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7 Things You Learn Through International Humanitarian Travel

When you travel internationally as a humanitarian, you get to help a lot of people. What you might not know is that you also learn a lot. The experience is extremely enriching and rewarding both as a person and as a professional. Humanitarian volunteers and workers get to learn about and from the communities in which they work. They do all this while giving a helping hand in a disaster or crisis.

Here are the 7 things you will surely learn through international humanitarian travel.

1. Discover a New Culture and Way of Life

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of international humanitarian travel is learning about new cultures. The first things you’ll notice are the differences in food and traditions. You’ll learn about a new culture, dance, art, music, and more. You will discover different architecture and home traditions.

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However, the most interesting learning will be understanding a new mentality and a worldview that is different from your own. Many traditions analyze and perceive the world differently. For example, the Quechua in South America look at time backward. Plenty of religions worship multiple deities. Through this learning, you’ll be able to look at the world through a new lens.

2. Learn a Different Language

A new place often comes with a new language and communication style. This is an incredible opportunity! If you learn the local language, it will set you apart and make adapting much easier. It will also teach you a lot about local culture and worldview. That’s because language can tell you a lot about a culture and its people.

In addition, a new language will open your mind. Not only is it interesting to learn one, but it is also extremely beneficial to your brain’s health. Plus, your prospects for work will be better in the future. Its an invaluable skill for the rest of your life.

3. Push Your Limits and Adapt

Do you know how far you can go? If you volunteer internationally in a challenging environment, you will learn your limits. Humans are extremely adaptable but need exposure in order to learn to adapt. This is your opportunity to have such an experience and be better prepared for the many changes you will face in the future.

Typically, international volunteers and workers will experience what is called the “adaptation curve.” This means that there will be some excitement in the beginning, but after that, it will be more challenging to adapt. And after that stage, you will be on a high again, finally feeling at home in the new culture. You’ll build new networks, learn to adapt and understand new cultures and the next time, you’ll know exactly how to adapt to a new place!

4. Find Value in Small Things

Often, we find comfort in material things. However, we are rarely mindful of the simpler aspects of life. This is called “mindfulness.” Being in a new culture that is likely more humble will open your eyes to these smaller sources of joy.

For example, children may enjoy simple games or a small number of toys made from local products. Small acts of kindness also go a long way. Many communities also focus on different priorities. Family and time spent with loved ones might take the spotlight compared to other activities.

5. Appreciate More of what you Already Have

In many parts of the world, what we consider basics are actually luxuries. Let’s take education and healthcare for example. While we take for granted that they are easily available, rural communities may not have access to these. Situations like these will give you a greater appreciation of your country’s public structure and what it provides its citizens.

Alternatively, things like air-conditioning, clean drinking water, public transportation, unlimited clothing options, etc. are not the standard everywhere. So, not only will you learn to appreciate them, but you will also realize they are not always necessary for happiness.

6. Grow as a Person and a Professional

Through international volunteering, you will grow as a person and a professional. The experiences you go through will change you. This will likely help you to become a better person. You’ll know more about the world, develop compassion, and have a stronger sense of self.

Plus, you’ll find that your resume will begin to stand out among others. Prospective employers will note your experience, adaptability, and cultural awareness. They will know that you have learned to participate in intercultural settings which is essential in today’s international humanitarian industry.

7. Be Amazed by the Human Spirit

Throughout your journey, you may find yourself in places where people face harsh conditions on a regular basis. Despite this, they still find happiness. They have dignity, agency, and strength. You will witness how those who have very little still share with others. You’ll see how disasters can bring communities together in ways other events cannot.

And while you might see a lot of hardship, it’s the smiles and resilience of those people that you’ll remember.

We Help You to Travel Where it is Needed Most

We believe our world is a better place when compassion can travel where it is needed most. As a global humanitarian travel organization, we devote ourselves to serving those who serve the world. Our experienced staff can be reached at any given time. Please use our quick address locator to contact your nearest Raptim office should you have any questions. You can also follow our blog for more stories and travel information.