How many times have you thought that you’d join the Peace Corps when you retired, or perhaps become a VISTA worker? If the interest is there, but you don’t want to dedicate a year or two to the adventure, consider a volunteer vacation.
Sometimes volunteer vacations don’t cost you much, but often they’re part of a cultural immersion or social activism program, and you pay for the experience. For example, Cross-Cultural Solutions offers 1-12 week trips in 12 difference countries, from Brazil to India to Tanzania. You work side-by-side with locals on community initiatives. If you’d like to really experience living in another country, this might be a great program for you. There’s a tax-deductible program fee of $2,588 for the first two weeks, but after that it’s only $297 a week. You can go to www.crossculturalsolutions.org for more information.
Transitions Abroad is another group that organizes work abroad, study abroad, cultural travel and international living experiences. You can teach English, work on a farm, volunteer or get an internship. Their website at www.transitionsabroad.com has more information, including programs to get your TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification.
Many churches, museums and universities offer foreign travel experiences that go way beyond the standard bus tour. If you want more than snapshots, check them out.