ABOUT 1 OF 7

On a hike along the Continental Divide in Colorado two years ago, we were surprised to see trash along the route. Drivers had tossed empty bottles on the roadside. Litter lined many of the trails and camp sites. 

So we did what most people would do--we cleaned things up a bit. It wasn't hard, and it didn't take long. But we felt really good when we were done, and the area looked better, too. 

Since then, we've tried to do some type of volunteer work at least one day each week wherever we are.

Liz cleans a beach in Borneo.
We aren't expecting to change the world, and there are weeks we fail at accomplishing our goal. But we love how good it feels to give back, and it's nice to see the difference one or two people can make, even in such a short time.

Now, we're traveling the world while volunteering all along the way. 

We've learned a lot so far.

As it turns out, giving back can be quite contagious, as we found out when five adorable girls ran down the beach from their mosque to join us as we picked up trash in Malaysia. 

Volunteering also opens doors to local cultures, as we discovered when a family in Burma invited us to their hut for a fish dinner after we helped their eight-yr-old daughter with her English homework. In addition, giving back is educational, humanizing, eye-opening, and possibly one of the most under-utilized foreign policy tools around, as we've seen throughout our travels.

Considering taking a trip soon and interested in volunteering? Maybe you're sticking closer to home and want to give back locally where you live? Good. Make it happen. In case you need them, here are a few tips that may help you find what you're looking for. 

Below are a few of our favorite volunteer stops of the trip so far. We'd also love to hear about your experiences--feel free to get in touch with us

Remember, whether at home or far from it, there's always something we can do to help others. Start with just 1 day of 7.


TOP VOLUNTEER STOPS SO FAR
As part of our goal to volunteer at least one day each week, we've had the opportunity to see, learn, and do some amazing things. From cleaning up the bottom of a bay in Palau on Earth Day to delivering books to kids in rural Laos, it's been a fun and rewarding part of our trip so far.

After more than 12 months of traveling, below are our Top 6 favorite volunteer stops of the trip so far. Interested in volunteering on your next trip? Check out our top tips here.

Remember, whether you're at home or far from it, there's always something you can do to help others...even if it's just one day each week.






12 comments:

  1. Oooooooooo! I have goose bumps all over!!!!!! What an awesome idea!

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  2. Corinna from "Ivalu"April 28, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    I love it:-)

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  3. what a beautiful idea so simple yet you really can make an impact. Think if even 1 out 7 people did this what an impact that would make.

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    1. Thanks Anon. We were thinking the same thing. Hope it catches on!

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  4. Fricking legends. Jolai and I keep you in mind every time we pick up some litter in amongst our gallavants!

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    1. Thanks Rob and Jolai! You two are excellent trash collectors! We had such a good time with you guys. Hopefully we'll meet again in India, or Australia, or Zimbabwe. Happy gallivanting!

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  5. I was reading my friend James Mortimore's blog which led me to yours. What a great idea! Very inspiring - and looks like lots of fun too!
    Elizabeth

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth, glad you like the site and the idea! It's been a blast so far. Good to 'meet' a friend of James. The sunset cruise was quite an adventure.

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  6. Can't wait to read through the entire site. What an inspiring year! Glad you got to Jinja, they love you there. Called your mom today to say that Morgan forwarded me the picture from Betty's room. I'll send it to your mom. She gave me this site. BEAUTIFUL pictures. You look great, time or age hasn't meet you yet. I hope to go to Jinja this summer and renew friendships. The world is a better place because of people like you and Kip.
    Love you, Joanna

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    1. Joanna! How wonderful to hear from you! Glad you like the site. We are just trying to be a fraction as amazing as Morgan and Dave. They have done such incredible things with Light Gives Heat. We are SO lucky to have the opportunity to see all the good they have done. It is inspirational. Hope to see you next time we're in GJ!
      Much love to you and Jerry!

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  7. so inspiring to see you traveling the world to help others! i stumbled on your site looking for a picture of Nicaragua's national bird which i am painting for an art project, i myself just got back a few weeks ago from Nicaragua where my sister and i were giving back to the children in Cristo Rey helping with the feeding program. i hope one day i will be able to see and experience as many wonderful things you have!

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    1. Hi Autumn, thanks so much for your email and thanks even more for volunteering in Nicaragua with the feeding program! Well done. Good luck with your painting project and let us know if we can help out. Thanks again and keep up the good work,
      Liz and Kip

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Thanks for reading and commenting!