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Jun
19

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Why Sustainable Tourism is the Best Way to Travel

Posted by on June 19, 2016 · 1 Comment  

It’s no secret that we love responsible travel, and we want you to love it, too. But the benefits of sustainable tourism go even further than helping the environment and the people we encounter along the way. Responsible travel can also make travel more fun, inspiring, and fulfilling for YOU, the traveler.

We understand that you might be skeptical. Sustainable tourism has become such a big buzzword lately. At first glance it can seem more like a marketing ploy (a.k.a. greenwashing) than an effective way to make travel better for everyone.

There are many travel companies out there who use the words “responsible ” and “eco-friendly” simply to attract customers interested in traveling sustainably, without making the effort needed to back that label up with the action necessary to make those claims true.

But once travelers understand what real sustainable travel is (and why it makes travel so much better), they can do a better job at traveling responsibly on their own, or through selecting the correct tour operator. Let’s take a look at why sustainable tourism really is the best form of travel…

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Jun
9

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7 Ways Peace Corps Volunteers are Changing the World

Posted by on June 9, 2016 · Leave a Comment  

The Peace Corps has been dedicated to changing the world for over five decades. From fighting HIV/AIDS to improving access to technology in remote communities, Peace Corps volunteers are part of something big.

So many of them take their experiences with volunteering through the Peace Corps and build upon them with their own projects, continuing a legacy of dedication to making the world a better place.

Let’s take a look at some specific ways that the Peace Corps (and, more specifically, the volunteers who make up this program) have dedicated themselves to making a difference…

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May
29

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Peace Corps Volunteer Q&A: Charlene Espinoza of Bosh Bosh

Posted by on May 29, 2016 · 2 Comments  

For Charlene Espinoza, traveling to Liberia as a Peace Corps volunteer was only the beginning. When Charlene became a volunteer English teacher, she noticed that many of the girls in Liberia were missing out on school, and she set out to change that.

Charlene founded Bosh Bosh in 2012 in an effort to remedy this issue. The girls were taught to sew patchwork bags, which were then sold to raise money that would help them stay in school. Bosh Bosh has since evolved into an education-focused program that teaches valuable trade skills, hosts after school workshops, and supports the education of young women in Liberia.

Charlene and Bosh Bosh have been recognized at the White House and by the National Peace Corps for their work in empowering young women in Liberia. We recently spoke to Charlene about her non-profit line of cloth bags, which are changing the lives of many people in this developing nation.

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May
21

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The Benefits of Cultural Immersion When You Travel

Posted by on May 21, 2016 · 5 Comments  

When you travel to an unfamiliar place, you will likely face barriers to an authentic experience unless you choose a tour operator well-versed in cultural immersion.

You’re unfamiliar with the basics, like how to get around, how to speak the language, which restaurants serve the real deal, and which serve a touristy rendition of local food. So you hop on a bus or walking tour, and hope that the person in charge will give you an authentic interpretation of things. But when you’re an outsider, it can be very difficult to understand the bigger picture.

What are the people of this unfamiliar place passionate about? What are their lives really like?

Cultural immersion is the act of surrounding yourself with the culture of a place. It might mean living with family and helping out on their farm, or simply sharing a meal with a local.

Cultural immersion is a unique experience that can open doors to a deeper understanding of an unfamiliar place. You’re never going to know a place as intimately as the people who live there, but through cultural immersion experiences, you can begin to understand it all a little better.

Travelers are increasingly seeking these authentic, immersive experiences in new places. It might seem like calling an experience “immersive” or “authentic” is just another way to sell tourists on an activity. But there are benefits to cultural immersion that go far beyond the tourism dollars.

Trips through Discover Corps provide culturally immersive experiences because we see the benefits for both travelers and the locals they interact with.

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May
15

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7 Reasons Why Responsible Travel Matters

Posted by on May 15, 2016 · Leave a Comment  

People are inspired to travel because they’re curious and fascinated by the world around them. Which is great! The world is a beautiful, exciting place. But travel can have negative impacts on that world we love so much. Which is why responsible travel matters.

Responsible travel has become a buzz word lately, but it’s so much more than a marketing trend. Whether you call it responsible, sustainable, or eco-friendly, it all basically means traveling in a way that minimizes impact and gives back to the places we visit. Promoting this type of tourism is critical if we want to continue enjoying the natural beauty, the culture, and the interactions that make travel so special.

