Kilimanjaro hike to Barranco Camp Machame Route

Why I support sustainable, responsible travel

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see”. –  Gilbert K. Chesterton

Although I have traveled all my life, sometime in my late twenties I became a traveller. For most of my life I had been more of a tourist trying to rush around the world seeing as much as I could possibility see, never fully understanding what it all meant. It was in my twenties that I went on my first truly eye-opening trip to Peru. Within the first half hour of being on the ground, I was mugged inside a taxi and it was at that point I realized that the world is not a giant playground for me to explore yet a place for me to search for answers and try to understand.

It was in Peru that I first saw extreme poverty and what it does to people. Forcing mothers nursing their babies to ask for handouts through the glass window of a tourist restaurant while I ate. Motivating people to pick you out at the international arrivals of an airport, follow you in a trailing car and at the first chance, bust open your car window with a bat and steal a backpack with only a hairbrush, makeup and book. Unknowingly hiring a company that employed native Peruvians to walk nearly barefoot for three days, carrying 30 pounds of my stuff on their back so I could hike the Inca trail without the hassle.

This was my first eye-opening experience into a world that is much different from the one I had perceived. A world that is unfair, unjust and inequitable. I had finally opened my eyes to the reality of what I was seeing and from that point forward changed myself from a tourist to a traveller and even one step further, a world citizen trying to make a difference.

Over the past twenty years, travel has become much more available to people and more people are traveling than ever before. Travel isn’t only for the rich or the hippies or the retirees, but for anyone who has a passport and some financial means to pay for a trip.


GivingWay: Connecting travelers to volunteer opportunities around the world

Looking for a place to find the perfect volunteer opportunity abroad? Check out GivingWay, a new online platform that connects travelers with over 250 international organizations around the world. 


Eight years ago, as a stay-at-home mother of two young children a yearning developed that wouldn’t let me go. I had always been fortunate to travel and I quit my career in business to stay home and raise my kids. Yet after a few years, I felt like something was missing. I wanted to give something back and make a difference in the world, outside of my daily life. I turned to the internet and found an organization that for a fee, provided a short-term international volunteer experience working with elderly in a small town in Costa Rica for a week.

It was such an amazing, life-changing experience that I did it again the following year in Morocco with the same organization. The only downfall was the price was exorbitantly high – over $2,000 for a week that included lodging, food and administrative fees and did not include airfare. As a woman traveling alone I thought it was my only option to find a short-term international volunteer position without going through a church or mission group. I viewed the high fees as my donation to helping others, not realizing that the majority of the money did not go to the non-profit in country.

I was so inspired by my experiences volunteering abroad that I dreamed of making a list on my blog of different international organizations that accepted volunteers. However, I never got around to it. You can imagine my delight when I learned about GivingWay, a new online platform that connects travelers with international volunteer experiences around the world for free.

The organization runs three Wildlife Custody Centres where they tend to over 400 rescued animals.

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi in Bolivia runs three Wildlife Custody Centres where they tend to over 400 rescued animals.

To view the above volunteering opportunity with Communidad Into Wara Yassi, click here.

Volunteering abroad – also known as Voluntourism – is one of the fastest growing sectors of international travel, with an expected 20 million travelers participating in volunteer activities on a trip by 2020.