Is becoming a volunteer something you’d like to achieve in a close future? Inma has just got interviewed by Volunteer Leaders. Check it out!
MEET THE VOLUNTEER: INMA FROM A WORLD TO TRAVEL
Hey guys! We’re back to kick off the new year with our latest star over at Meet the Volunteer (link no longer available). Today we’re chatting with Inma, a Spanish traveler with a big heart. She’s turned a love of travel into years volunteering in various countries – check out her story below!
Hi Inma! Thanks so much for joining us here at Volunteer Leaders. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am just a Spanish girl addicted to travel. After wandering a lot for a number of years, I decided I needed to add some meaning to my travels. That is how I started to study, work and volunteer abroad.
What was your first experience as a volunteer and where? How has that contributed to your desire to continue volunteering long-term?
I joined a workcamp in Germany back in 2001 with a national youth organization. Since then, I have found volunteering to be a great way to keep discovering our planet and its people – kind of travelling with a purpose.
You’ve volunteered in a variety of countries, including Iceland and Spain. Where are some other places you’ve volunteered?
Germany, Turkey and France.
Is there a favorite place you’ve volunteered? How about a least favorite?
I believe anywhere is a good place to help. Whether you like sharing your time with the elderly, restoring social buildings or taking care of the environment, it is possible to find an organization near you to start contributing. If I should have to pick a place, I would definitely go for Iceland. My experience there has been so different from what I was used to that I am still “recovering”. I know I will eventually go back to volunteer again. Hopefully soon!
Finally, I do not have a least favorite place, sorry!!
You’ve had some varied experience as a volunteer. What are some of the volunteer positions you’ve held?
Workcamp leader in environmental, social and artistic projects; artist, designer and event coordinator in music festivals; teacher; construction worker while renovating a local school…
What do you think is the single most important lesson your experience volunteering has taught you?
You get more than you give and there is only one way to realize: getting started!
Any advice for those considering some of the volunteer experiences you’ve had?
First of all, think about the reasons you have to volunteer, and decide how much time you are willing to give in doing so. Skipping this step may result in a quick burn out and huge demotivation.
There is always something for everybody. Keep looking till you find something you love in order to have a successful experience and once you find it, get involved!
Do not get overwhelmed as you face challenges. Learning is a great part of the process, and no one is going to judge you for not knowing how to deal with something. Ask for support and someone will help you in no time!
Lastly, what’s something potential volunteers should keep in mind when looking for volunteer opportunities?
There are endless opportunities out there, and a lot of scams too. If an organization asks you for more bucks than you are willing to pay, maybe they are taking it like a business, don’t you think? There is a lot to do in this area, and the best volunteer openings are usually (and should always be) free.
Thanks so much, Inma! This is some great advice and motivation for those looking to take the plunge and find volunteer opportunities that suit them. You can check out more about Inma and her travels at the site http://www.aworldtotravel.com/.