Responsible travel can have a significantly positive impact on both traveler and local. Here are seven reasons why this increasingly popular travel style is becoming increasingly necessary.

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May
2

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Staying Healthy While Traveling: 12 Simple Tips

Posted by on May 2, 2016 · 2 Comments  

Are you traveling to a developing country for the first time? If so, you may be worried about getting sick. Though it’s always a possibility, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you stay healthy while traveling.

It’s important to remember that illness and injury can happen wherever we are. We must always take care of ourselves, whether we’re at home or on the road. But there are certain risks that increase in developing countries, where many of the best volunteer vacations tend to happen.

Oftentimes the water supply isn’t safe to drink, and certain foods might not be kind to our foreign bellies. Lately, travelers are increasingly seeing the Zika virus in the headlines. You might be nervous to travel to countries where cases of this mosquito-borne illness are increasing.

Lucky for you, we at Discover Corps have learned some tricks over the years. We think it’s important to be careful, but also not to allow unnecessary fear to dictate our travel plans. (And the media does have a tendency of escalating our fears.)

Here are 12 tips you can use to stay healthy while traveling, allowing you to enjoy the experience of visiting developing countries.

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Apr
22

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7 Indigenous Cultures Worth Exploring

Posted by on April 22, 2016 · 2 Comments  

The indigenous peoples of the world offer a glimpse into ancient histories that live on today. By learning more about indigenous cultures and experiencing their lifestyles, we can better understand the places they call home.

From the ancient civilizations of Central America’s Mayan people to the nomadic families of East Africa’s Masaai, exploring indigenous cultures offers another level to travel that can further enrich our experience of foreign lands.

Discover Corps has a variety of trips that include cultural immersion. But there are so many more to explore. Let’s learn more about some indigenous cultures around the world!

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Apr
13

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The Benefits of Volunteering as a Family

Posted by on April 13, 2016 · 2 Comments  

 

Family is so important. We’d all like to see our families grow closer and stronger. But finding the time and the activities to bring our family members together can be a challenge.

Different ages, interests, schedules, and personalities can make it difficult to get everyone on the same page. But despite our many differences, we’re still family.

Volunteering as a family is an excellent way to close the gap between ages, interests, and more. It’s an activity that everyone can enjoy, while learning the value of doing good things for the causes and the people we care about.

With April being National Volunteer Month, we took time to consider the many ways that volunteering could help make your family closer and stronger.

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Mar
28

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Benefits of Traveling: 5 Ways Travel Keeps You Young

Posted by on March 28, 2016 · 9 Comments  

You don’t have to be a twenty or thirty-something to pack your bag and hit the road. Travel can make us feel young again at any age.

In the classic Pixar movie Up, Carl Fredricksen is a 78-year-old widower who has always dreamed of traveling to Paradise Falls in South America. After Carl’s wife dies unexpectedly and he faces the possibility of moving into a nursing home, he ties thousands of balloons to his house and floats off to explore the destination of his dreams.

Up might be a fictional cartoon, but its core message is very real.  It’s important to embrace life while you still can and do those things you’ve always wanted to do. With the right attitude and a bit of gumption, age can’t hold us back.

Luckily for you, a thousand balloons aren’t necessary. There are plenty of convenient ways to fulfill your bucket list adventures, see the world, and feel younger while doing it.

Here are five ways that travel can make us feel young again…

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Mar
21

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The Benefits of Volunteering

Posted by on March 21, 2016 · 5 Comments  

When you travel to a foreign country to volunteer, your primary motivation should ideally be about having a positive impact on the place you’re visiting. The essence of volunteering is to embrace a cause outside of ourselves, and to focus on issues that our bigger than our own.

But that doesn’t mean that that the benefits of volunteering don’t directly affect travelers in powerful ways. It absolutely does!

While we work to help other people, we’re also working to help ourselves. Volunteering has a variety of positive effects on both the people who are receiving assistance and those who are assisting. The cultural exchange alone provides powerful and lasting benefits to volunteers and locals alike.

If you’re considering taking a volunteer vacation, consider the positive impact you can have on the people and the cause you’re going to support first. But then, consider the ways that volunteering can help you, too.

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