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Where to Volunteer Locally in New York & New Jersey

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, people across the northeast were united by in the aftermath of the storm’s wrath—many were not lucky in being spared the full effects of this storm. Displaced New York and New Jersey residents were huddled in gas lines or bus lines with just about every aspect of […]

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How to Clean Up Ocean Trash While Traveling (And Why You Should!)

Thailand: Pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters on secluded tropical islands. It is perfect image for a holiday relaxing in the sun. Right? The reality is a far cry different in many places around the country, and in touristy beaches around the world. Thai beaches are not always as pristine as you may imagine. […]

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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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New Social Enterprise Opens in Bagan, Myanmar

A new partnership between Friends-International and the Myanmar Youth Development Institute is bringing vocational training opportunities to the youth of Bagan, Myanmar with the creation of Sanon, Bagan’s first socially responsible restaurant. For those of you who haven’t heard of Friends-International, it’s a social enterprise working toward providing a better future for marginalised children and youth, […]

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40+ Beautiful Quotes About Service & 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 serve others, whether you are traveling or serving in your local community. No matter […]

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How Responsible Travel Impacts Fairtrade Tea in Kenya

Few activities are older and more deeply rooted in tradition than tea. Thousands of years ago, tea was an auspicious and expensive treat — royalty sipped tea over important discussions. Over time, as it became more accessible, new variations arose. Tea is now an essential part of almost every culture across the globe. Tea has become an international symbol of […]

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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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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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The Art of Giving and Travel

Giving is good for you. It’s a statement many have heard before, but the concrete benefits of giving are one of those more airy concepts difficult to research. Over the past year though, I’ve seen this idea take flight in mainstream media as the giving mindset doesn’t just lift your spirits for a day, but […]

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Fighting Apathy, Fighting Poverty

I recently watched a recording of rock legend Bono giving a rousing TED Talk  filmed at the 2013 TED conference. The topic, which he framed in the context of a brief ten minute presentation, was on the current state of world poverty. I think that, if you’d asked me to comment intelligently on the topic […]