Traveling to do good can be defined in so many ways. Travel preparation for this form of travel always begin with an intention to do good, to make a positive impact when you travel.
Over the past 9 years, now more than ever, I have come to understand that traveling to do good is the sum total of the ENTIRE travel experience.
Mental preparation is an important part of the travel to do good journey. In fact, perhaps it is the most important part. Before the trip, it is important to understand your purpose and goals. In other words, know thyself. Now is the time to think through your motivation, your role, expectations and positive impact. If you are traveling to a foreign country understanding that country’s culture, history and people is key. If you are working with a non-profit get to know as much as you can about the organization, in advance in advance of the trip. Connect with the founders and staff as often as possible. While it is good not to over think the experience and to of course leave space for spontaneity, the more prepared you are, the better prepared you are to serve. Mental preparation establishes a foundation of humility, willingness and openness.
Appreciate the journey, all of it, from beginning to end. Traveling to do good begins at the onset of the trip. Being able to choose a mindset of kindness, compassion, patience and flexibility with complete strangers you interact with in your uber, on the shuttle, at the security checkpoint, in line, at the gate, on the plane, in the shuttle again, or at check in the hotel or resort is key. Set the intention to be a compassionate and mindful traveler. It also prepares you to give from the heart in a shared learning experience that is mutually beneficial experience for both the traveler and host organization. Choose to be the change you want to see in the world.
There are so many ways to travel to do good. Giving of your time, talent and treasure is the greatest gift you can give to humanity. When you give you automatically activate the law of receiving. There is no price you can put on an experience that affords the participant the opportunity to not only travel, but to receive, learn and grow as an individual in the experience.