10 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad with a Friend

If traveling alone is awesomesauce then traveling with your friend is double of that.

Also, they say that friends who travel together, stay together. And most of the times it’s true.

Traveling, as many people would agree, is the truest test of friendship. Being friends with someone is one thing, but traveling with them? An entirely different story. Traveling with someone really boils your friendship down to the bare bones of how similar you really are: in life, in ideals, in culture.

Many people are not so lucky to have an amazing travel companion because it really is tough to find a friend who travels the same way you do. But when you travel with your best friend and find that it works, you have truly found the best kind of friendship that can exist. If you can travel with someone, you have seriously hit the jackpot!

Traveling with your best friend is different than traveling with a simple acquaintance. A best friend is someone you know inside and out, someone whose history you are familiar with, and someone who knows you just as well also. Traveling with your best friend will be tough at times, but, because you both know each other so well, it is much easier to make it work.

Here’s what I have learned from my exchange and these are my reasons why you should volunteer abroad through AIESEC with a friend :

1. You encourage each other. AIESEC Reason Travel 1 ecourage You become each other’s number one fan in everything you do. Traveling by definition is largely about facing fears, challenging yourself, and stepping out of your comfort zone. When you are traveling with your best friend, you help each other tackle these fears and challenges by being each others’ number one cheerleaders. You grow by helping each other grow, and encourage each other every step of the way.

2.You learn from each other. AIESEC Reason Travel 2 Learn Whatever your differences may be, you will learn from each others’ ways. The slower one may learn quickness, while the faster one may learn patience. The shy one may learn to be outgoing, while the extrovert may learn to sometimes pause and step back to take in the moment. The reserved one may learn to be braver, while the adventurous one may learn that it’s important to be careful. Whatever it is, you can both learn from each other’s mannerisms and predispositions, and you get to know each others’ ways more and more while traveling.

3.You step out of your comfort zone together. AIESEC Reason Travel 3 comfort zone “Want to try eating snail?” “Want to go cliff jumping?” “Want to go trekking, camping, or adventuring into a local village?” “… I’ll do it if you do it.” When traveling with your best friend, you feed off each other and push each other. If one of you is game for something, chances are the other will be too with just a little bit of convincing. This goes for anything from trying a questionable local food to putting yourself out there to try to interact with locals. With your best friend, you feel more comfortable with the uncomfortable. You will always experience things together because together, more is always possible.

4.You are more aware when you travel with friends. AIESEC Reason Travel 4 Aware Traveling with friends endeavors you to have a clearer picture of how important your friends are and that they will always have your back in many situations. Life is a struggle and through some of the silliness you will know if your friends will support you or not.

5.You get to start stories with things like “when we were in Peru…” or “when we were in Brazil…” AIESEC Reason Travel 5 Story Part of you feels obnoxious being those people. But mostly you love how you have memories in so many places with your favourite human.

6.Help to make a difference in a community. AIESEC Reason Travel 6 Impact In smaller, less wealthy villages around the world, you will experience a strong sense of community that you may find quite humbling. Your work can help make a difference in a community, for example helping to build a school or play area for the local children. What better way than to have your best friend with you in this?

7.You have a million inside jokes. AIESEC Reason Travel  7 Jokes You’ve been through many hilarious moments and strange mishaps being together so much, and many of these evolve into hilarious jokes that only you understand. You can say a single word to each other and start laughing uncontrollably or understand each other with a simple abbreviation or hand signal. You get to a point that you even sound to others like you are speaking a completely different inside-joke comprised language. You just get each other like that.

8.You won’t be on your phone all the time because who are you going to text? AIESEC Reason Travel  8 phone You’re with the person you would normally text all day already.

9.You carry a fragment of home with you. AIESEC Reason Travel 9 Home With traveling, there could be some homesickness. You are in an unfamiliar territory and you wish you were at home snuggled up in bed. With friends around you, you have a piece of home with you that could offer some comfort and reassurance.

10.You take killer Instagram photos of each other. AIESEC Reason Travel 10 Instagram You know what each other wants in a photo, and aren’t afraid to make them retake it until they get it right. You guys are so close you can easily tell them to go back and retake it if you, say, wanted your feet in the photo or if your hair was out of place, and it wouldn’t be awkward in the slightest. You have taken some awesome photos of each other and always give each other credz. You’re basically a little photography team working to get each others’ perfect travel shots. Which you, of course, do.

A good friend listens to your travel adventures. A best friend makes them with you.

Volunteering abroad, is, at the end of the day one of the best ways to develop yourself both personally and professionally!

Find out what projects are available for summer 2018 here, and grab your friend!