Dear Aspiring Overseas Volunteer


Dear Aspiring Overseas Volunteer,

Before you pack your bags, there are a few things I want you to know. Things I wish somebody would’ve told me before I started volunteering overseas.

When I first signed up as an intern to fight human trafficking in Cambodia, I had high expectations for how I’d help at-risk villages, and even higher expectations for how my experience would spur my own personal transformation.

I ended up leaving the field debilitated, disillusioned and utterly defeated.

As I learned the hard way, there’s far more to pre-departure preparation than just getting vaccinated against typhoid and yellow fever. I also needed to be inoculated with a good dose of reality so that I could start out my service with healthy boundaries and realistic expectations.

The truth is that international volunteers are bound for more than adventure and warm, fuzzy feelings.

This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared on Verge Magazine. Read the full version here>>.