VOLUNTEERING & HIKING AROUND THE WORLD
A rainy Winter afternoon spent on the sofa, dreaming of travelling, exploring new destinations to make a positive impact around the world. Only one year ago we couldn't have possibly imagined ourselves monitoring bears and caribous in Canada, hiking the Himalayas in Nepal or planting trees in the Malaysian Borneo!
Fabio and I on the top of Ben Lomond hike - New Zealand
What does it take to make these dreams a reality, to pack your bags, quit your job, leave your apartment, sell your car and book your first flight? It’s actually SIMPLE: believe in it and make it happen.
Of course it’s not easy, it takes lots of courage, (and not so much money as some believe!) especially if you’d be leaving behind a life which is overall comfortable and allows you some holidays and free time. We actually had a really good life in New Zealand – good jobs, great friends, amazing landscapes, definitely an almost perfect lifestyle for us.
CHECK OUT OUR TIPS TO SAVE MONEY FOR A ONE-YEAR TRIP HERE
Fabio and I on the top of Roy's Peak - New Zealand
However, those dreams left in the drawer for so many years could not wait anymore – we SIMPLY decided it was high time to take a step towards realizing them. So we started believing in our dreams and begin the planning!
NOT SURE HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN? HAVE A LOOK AT OUR ARTICLE ON HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!
On the same day, we took a map out and started to select our favourite destinations – to be honest, it was the most difficult task as our bucket list is infinite, but we managed to narrow it down spending long hours, searching for countries where we could combine our main passions: hiking and volunteering.
There are loads of great volunteering programs out there - some with a stronger focus on environmental issues such as wildlife monitoring, forest conservation, restoration projects; others concentrating on helping local communities in need through teaching English, building homes, tourism management…
READ MORE ABOUT OUR OTHER VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCES IN:
There are also fabulous mountains to hike around the world, from the rocky peaks and magic lake reflections of Canada to the highest mountains in the world in the Himalayas…
HERE ARE OUR FAVOURITE HIKES IN:
AND MORE SOON
The team at Wedgmount Glacier - Canada
And from one day to the other our dreams started to take shape and became our reality, our life on the road. We believe travelling is much more than having fun and avoiding what you do not like – it means immersing yourself into a new reality every time, no matter how hard or different it may be from yours, and learn as much as you can from that experience.
DISCOVER HERE WHAT WE LEARNT DURING OUR VOLUNTEERING IN NEPAL
That’s why VOLUNTEERING is an integral part of our world trip. It allows us to enter local homes and see things from a different perspective – only then we are able to truly travel, not only spatially, but also through different eyes and hearts, understanding this world a little more every time.
Living off-the-grid on Montana Mountain - The Yukon, Canada
BEARS AND FORESTS
First project: volunteering in the Yukon in Canada for a local First Nation community. Since the beginning, we have been put to a test – who would have imagined living in Canada would have been so challenging? The different way of life of the locals surprised us very much and we initially struggled to accept how the wild natural context of the Yukon shapes people’s daily life greatly – many live in off-the-grid wooden cabins (hence without water, electricity or sewage) and particularly First Nations live their life at a much slower pace, influenced by mother nature rhythms, claiming their native roots and traditions back.
WE HAVE BEEN SO LUCKY TO ENCOUNTER FANTASTIC HUMAN BEINGS IN CANADA SUCH AS
KEITH THE COMMUNITY HELPER
LINDA THE DOG MUSHER
RICK THE HUNTER
CHECK OUT THEIR AMAZING STORIES!
Fabio and our students (volunteering for Vidya Mandir School) - Kathmandu, Nepal
THE THOUSAND SMILES OF NEPAL
Volunteering in Nepal is something totally different again – teaching to children of all ages and cultural background is proving to be challenging and rewarding at the same time. Living with a host family, eating what they eat and entering their life and privacy is an amazing and unique experience but it requires adaptation, patience and an open mind.
Travelling, and in particular volunteering, requires adaptation but first, never leave unprepared on the first place.
Check out our tips to stay safe on the road.
