Finding Peace in India

By Janet Oh*  “Ear clean?  Rickshaw?  Guesthouse?  Boat ride?”  After travelling in India for a week, I needed a break from being a tourist.  The constant offers for services and subsequent haggling was exhausting.  I soon developed a habit of avoiding eye contact, looking down, and just shaking my head “no.”  In trying to develop some street smarts, I had also lost my sense of humor. On a flight from Udaipur to Varanasi I met another traveler, Tanya, from Switzerland.  Tanya caught my attention immediately.  She was smiling, laughing, and just generally having a great time.  She was the traveler I … Continue reading Finding Peace in India

NGO Spotlight: Pandas International

  Pandas International (PI) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit to help the magnificent Giant Panda. Unlike other organizations, which serve many animals, Pandas International is exclusively devoted to the Giant Panda. As part of PI’s mission, they work closely with Chinese scientists, doctors and keepers to determine what types of support are most needed. In particular, PI has been assisting the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas (CCRCGP) by providing both funding and personnel/sponsors to support Chinese research focused on how to more effectively respond to health and habitat challenges – both known and unknown. At the CCRCGP’s … Continue reading NGO Spotlight: Pandas International

How a Day of Volunteering Changed the Way I Travel

UniversalGiving is proud to support Give a Day Global, an amazing organization providing short-term volunteer opportunities for people who want to enrich their travel experiences. Below is a post from our guest blogger, Kerry Rodgers, who is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Give a Day Global about the story behind this organization. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ While traveling in South Africa 6 years ago, I volunteered for one day at a wonderful non-profit in a township outside of Cape Town. It was serendipitous – one of my traveling companions had a personal connection and invited us to join him for the afternoon. The … Continue reading How a Day of Volunteering Changed the Way I Travel

Taking the Leap: A Teenager’s Experience Volunteering and Traveling Solo in Asia

By: Gaby Alemán For many reasons, the world seems much larger and more intimidating than it really is. We look at the globe and we’re hesitant to take a step out of our neighborhood for fear of the unknown— but you know what? That fear of the unknown is exactly what pushed me to leave. Maybe fear isn’t the correct word… Curiosity seems more appropriate. It was with a surging curiosity that I set out last September on my gap year, fresh outta high school, to travel to Asia for eight months.   I was, and am, part of a … Continue reading Taking the Leap: A Teenager’s Experience Volunteering and Traveling Solo in Asia