You now have an asset at your disposal that you did not have prior to your most recent VolunTourism journey. You can add experiential wisdom & insight from your trip to your personal toolbox. This will assist you in determining what you will do in the future.
The best way to incorporate this wisdom & insight is to return to the beginning and work your way through to the current point in time by reviewing:
- Your PAQs
- Your Program Selection
- Your Trip Preparation
- Your Processing Techniques
- Your Post-Trip
Ask yourself the question, first and foremost, "Did I utilize the tools that were provided to me?" If you can answer this question with a "yes," then you can see what tools were really helpful to you and which ones were not. If your answer is "no," then you can discover, by reviewing the in-formation in this section, whether any tools offered here would have supported you.
Accuracy - The Important Word
When you review each of the above items that you used in conjunction with your voluntour, you want to determine how accurate you were in each phase of the process. Did you accurately:
- Define Your Purpose?
- Assess Your Assets?
- Answer The Difficult Questions?
- Utilize The VT Matrix?
- Map Your VT Matrix with VolunTourism Options?
- Select A Program?
- Prepare for Your Journey?
- Identify Your Processing Skills?
- Handle Your Post-Trip Issues?
This is not an exercise meant to discourage you if you had a difficult experience, nor is it meant to elate you if you had an incredible experience. It is really a matter of getting in the habit of reviewing how well you do, or do not know, yourself - Right?!?
Transformative Learning & VolunTourism
In 2001, CABI Publishing released a book entitled: Volunteer Tourism - Experiences that Make a Difference. The author, Dr. Stephen Wearing from the School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism at the University of Technology, Sydney, dedicated much of the book to discussing the impact of volunteer tourism on participants. How did it change their views of themselves and others? What role did the communities and residents play in catalyzing these shifts? This webcast discusses some of the interviews posted in his book and the relevance to other VolunTourism itineraries.
[Listen To The Cast] (Click Here To Download)
|Elisa Sabatini, Executive Director of Los Ninos, Inc.
Look at the areas where you may have overlooked an element in your personality, your preferences and aversions, for example. Knowing more about this will help you in the journey of life, not just a future VolunTourism excursion.
[Return to the Top]
If you can sum up the purpose of a VolunTourism Trip, or anything else in life for that matter, it can be stated in one word - Transformation. From this point forward, as you review the possible VolunTourism options available to you, you will begin to look at the Transformation Potential that these experiences may offer you.
Reflect on the fact that you have recently engaged in an experience with other people who made a conscious choice to travel and be of service at the same time. This is not a usual practice for the majority of the world. It is likely that you have met some people whom you now admire and will call "a friend," for lack of a better term, for many years to come. Who they are influenced you and vice versa. For example, by spending time with these individuals...
- Did you learn about a habit that you have and decide that you are going to put time and effort into changing that habit?
- Did you experience the habits of others in your group or in the destination in which you served that you respected and would like to include in your own routine?
- Did you feel that your view of a people, culture, or destination shifted in such a way that you no longer will hold on to your old judgments and prejudices as a result of this journey?
Knowing that these types of changes in your personality and habits of thinking can occur via a VolunTourism experience alerts you to the potential that other such trips can offer in the future. If, of course, you select wisely.
The Transformation Potential will become a measuring tool for you in selecting another trip. You will ask the question: "What Transformation Potential does this journey hold for me?" Your wisdom and insight generated through your recent experience will assist you in a true evaluation and ultimate selection of your next VolunTourism trip.
[Return to the Top]