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Vancouver, BC | Posted: October 26th, 2018
We all know those people who know exactly what they’ve wanted to do from the time they were small. You may even be one of them! For me, I flip-flopped between becoming a Marine Biologist, Journalist, Massage Therapist, Teacher, Special Effects Make-Up Artist, and a Travel Agent. How could I choose a career when there was so much I wanted to do?
Volunteering is a great way to try your hand at a potential career path without the enormous investment of time and money. Whether you want to work with kids, animals, the environment, art or are trying to choose between the land and sea as your office, there are numerous options for you. There are so many paths to choose, but if you’re looking for inspiration, I have a few ideas!
Here are my picks for the best volunteer projects to inspire your career path:
Rather than taking a safari, learn what its like to be on the guiding end! This 28-day program will lead you through all the ins and outs of being a safari field guide, including ecology, geology, wildlife, identifying tracks, climate, bushcraft, astronomy, habitat management and a whole lot more!
Head to a St. Vincent and the Grenadines and join a 1-month climate change activist program that will test your existing knowledge of climate change. You’ll take part in classes, workshops, field trips, and evening activities with other participants as you learn about UN Climate Literacy, Tree Planting Movements, Climate Studies and Solar Energy.
While Fiji sounds like a dream vacation, it can also be a destination for discovering your true passion in marine conservation and diving. This program is a 6-month program that includes the necessary training to obtain your PADI Divemaster certification and develop your skills in marine conservation. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge about the ocean eco-systems, work with a team of like-minded volunteers, and head home with a whole new appreciation for the underwater world!
GVI is a major provider of exciting internships around the world. This Elephant Conservation Internship in Thailand is extremely popular for those interested in wildlife conservation careers, including zoology. The 6-month internship dives deep into the care and rehabilitation of elephants but also touches on the importance of education in local communities. You’ll work with the local community, the elephant mahouts, and other volunteers to stress the importance of proper treatment of wildlife.
For those right-brain thinkers and creatives, there are programs and workshops out there that will appeal to you also! This exciting Art Restoration program with Messors is one of my personal favorites. This is your chance to learn about fresco and canvas restoration while enjoying the culture, history, and beauty of Italy. The program runs each summer and takes a limited number of participants. I recommend signing up early because space always sells out!
Sarah is a travel writer, citizen of the world and lover of the Pacific Northwest and tacos. When not writing she can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring with her dog, Otto. Read about her adventures on her blog Sarah Seize the World and follow her on Instagram @sarahseizetheworld