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Four Reasons Why You Should Volunteer Abroad at 40

Life begins at 40. Forties are the new twenties. We have heard, spoken and overused these sentiments, more so during the year we turned 40. Big dates make us pause, review where our lives have taken us, reevaluate our priorities and set new goals. Some people choose to go through a radical change: have an affair, get a divorce, get married (again or finally), have a child. Many are interested in restyling their careers: it is time for me to do what I really want! Others are happy with a few new toys that their hard-earned money can finally buy: a fancy car, an upgraded house.   For those who do not to have children, a change of scenery to clear their heads and think through what the next 10, 20, 30... years are going to be like, is an easy solution. What is it going to be: an exotic location to relax and spoil yourself, or a destination to make a difference for communities in need? Sign up for a few months and break to:   1. Check back with your ambitions and passions Do you remember what they were? Yes, I am talking to you, careerists! In the past 20 years you have pushed upwards, onwards, worked crazy hours and told yourself that there was going to be a reward once you were done. What was that reward exactly? What does done mean? We are so overconnected and overplugged in that there is rarely any time left for seriously thinking about who we wanted to be at the start of the career journey. Were you planning to get out of the corporate world to go satisfy your passion for teaching? Have you been telling your friends about this amazing book idea for the past 10 years? Did you want to try something new before you actually commit to a career change? Was your dream to start your own business? Volunteering projects allow you to enjoy new environment, get new ideas and test the old ones while you are actively helping a local community. They also are a fertile ground for discussions about life, universe, priorities as well as comparing experiences.  

  2. Understand the current gap year generation You know how people in your office sometimes start their complaints with "These recent graduates, I just don't get them! They... " Joining a group of volunteers in any country in Africa gives you instant access to the minds and hearts of the current gap year generation. Their experiences growing up are drastically different from yours. They are idealists and seek meaning from the start of their first jobs. They don't just want to go to the university, but rather want to know why and how they will apply their education. You will also realize that you are not really that different. It just took you extra 20 years to articulate the same goals and feel safe to pursue them.   3. Create new friendships Eight-hundred Facebook friends is a fun number, but when was the last time you made a real friend? Chances are if you are in a career race anywhere in the world, you barely manage to keep up with people who you have got close to over the years across many countries. Maybe you meet a few interesting and useful contacts, or get a few new friends in the office.   Shared volunteering experiences create strong new friendships. You bond across a wide range of age groups. You have time for endless debates and discoveries, laughs and silly games besides your hard work. Yes, volunteering is work! Just unpaid. Meet new people, both locals and fellow volunteers and be open to share who you are and why you are on this journey far away from home. Enjoy your new friendships!

    4. Learn about new cultures You have traveled so much for work and on holiday that there isn't possibly anything new you could learn. Wrong! Volunteering sites provide access to unedited life stories, local reality and needs. You can be in a beautiful hotel in the north of Zanzibar, for example, and never speak to a single person who grew up there. Even if you do speak to them, it's most likely going to be a set of polite greetings.   When you volunteer, you become part of the community. There is something truly amazing about walking through a village and hear people of all ages call out to you from their homes: "Teacher Nicole! Teacher Pauline! Teacher Toni!" Whether you are 18 or 40, your status is of an educator. You will also meet the locals and understand what their lives are like. You will get extra interpretation of what you have learned from your volunteer coordinators.   Turning 40? Never volunteered abroad? If you read the post this far, I hope you sign up for a project close to your heart!   Individuals at all stages of life - gap year teens, university students, those on career breaks or retirees - are all welcome on our projects. To accommodate the diversity of volunteers, we even offer projects exclusively for those over 30 and skills-based volunteering opportunities!   About the Author Yelena Parker is the founder and author of Moving Without Shaking, a website and book about being a successful expat - and she certainly has more than enough experience in that regard. Born in Ukraine and residing in the UK, Yelena has lived in 5 different countries, worked in 20 and travelled to 27. Yelena provides coaching for individuals wishing to take a leap of faith and study, volunteer work and live abroad. You can find her through her website, Twitter, or HuffPost blog.

