Lessons I Learned From My First Volunteering Trip In Nepal
When I decided to go for a volunteering trip abroad, my mind was full of uncertainties about my stay. However, in the back of my mind, I knew that it would be a life changing experience. For people like me who put their efforts into a humanitarian cause, the rewards can be priceless. After spending 2 weeks with children in Nepal, I came away with some valuable lessons.
Here are the top things I learned from volunteering in Nepal:
1. A small step makes a big impact
How can I make a difference while volunteering? In my experience, if you are doing a little for someone, it brings big change in their life as well as yours. Whether you are teaching kids or taking care of them, you are building a base for them for future learning. A small step can make a big impact on their life.
2. You become more adaptable & this makes your experience more enriching
When you decide to volunteer in a foreign country, you should leave behind the thought that you will be living in luxurious accommodations or eating western style food. If you step out of your comfort zone and adopt the things as they are, your experience of working in a foreign land will become more memorable. You should embrace the fact that you're getting to have such a unique experience!
3. You will get an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture
When you opt for volunteering abroad, you will be able to see the unseen aspect of a community, the things that no guidebook will tell you. You may get all the cultural information online when you are planning for a volunteering trip, but when you go to that place, interact with locals on a daily basis, their cooking, and eating pattern, their rituals, etc, you get a different experience from whatever you have read online.
4. You will learn to speak the local language
Most of the volunteers to whom I met during my volunteering trip with children, spoke English. Sometimes it can be hard to communicate your emotions to the locals in the English language. So either you should learn some basic words of their regional language online before heading to that country or if you are planning to volunteer for a longer time, you can learn some basic phrases from the locals. If you interact with the locals in their language, they respect you more and you feel like you are making true efforts to immerse yourself in their culture.
5. You spread more smiles
Giving back to others or doing something to make a difference is not an easy decision and most people fail to decide whether they should do this or not. When I was thinking of volunteering, I was in the same dilemma. If nothing else, make it your mission to smile at as many people as possible each day and this way you'll be making a big impact.