Feeling a little trapped and bored in quarantine? We’ve got you covered! Check out our 5 tips on how to prepare for your volunteer adventure while in quarantine, lockdown, or staying home.
These safety measures helpt keep each other safe and prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. But they’re also driving us all a little crazy and hitting certain industries pretty hard.
One which is close to our hearts is the volunteer industry. To support our partners in these difficult times, we strongly encourage volunteers to continue booking their volunteer adventure and travel later.
This ‘downtime’, however, is the perfect opportunity for some extensive research and preparation for this once in a lifetime opportunity that awaits you – these are our top 5 tip on how to prepare for your volunteer adventure while in quarantine.
1. Learn the Language
Most volunteer opportunities take place in developing countries where English is not the first language. Therefore, it’s a great idea to learn a couple of useful phrases that will make it a lot easier to communicate and get around. We all know what it’s like to ask someone for directions and be replied with a blank stare.
Also showing the locals you’ve gone out of your way to learn their language will make it easier to connect with them and create a more meaningful experience.
The good news is, there are many online apps now specializing in learning languages. Check out Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise,… They may not cover the African dialect spoken in your volunteer village but they do cover a number of the most commonly spoken languages.
If your language isn’t featured in one of these apps, don’t worry there are countless resources and there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned phrasebook. With all this time on your hands, why not learn a new skill that will vastly improve your experience abroad?
2. Get Fit for your Project
You don’t need to be an athlete to volunteer abroad but it does require a reasonable level of fitness. Nobody wants to be the only one huffing and puffing after 10 minutes of work. Most volunteer programs require a fair amount of physical work. Whether you’re observing wildlife, supporting local healthcare or teaching the youth, you’re probably going to be more active than you usually are.
Even if you’re not the world’s most sporty person, being a little stronger and fitter can really boost your confidence and take away some of the pre-volunteering anxiety.
How do you keep fit in quarantine?
Now how do you get fit in quarantine? With your own body weight and YouTube of course. Countless workout places are offering free workout classes online making it easier than ever to keep fit at home.
A short and sweet HIIT circuit will get your heart rate up in no time while your own bodyweight, a couple of cans or water bottles will do just fine for those who want to increase muscle mass. From barre workouts to online dance classes to yoga, the options are endless!
Don’t let quarantine eat away you or your muscle mass and take this chance to rise from the ashes and get ripped for your next volunteer experience.
3. Do Your Research!
Let’s be honest, we’re all spending a lot more time mindlessly scrolling through social media or the news. What if we spent this time a bit more usefully? What’s stopping you from researching all there is to know about your volunteer destination?
Some people may do this regardless of whether they’re stuck in quarantine while others are happy adopting a wait and see approach. We think part of the fun is in the preparation. Take this time to get excited and travel virtually!
How to research and prepare for your volunteer adventure
There are countless YouTube videos that will transport you to your volunteer destinations and give you a feel for what to expect. We promise you’ll feel less trapped between the walls of your house or apartment, in no time!
On top of that, we also encourage you to look deeper into your volunteer program. Check out all the available resources on your volunteer project and get in touch with our helpdesk or your project coordinator. They’ll be happy to share more resources on your volunteer topic.
If you’re volunteering for conservation, education, or healthcare look up articles from reliable sources that will give you a broader perspective on the topic. The United Nations is a great place to start but there are plenty of other great sources online that will make you more knowledgeable on your volunteer topic.
4. Do a First-Aid Course Online
There’s always a risk to travel. Whether it’s the sub-standard hygiene standards or the crazy traffic situation, there’s always a risk of something happening. This is why we it’s so important that our volunteers have travel insurance. Why not take health and safety into your own hands and do a first aid course online?
By doing a first aid course, you’ll increase your confidence while traveling because you’ll know what to do in an emergency. Not only will you be helping yourself but you won’t be the helpless bystander when something would goes awry around you.
You may think this is a silly tip because first-aid courses are only available in person but just like everything else, our world is slowly shifting toward a more digitalized, online version where everything is also available remotely. The red cross offers first-aid courses that you can take online. We guarantee your loved ones will feel a lot happier knowing you took the course!
5. Start Packing Already!
Packing can be stressful for those of us who leave things to the last minute. With some extra time on your hands, you can start preparing your packing list and figuring out what you’ll need to make your travels even more pleasant.
And who doesn’t enjoy some online shopping? Isn’t receiving a package one of the highlights of a quarantine day? Our point exactly!
There are some handy gadgets that could make your life abroad a lot easier. We’ve done some of the work for you already by creating this packing list.
We hope our 5 tips on how to prepare for your volunteer adventure while in quarantine has given you some inspiration for boring moments at home.
With volunteer organizations struggling in these difficult times, we hope many of you will also continue to book volunteer programs and travel later.
We’d love to hear what you’ll be doing in quarantine to prepare for your volunteer adventure. Leave us your reply in the comments below!