact, often on underserved populations and projects within a community. Let us therefore look at community-driven volunteering and how it plays out in your […]

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A Creative, DIY Approach to Volunteering in Nepal

The idea of volunteering in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal came to me as a surprise. I had spent the better part of two years traveling the world, after becoming disenchanted with a career as an accountant working long hours. I had just completed my postgraduate qualification, when I gave notice of my resignation. After six […]

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How to Get Started with Independent Volunteering

The dizzying number of options within the volunteering landscape is enough to stall any travel plans, but there is value in slogging through the research and finding a good-match organization for your time and skills. Though paid placement companies and voluntours might be a better fit for some, I believe many travelers can benefit from a transparent […]