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AIDS education thanda private game reserve HIV volunteering holiday volunteer trip horses how can i volunteer in africa how to be a volunteer in africa how to become a volunteer how to go to africa how to volunteer how to volunteer abroad How to Volunteer Abroad how to volunteer in Africa how to work and travel how to work in africa Humming bird impact imvelo awards imvelo awards 2012 imvelo awards finalists imvelo awards winners imvelo finalists 2011 Innovative Awards Intern Abroad intern in Africa intern with a charity international earth day international volunteer International Women's Day internship internship african impact internship cape town internships internships abroad internships in africa jambiani job opportunity jobs in africa Jobs in Cape Town Jobs in South Africa Jobs with Lions jungle expedition kenya volunteering kwazulu-natal kzn wildlife large predator last minute lion lion conservation Lion Encounter lion prides lion projects lion rehabilitation lion rehabilitation project lion rehabilitation volunteering lion volunteer africa lion volunteer south africa lion volunteering lion volunteering in Africa Lions lions in africa Live and work in Africa make an impact makeyourimpact making a difference in Africa malawi volunteering marketing Masai Mara masai mara volunteering masai mara warriors Mature Volunteer mature volunteering medical outreach project medical projects in zambia medical support medical volunteer medical volunteer projects Medical volunteer projects in Africa medical volunteering medical volunteering africa medical volunteering in africa medical volunteering zambia Naboisho Conservancy national geographic new projects ngamo pride ngo NGO Internship NGO Jobs non-profit organisations nursing Older volunteering orphan care orphan care africa orphan volunteer projects Orphan Volunteer Projects in Africa over 30's over 30's volunteering packing for the bush packing for travel to Africa Paid volunteering paid volunteering in africa photography africa photography south africa photography volunteer photography volunteering plant trees pre-school volunteering preparing to volunteer programs in Africa project rhino kzn projects africa projects for africa reasons to travel Red Hill reforestation reforestation in africa responsible tourism Responsible travel retirement volunteering rhino rhino poachers rhinos killed in south africa rural school Safari safari africa Save the African Lion save the trees saving rhinos saving the lion saving the lions saving the planet school uniforms africa seychelles Smba Giya social involvement social media Something different for retirement south afric south africa south africa internships south africa rhinos south africa volunteering special offer sponsor a child programme sports volunteer st lucia st lucia south africa St Lucia, South Africa stand out cv stand out resume steve jobs student volunteering sustainability sustainable development sustainable volunteering sustaining trees table mountain teach abroad teach English abroad teach in africa teach in tanzania teach in zanzibar teaching Teaching Africa teaching in africa teaching in zambia teaching projects in africa Teaching Volunteer Projects in Africa team house tentation THAF Thanda thanda in africa thanda private game reserve the happy africa foundation tips on what to pack tourism tourism cape town tourism south africa tourism zanzibar tourism zimbabwe travel travel africa travel and work overseas travel in Africa travel opportunities travel overseas travel to africa at christmas trees for zambia Trip Advisor trvelling Tuli Game Reserve tweeting UCAS points UCAS points volunteering UK. Established in 2004 UNESCO up close with lions Victoria Falls victoria falls lion victoria falls lions victoria falls volunteer visit africa visit zimbabwe voluntary work africa Voluntary Work in Africa Volunteer volunteer abroad Volunteer Abroad volunteer abroad mozambique volunteer africa volunteer africa children volunteer africa opportunity volunteer africa program volunteer antelope park volunteer at Christmas Volunteer at Christmas volunteer chimfunshi volunteer coordinator volunteer forever volunteer game reserve Volunteer in Africa Volunteer in Africa volunteer in africa with children volunteer in African clinic volunteer in Cape Town Volunteer in Cape Town volunteer in Kenya volunteer in kwazulu natal volunteer in Livingstone volunteer in South Africa Volunteer in South Africa volunteer in Tanzania volunteer in the Masai Mara volunteer in township volunteer in west africa volunteer in Zambia volunteer in Zanzibar volunteer in Zimbabwe volunteer in Zimbabwe volunteer lions volunteer mozambique volunteer national park volunteer on conservation projects in Africa volunteer on game reserve volunteer on holiday volunteer on vacation volunteer opportunities volunteer opportunities africa volunteer opportunity abroad Volunteer opprotunities Africa volunteer overseas volunteer overseas work Volunteer programs in Africa volunteer project volunteer projects volunteer projects africa volunteer projects in africa volunteer south africa volunteer St Lucia volunteer stories Volunteer Travel volunteer travel conference volunteer wildlife volunteer with african children volunteer with animals volunteer with animals africa volunteer with animals in africa volunteer with charities in africa volunteer with children volunteer with children africa volunteer with children in kenya volunteer with chimpanzees volunteer with chimps volunteer with elephants volunteer with lions Volunteer with Lions volunteer with monkeys volunteer with orphans volunteer with rhinos volunteer with wildlife volunteer with wildlife in africa volunteer work africa volunteer work health benefits volunteer zambia volunteer zanzibar volunteer zimbabwe Volunteering volunteering abroad volunteering africa volunteering ethics volunteering in africa volunteering in cape town volunteering in Mozambique volunteering in South Africa volunteering in zambia volunteering opportunities volunteering programmes volunteering with animals volunteering with lions volunteering zambia Volunteerism volunteerng volunteers making an impact Voluntourism voluntourism voluntourism ethics voluteer in africa walk with lions walking with lions walking with lions africa What is it like to volunteer in Africa what to do at christmas what to do in Africa what to pack what to pack africa what to wear volunteering where can i volunteer Why pay for volunteering why volunteer Wildlife conservation wildlife conservation volunteering wildlife orphan care wildlife orphanage wildlife photography wildlife photography africa wildlife photography opportunity wildlife photography program wildlife photography project wildlife project africa wildlife rehabilitation wildlife research wildlife research project wildlife research volunteer wildlife volunteer africa Wildlife Volunteer in Africa wildlife volunteer in south africa wildlife volunteer project wildlife volunteer projects wildlife volunteer zimbabwe wildlife volunteering wildlife volunteering africa wildlife volunteering in africa wildlife volunteering in south africa Womens empowerment work abroad work abroad volunteer work and travel abroad work and travel overseas work experience abroad work for charities in africa work gap year work in Africa work in south africa work volunteers Work with animals work with children Work with Children in Africa work with children in south africa Work with Chimpanzees work with elephants Work with Lions work with lions in africa Worki in Africa working abroad working in Africa Working in Zambia Working with Chimps working with lions world aids day Worlds best holiday destination youth travel Zambia zambia africa zanzibar Zimbabwe zimbabwe volunteer projects zulu communities zulu culture zulu dambwa pride
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