When I first started traveling, I only planned on doing one volunteer project. And that was really so I could chill with elephants at the Elephant Nature Park.
But after my recent trip to the Juara Turtle Project on Tioman Island, I have really fallen in love with volunteering and I am already looking for another project to join.
The Reasons I Love Volunteering:
Upon arriving in Kuala Lumpur, I quickly realized that I had done absolutely no research on Malaysia. (This was actually not surprising, since I never do research on anywhere I go. I’m a true procrastinator.)
I knew, though, that I had been feeling a bit aimless during the previous couple of weeks. I was feeling a bit out of sorts. I needed a routine. I needed a project. After a bit of research, I decided to volunteer at the Juara Turtle Project, a sea turtle hatchery on Tioman. (More to come on my volunteering experience later.)
The project was located away from all of the popular tourist spots, a 30-minute ride away in the back of a truck through steep hills covered in jungle. The trip was worth it though. When I finally reached the project and walked out onto the beach, I felt like I was in a scene from a movie. I mean, no way could a place this beautiful be real.
Looks about right.
Okay, Mom. Don’t freak out. I was not mugged.
But my super awesome travel buddy of 6 weeks was. On the day before we were set to fly to Kuala Lumpur. Actually, it was about 12 hours until we had to fly out.
We were walking home from dinner when a motorbike drove up behind us with two men on it. They barely even slowed down as they grabbed my friend’s purse, cut the thick leather strap and drove away with the entire thing.