Now or never
Wake up, rush your breakfast, turn up to work (just about on time), hop on to Facebook so you can spend most of your working day comparing your life to that of friends, go home, watch TV, sleep.
It is very easy to get stuck in a routine of which it can feel there is little way out. It is nothing to be ashamed of, to dream of distant beaches, adventure travel, sun on your back and a purpose greater than yourself. It is something most people on this planet have experienced at some point, and many experience a lot of the time.
Life in the ‘first world’ is a blessing. It is easy. We can find exactly the food we want, the drinks we want. We know when the trains run, the bus timetables, we can find out almost anything with Google on our phones at any hour of the day or night. It is a wonderful gist, but it can also be a curse. The curse of the easy and mundane existence.
What many people fail to realize is this ‘easy’ lifestyle is actually quite damming. We lose our spark, our sense of survival, we become grey. The best part? It is so easy to escape this routine, it just takes a little planning and for some, a lot of bravery.
Stepping out of your comfort zone, to a place you don’t know, with new people speaking a language you don’t understand can be daunting, and also the most exhilarating experience you can have. To arrive at a place where no one knows you, with no understanding of your past, your dreams, your job, your bad (or good!) habits. From here, you have thrown away the ties that normally ground you, and now you can soar. Some people never get to experience this. Some people are addicted to it. What we believe is that if you do it once in your life time, you will not regret it.
Volunteering is a great way of making this jump. Leaping out of the ‘normal’ straight in to a job you may never have had a chance to do. Landing amongst passionate people battling to make a difference where it is desperately needed. Be it tracking wild leopard in the Serengeti, rescuing injured dogs from the road side in India, or helping raise orphaned wildlife that would have died without your time and attention, these are the things that will make you breathe again.
It will challenge your emotions: water shortages, power cuts, your favorite foods will not be available, you will miss your TV programs and you may have to go a little longer without speaking to your friends. You will be hot, sweaty, cold, rained on. You will remember what it was like as a child, to be free from the stresses of adulthood. To concentrate on the basics in life.
So if you find yourself at home, browsing the internet, wondering what you can do, why something, a little spark, is missing from your life, it is time to consider volunteering. Open your eyes to a new world, step up, step out and make a real difference to the world as you go.