The time is now.

Why you shouldn’t wait to book your GIVE trip!

Written by: Samantha Abajian, Past Tanzania Volunteer

Heavy-eyed and out of brain power, 18-year-old me lugs my body to the UCSB library bathroom. Carelessly closing the bathroom stall door, a bright green flyer titled “Travel with Purpose” met me at eye level. ‘What a strange place for a flyer,’ I thought at first, though looking back, it was completely genius. I grabbed the green flyer without thinking much, you know, just in case.

The next day, I set out in pursuit of the people behind the intriguing green bathroom flyers. After getting lost multiple times, as college freshmen do, I found the meeting room. I slowly entered, watching the room light up with enchanting images being projected onto a screen. The colors of Nicaragua, Thailand, Laos, and Tanzania are reflected on the walls. A few enthusiastic faces stood in front of us and told us all about GIVE Volunteers.

 

As a college freshman still seeking out a sense of community, I felt nervous about taking such a big step alone. Even the journey to the info session felt daunting. For anybody taking a huge leap – a few-thousand-mile type of leap – it can feel intimidating. It can be easy to get stuck in a loop of doubt and end up at ‘maybe next year.’

Yet, it becomes evident quickly that community and connectivity are infused in GIVE’s mission.

 

Every person so effortlessly supports you from the minute you enter that room to the second you step foot in the beautiful country that once seemed so far away. Once you get to know the GIVE team, your doubts will be gone. You will not want to wait.

There was no doubt in my mind that Tanzania was the place I needed to be.

 

GIVE offers trips to so many incredible places it can be hard to choose. Although every experience is meaningful, the first step is understanding what connects with you. When browsing through the different programs, GIVE ensures you know what to expect during your time with them. You can see what each day will look like, from volunteering with communities on Zanzibar island to working on regenerative farming in Thailand. This stability allows room for travelers to feel comfortable completely immersing themselves in their trip and discovering different ways to connect.

 

I had a lot of fears when I decided to take my trip to Tanzania. Will I get lost at the airport? Will others be traveling solo? It would be dishonest to say you won’t be nervous, but I challenge you to welcome this feeling. You will discover that traveling ‘alone’ is a great advantage; it will give you the opportunity to be surrounded by an incredible community. Behind GIVE is a supportive and compassionate team that wants to support your aspirations even through fears or doubt. I knew I could call GIVE with any questions, and they were always ready to reassure me.

While traveling, I met other volunteers from our Trip Facebook group. This online group was one of the biggest factors that put my mind at ease and allowed me to connect with other volunteers along the way. After switching my seat to sit next to my new friend Jess,

I knew that throughout this whole trip, I would have a family.

When we all landed, members of the GIVE team were beaming with enthusiasm and ready to guide us the minute we stepped outside. I took a deep breath, knowing I had made such a courageous decision surrounded by a beautiful community.

If you’re looking for a sign to book a GIVE trip, this is it.

You will discover that on the other side of hesitation or worry lies an opportunity for connectivity, community, and curiosity. Reach out to past volunteers, explore GIVE info sessions, and discover your courage to step outside of your comfort zone. There is an entire community of people waiting for you and rooting for you every step of the way. 

 

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