Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Some people travel to lay on beaches and be waited on, some travel to see sights, and others travel to find the most unique experiences that give them a real taste of immersion into other cultures. Some simply want something more from their experiences and wish to support the people and environments of the places travel through. Fortunately, there is another way to see the world.

VolunTOURing is a method of travel that has become increasingly popular over the years. Instead of spending money on a tour package to be carted around a country, that money would go to a not-for-profit organization to support their costs of operation and allow eager travelers a chance to do charitable work. This work can be environmental or social, depending on the organization and personal preference. The cost of volunteering will usually cover room and food while on site.

Why would someone choose to spend their money and vacation on working? Many reasons. Voluntouring provides experiences that no other form of travel can provide. That experience could be educational, career based or simply the joy of doing something that few people worldwide get the chance to do. Plus, imagine the sense of fulfillment that work like this could bring.

“Welcome to ReefDoctor: ReefDoctor is a UK-based, nonprofit marine conservation organisation conducting coral reef research and implementing marine management, education and social development with local fishing communities in the Bay of Ranobe south-west Madagascar. A commitment to sustainable conservation and positive social development is at the heart of all our activities”

3 years ago I stumbled upon a not-for-profit organization called Reef Doctor, whom are doing marine conservation & social work in Southern Madagascar. Their program provides volunteers the opportunity to participate in reef restoration efforts, fish population research and social work with Vezo people, the local community of fishermen and their families. The program also provides an opportunity to certify it’s volunteers as divers. As someone who works with a marine conservation and science centre and a personal interest in marine life, world cultures and travel, this was not an opportunity to pass up.

This autumn I will be travelling to Madagascar to do volunteer work with Reef Doctor for 2 months. This is a huge opportunity for me and I am beyond excited for it. I will be spending the next 2 months working hard to raise the funds to support an endeavor of this magnitude. If the work that Reef Doctor does is something that speaks to you then please follow the link to my RocketHub fundraising page to learn more about why I’m raising this money, why this work is important to me and some of the neat rewards I’ve set up as initiative to those that do choose to support my goal. The money raised will go directly to travel costs and the volunteering fee that Reef Doctor charges.

Drew Mac’s Madagascar Mission to Support Reef Restoration

I look forward to the experiences that fundraising a project like this will provide me and also look forward to reaching my goal and supporting conservation efforts across the globe. Stay tuned here for updates on the project as well as some articles about Madagascar, Vezo people and some other cool stuff headed your way.

Thanks for reading, and just to keep things light and mildly relevant enjoy this video. Hopefully it inspires you to grab hold of your aspirations or simply smile a little as you head into your day.

– D

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6 thoughts on “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

  1. Pingback: Food for thought. | Watchful Owl

  2. I’ve enjoy reading your blog, just stumbled on it, started reading it earlier today at the office, but in the interests of my salary, decided to continue this evening. Travel can be so much more than lying on a beach or visiting museums (although I enjoy both those activities). I was in Nicaragua a few years ago, and technically labeled a Spanish school, the fees charged for language lessons go back to the community in a variety of ways, like animal rehabilitation, organic gardening, providing supplies to one of the primary schools, education on recycling, etc. It started as a small venture and is continually expanding (the Mariposa).

    • Thanks for the comment! It sounds like really fulfilling work that you had the opportunity to do and I can really appreciate that there are people out there that are coming from a similar place of service. For some it is enough to simply see the world but I relate to those that wish to be an active participant as I am appreciating and traveling to these areas.

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