By Noah Rue
Maybe you're searching for spiritual purpose/God, or maybe you're thinking about joining the Peace Corps to teach kids in sub-Saharan Africa. Either way, international travel could be a good way to switch things up for a while and help you find your purpose in life. Consider different ways to combine social entrepreneurship, travel, and purpose to create a holistic experience that contributes to your spiritual and mental health, as well as your resume.
Be the Change
All your childhood you were told that you could be whatever you want to be as long as you work hard enough. One student from Arizona University decided to put this to the test by travelling 8,000 miles to inspire others to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Muhammad Yunus was a social entrepreneur and called “the father of microcredit” for his development of Grameen Bank. He decided to take on developing a new way to support small business owners through micro-loans in Bangladesh. This fulfilled his desire to help others achieve their dreams of entrepreneurship while also getting to practice philanthropy to satisfy his soul.
If you are willing to be creative, there are an endless number of ways that you can travel the world and work towards creating change at the same time. Many choose to travel overseas to teach English in a foreign country. It is an accessible way to see new land’s culture while also generating income.
A spin that you can take from this direction is to design a program at the school where you are instructing that interests you. Consider creating an environmental education program or designing an engineering project to build water filters out of household objects. Already a teacher in your home country? Take your students abroad by putting together an international trip and help expand their minds through travel (and get a free trip out of the deal). Stimulating the students with projects and topics outside their normal routine will be engaging to them and rewarding for you.
Grow Your Own
WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is another option for those that want to travel abroad and work to create change. WWOOF is an international organization whose mission is to “connect people who want to live and learn on organic farms and smallholdings with people who want to share their lifestyles, teach new skills and welcome volunteer help.” Typically, there are a certain number of hours that you are asked to volunteer; in return, you are given room and board free of charge. However, every volunteer opportunity differs. Some farms have a minimum or maximum on their duration of service, but this provides a way to see many different cultures and countries without the expense of meals and accommodations.
In the technological age, there are not many limitations preventing you from starting your own workshops, non-profit organization, or becoming a motivational speaker. If you have the drive to do good to all of the citizens of planet Earth, it is a mission worth pursuing. You could create the next WWOOF or be the next Muhammad Yunus if you so desire. All you have to ask yourself is: what are you passionate about saving/doing/sharing? Keep moving and traveling into the future to create change that can benefit others!