Traveling Abroad To Córdoba, Argentina! Why and How I Chose To Volunteer This Summer
This summer I wanted to really make it special and meaningful. I am off to Córdoba, Argentina to be exact in July. It is my goal each year to go to a new country. I am so excited and also fortunate that I am able to go to Argentina and be part of volunteer work while abroad. Before I even booked this trip, months ago I was looking into traveling abroad and how I can work one day in a new country. It dawned on me that there are so many ways that you can do things abroad that can help you grow in many ways.
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People usually wonder how did I even find out about opportunities like this abroad? Well a few months ago while I was looking up, “how to work abroad,” and I came up with many different advice and tips on Pinterest and other platforms from people who worked abroad. There were responses that ranged from house sitting to being an Au Pair to couch-surfing to working on the farms in a country and so many different types of “opportunities.” All that I read were not what I really wanted to do or things that didn’t sit well with me. Although I crave to grow out from my comfort zone through traveling, I wanted to do something that was different. Something that was meaningful and also safe.
You might hear things all the time about unsafe conditions or bad things happening in other countries. However, I am not saying that doesn’t scare me, I am just saying things like that happen everywhere including the country I live in. You get to this point in traveling that you don’t fear things as much. Yes, I want to stay alive and safe but there are ways to go about doing it and being preventive and smart is the way. I want to help others understand that traveling abroad alone isn’t as scary as it is. If you are, you need to look within yourself and find the deep reason behind it which I can tell you. Fear. Fear drives us to not want to do certain things. Once you get over that initial fear within you, you are bound to explore more in life.
That is what I want to do more in life. Explore. Explore within myself, explore other locations, countries and cultures. I have reached a time in my life that there is more to life than being in our comfort zone. Always staying within our bubble. That is not the way to live. Ever since bursting out of my bubble, I have craved for adventure, the unknown and growing into the person I am meant to be. I can say that I am almost there. Why not 100% there? I feel that in this life at 25 years old, I will always be growing. I will most likely be a different person at 45. Who knows? Who knows if I get to live that long. But one damn thing is for sure- I am going to travel as much and give back as much as I can while alive.
So a few months ago, I was researching reputable and trusted organizations that people have volunteered and participated in. I came across https://www.volunteerhq.org/. So what’s it all about? Basically I pay a program fee to volunteer with other people around the world in a chosen location. You can volunteer in different projects. I chose childcare since I have years working with children of all ages and that’s the population I serve. The process of applying and being chosen to participate was not a hassle at all. As I haven’t volunteered abroad yet, I will wait for another post to share my experience. With that said, I am going to share with you why I’ve chosen Argentina of all places this summer to volunteer.
As I was researching, I wanted to return to a Spanish speaking country. I was looking at Colombia because I really wanted to return-I miss everyone and mis tios queridos (my beloved aunt and uncle although they aren’t really blood aunt and uncles but that’s what they are named in Colombia). I took Colombia off the list because if I return, I want to fully spend my time with everyone there instead of a few hours. Then I looked at Spain and Puerto Rico. I haven’t been to my family island since 2012 and after the Hurricane Maria, I wanted to be a part of some work there and visit my family. However, most of my family are no longer living on the island besides an aunt and a few cousins which I am not really close with anymore unfortunately. I want to return on different terms. Then I kept researching other countries and it came back to South America. There is something about South America my heart is calling to. After many universal signs, Argentina became the clear one of why I should be volunteering there. It’s another country I have never been to, I will be able to adapt to the food there (since I’m vegetarian), able to use my Spanish speaking skills, the childcare project is open during this time and there are communities in Cordoba in need of help. The timing aligned to my summer off from my current full time position. The program fee was affordable and when I am telling you everything just aligned. It aligned. It made sense to volunteer here.
How I’m Prepping
Currently, I am almost finishing up my work this year and will have the summer off for about four weeks. I am mentally preparing myself. I am trying to prepare myself to be open minded about culture, communities and how this experience will change me. I know that I will learn so much from it and I am going to be open to grow even more. I want to be able to share my love and heart to others, especially in children who have less than me in this country. It is a privilege to be able to volunteer in other communities around the world. To be able to see how other people live differently than myself is something I want to continue experience. I love growing out of my comfort zone and this time, it’s going to be different. I want this summer to mean something more. I want this summer to be filled with life and purpose and growth even more from last summer. I know that once I join and be a part of something much greater than myself, I am doing something good in this world. We all should.