Getting out of your shell
Today you are sitting in a classroom wondering what is out there in the world, reading about adventure and hoping that someday life will finally be exciting for you as well. Less than a month after that moment, you are sitting in the middle of nowhere on a milestone surrounded by a desert landscape. You are in Morocco, far away from home, the first time experiencing a different culture and the first time in the midst of real adventure. In the distance kids are running home from school, and the elderly are enjoying the last rays of the setting sun in front of their tiny mud huts.
The food here is different, the daily routine is different, the environment is nothing like you are used to. But does this mean that you will finally be able to get out of your shell, to adapt to something new and to learn a great deal in the meantime? Does traveling and volunteering really make you a more open minded, tolerant, less self-centered person? As a host of many volunteers and being a volunteer myself in different cultures I can say that the answer is a definite no. There are plenty of people who travel the world during this new fever of nomad lifestyle, people who volunteer and who spend time in dozens of countries without being able to give something back and to grow.
Every time a new helper comes to our community, an eager volunteer who is happy to share all the stories that were born after traveling for many months visiting numberless places, we always remind them to remember that this is a chance to experience a new environment, therefore instead of trying to change things in order to make them more comfortable, do the opposite. Change yourself and adapt in order to fit in. Do things in a way that you wouldn’t usually do. Try something new. Challenge your boundaries. Give more than you take. Listen, look around you, absorb as much as you can. If you fail to do so, your great adventure, the one that you always dreamed about will be nothing but a blur of cultures, places and people, hazy memories. Instead of conquering space, become a part of it, engrave it into your memory and become a better person.
Greetings from the Organic Art Ranch