Often a trip is considered has an extraordinary experience, and it is indeed. Must-see sites, boat trips, beaches, beautiful pictures … but all this is just a facade.
Today I would like to talk about my immersion in Bolivia as a volunteer at Sustainable Bolivia. Beyond having additional professional experience, in a beautiful tropical setting, this adventure allowed me to discover a new meaning to the concept of travel.
What was I looking for? :
Leaving, visiting, and posting on social networks … I did it, and I continue to do so obviously today. Nevertheless, I was looking for more authenticity. Living an adventure, more personal and less public, to go beyond the virtual and be more in the real.
“The greatest traveler is not the one who has been around the world ten times, but the one who has gone round once and for all” Ghandi.
The feeling of immobility, I felt it almost daily. Immersed in a routine, days punctuated by the ticking of the clock, I was very often gnawed by several questions: what do I really like, what are my passions, how to feel useful, will I find one day my way…
The days passing, I decided to take action. Traveling was the most radical solution that came to my mind.
Why volunteering / internship abroad? :
Being a volunteer, or an intern abroad is having another experience. Coming to Riberalta opened my eyes to another way of life, a new pace of work. But above all, I was able to test myself in various local missions. To evaluate who I was, as a person, and how I behaved as part of an NGO, in immersion in a new environment with different customs and a new language.
To be honest, leaving the comforting surroundings of the family can be scary. Even more so, that in the Amazonian basin, the probability of finding a tiger is greater than that of falling on a commercial center (joking of course!).
It is the perfect opportunity to get professional experience, to learn a foreign language, to discover breathtaking places, to have multicultural meetings and above all, to understand yourself.
What I liked the most during my internship with Sustainable Bolivia is that I was able to go beyond just being a tourist in a totally exotic setting. Thanks to the missions (social development, promotion of ecotourism, education issues or the perspectives of the future), I felt useful.
I live in a well-defined world with important hierarchies and where employers and employees just don’t have a good time together. With a different conception of work, I realized that I received much more than what I gave from my work.
What was the impact of my experience?
For the first time in my life, I felt that I have been moving and evolving. As if it all made sense to me now. Have all my questions been answered? It may be surprising, but no. To this day, I am not yet able to imagine where I will be in ten years. Nevertheless, I move forward while shaping myself. I learned to know what I like and what I don’t and to draw future perspectives. The adventure in Bolivia has only opened my thirst for authenticity in the exploration of myself.
What’s great about the trip is that we discover other cultures, other ways of seeing life, other ways of thinking.
Becoming a volunteer is an opportunity to evolve in a direction that suits us according to us and our aspirations and not according to social networks.