Some might think that travel is for purely selfish reasons, I want to see [insert location] so I am booking a trip. So there.
Not always the case. There are a ton of people out there who combine their love of travel with adventure and a dash of helping out others. People talk about ecotourism and volontourism being some of the new travel trends. And, while at some point I plan to get into posts about both of those, as truthfully they are something I am interested in, today I want to talk about actually doing something for a cause.
What’s cool about this idea is that not only are you doing something cool, but you are doing something cool that helps people, and you’re doing something cool somewhere else. Have you ever had on your bucket list to help out a charity, or climb a mountain, or run a marathon? There are ways to turn all of these ideas into pretty kick ass vacations.
How awesome would you be if you came back from a vacation, where you ran a marathon and raised some cash for a good cause?
The first thing that might pop into people’s minds could be road races. I have a friend who did Team in Training which is with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s pretty cool because you are set up with a local group who train together for 4-5 months with the guidance of certified professionals, then you fly out to your race (all conveinetly located in warm weather destinations during the winter). Not only are you running a half marathon, or a triathalon, but you’ve got your support team there with you, and if I had to run 13 miles anywhere, I think doing it Miami or Phoenix in January calls for a few extra days off to add some vacation in there.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to climb a legit mountain, check out Big City Mountaineer‘s program Summit for Someone. They offer a ton of different climbs, from the Presidential Range in New Hampshire to Mt. Kilimanjaro, varying in length and difficulty, with all the money you raise going to programs that have urban teens experience the wild.
Prefer to be on the water surrounded by spectacular scenery, look at Kayak for a Cure, an outfit that has days on the water to raise money for cancer all over Canada. I couldn’t think of a better way to top off a trip to Vancouver than raising a couple hundred bucks for charity, AND maybe you’ll even see some seals and orcas out in the bay.
These are just a few examples of ways you can intergate some giving into your vacations. And remember, it doesn’t always have to be a big trip, think of my MicroAdventure post, try your own thing for a weekend, or a day, and see if you can contribute to a good cause.