MEET HERE THE SMILING FACES WE MET IN NEPAL DURING OUR VOLUNTEERING
Amazing hiking in the Yukon (Canada) on the Sheep Mountain Track
TO 6,000M ALTITUDE AND BACK
Along with the human aspect of volunteering, our world trip wouldn’t be the same without our great passion, HIKING – through sharing our hiking experiences and revealing untouched natural landscapes and wildlife we hope to inspire more and more people to reconnect with nature and to be active, go out there and explore!
CHECK OUT OUR TIPS FOR CAMPING YOUR WAY DURING THE CANADIAN SUMMER AND TO BE BEAR AWARE!
Nature can teach you as much as people can if you are open to listen and learn. Canada has already given us proof there are still many intact forests, lakes, rivers, wild animals out there, which can be enjoyed without disrupting nature beauty.
Tackling the 5,416 mt elevation of the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas last October was also a unique experience and Mount Meru in Tanzania surprised us with an unbelievable sunrise on the summit last January. Since then, we have travelled the whole length of Namibia, hiking its beautiful deserts and oasis. And little we know about the beautiful peaks awaiting for us in Bolivia and Perú - such great hiking in South America!
LEARN HOW TO TACKLE THE ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT IN NEPAL HERE
The origin of our logo - our wedding ring!
WE CAN NOT STAY WITHOUT...
What we miss the most? The lack of physical exercise and fresh ingredients like fruits and veggies is proving to be our Achilles’ tendon. However, we are trying to keep creative and open to challenges - we even subscribed to a local gym in Kathmandu where fitness is not a priority for the majority of the population as other major needs like food and shelter are occupying their minds. Changing eating habits is a bigger dilemma, but it`s all part of the experience.
We put together a few tips to stay fit and eat healthy while travelling. Hope these inspire you!
Yummy Thukpa in Nepal
COCONUT PALMS AND ORANGUTANS
Our destinations in Asia have been the Philippines, volunteering on a beautiful island off Coron archipelago and in a eco-resort in the middle of Busuanga Island; and the Malaysian Borneo, where we helped a local organization in their reforestation project in the middle of the jungle with the company of leeches and mosquitoes.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO THE PHILIPPINES AND BORNEO WITH OUR TOP TIPS
HEALTH AND SAFETY - PHILIPPINES
CULTURAL TIPS - PHILIPPINES
HEALTH AND SAFETY - BORNEO
Posing as happy trees in Malaysian Borneo
DEEP INTO THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
Africa had proven to be a more challenging continent than others - when travelling for a long period of time and at the same time volunteering is sometimes difficult to keep the energy level always high, especially when the living conditions and the culture are very different from what you except or are used to.
Looking back and putting things in prospective, we cherish all good and bad memories collected during our time at a local orphanage in Arusha in Tanzania and at a primary school in Uganda at the outskirts of the lush green Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which hosts some of the last Mountain Gorillas in the world.
Volunteering in a local school in Arusha, Tanzania
During these experiences we lost and found ourselves many times, which is part of all growing processes, and at the end we are grateful to have chosen these countries, without which we wouldn't have met some beautiful souls. A beautiful road trip in Namibia definitely helped us smooth our opinions of the intricate African world and filled our eyes with unworldly landscapes.
LET US TAKE YOU ALONG THE AMAZING HIKES OF NAMIBIA - CHECK OUR FAVOURITE TREKS HERE
Waking up to beautiful deserts and unique nature in Namibia
After Namibia we took the longest flight of our life to Bolivia. Here we are in South America for the first time! Here we decided to travel only, but we never lost sight of our goal: to have the biggest positive impact possible in each country visited. And we collected lots of volunteering contacts and ideas for future trips. Our favourite is the non-profit trekking organisation Condor Trekkers in Sucre - check out their website!
Bolivian and Peruvian mountain ranges were a wonderful discovery and we hiked and camped like crazy in our time spent here. Will South America be the last chapter of our volunteering adventure? We don't think so!
We are now back in New Zealand and always keep our door open for new projects and ideas. We’ve been already contacted by local organisations around the world who need volunteers and are always ready to help people connect with volunteering opportunities around the globe.
GET IN TOUCH ANYTIME TO SHARE YOUR STORY, YOUR IDEA OR SIMPLY CONNECT!
As our motto says: we travel, we learn, we grow.