Travel is often a meditation for the soul. It is time to reset, explore places outside of our small daily world, broaden our understanding and gain perspective. This can be accomplished on your own, with your partner, with friends or with a group. I’ve been on two group trips in my life: one with my French class when I was in high school and the second, more recently (two years ago), to India.
This was the first time I had traveled as an adult with a group, it was the first volunteer trip I had ever been on and it was the first yoga retreat (I use this term loosely) I attended abroad.
I found the trip challenging. I realized pretty early on that I am not a good group travel person. I have a strong need to be in control of my own movements (i.e. I rarely carpool to and from events) and being led around with a group went against my nature. I also found the expectations that were set were pretty different to the reality of the trip – which I also struggle with as it sometimes feels dishonest to me. I want to emphasize that I know I’m being a little vague here and any disappointment felt was not with the volunteer work. I am very grateful that I was able to volunteer in a part of the world that is desperately in need. And in no way do I regret going.
Because I went to India with this group, I went into the slum in Jaipur everyday to a grade school. We helped with renovations at the school and not only got to interact with the kids but learned what their lives were really like. It was a great way to find gratitude, to open my perspective and to do something bigger than myself while exploring a country that was completely foreign to me – it was a recharge and an eye opener.
There are many service trips that got to every part of the world. I encourage you to travel and explore while helping others.
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