International volunteering as a couple: why not?
|Dani and Isa during their solidarity trip to India this summer
A romantic dinner? A book? Chocolates? No! The best Valentine's gift is an experience that makes you grow as a person, get closer to your partner, help others... The best gift is a solidarity trip as a couple! You do not believe it? We interviewed two couples who have already experienced it and recommend it 100%.
Dani and Isa in India: solidarity honeymoon
Isa and Dani's honeymoon was not a cruise around the Greek islands or a trip to a paradise beach in the Caribbean. They chose to start their new stage together "doing something for others": traveled to India and volunteered with Tibetan refugees. Isa, gave support in a solidarity nursery. Dani, English classes for adults. Both agree that "sharing an experience like this as a couple is amazing" that "unites you even more."
Do you recommend doing a solidarity trip as a honeymoon? Because?
Daniel: I recommend 100%! When you get married you spend months worrying about superfluous things and disconnect from reality. It seems that the honeymoon has to be luxurious and a kind of reward for having endured the preparations. For us it was not like that.
Isa: we wanted to start this new stage together by doing something for others. We wanted it to be something that marked a before and after, like the wedding, and that made us grow as people and as a couple. We can always do a tourist trip! But a supportive honeymoon is never forgotten. I had wanted to volunteer in another country for a long time, but I was putting it off for professional reasons. This time, everything happened easily. To me it meant it was the right thing to do.
|Dani and Isa during their visit to the Golden Temple, in India.
How did your solidarity trip differ from the rest of the trips you have taken together?
Daniel: the difference is that the center is not you and your leisure, but other people. But the most important thing is that it allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and share an absolutely unique experience with its people.
Were your family and friends very surprised that you chose this type of trip?
Daniel: Yeah! Our family and friends told us that we were crazy and that they loved the idea. Some they were left with the itch to do it!
Do you think that a solidarity trip as a couple unites?
Isa: It helps you get to know yourself better because sometimes you face situations of tiredness, of not knowing how to react, etc. And Dani was my only family there. In addition, in India we made new friends together, with whom we continue to have a relationship. Thanks to the solidarity trip, both Dani and I have grown personally, and we have joined as a couple. We will always remember it!
Daniel: Yes. Sharing an experience like this with your partner it's amazing, and brings you closer to your partner in a special way.
In addition, you donated the gift to the guests to the NGO in India. Because?
Isa: So much money is spent on a wedding, that we wanted to spend part of it on something worthwhile! The typical wedding gift (a basket, jam, etc.) ends up lost on the tables, expired, thrown away, etc. Instead, we donate it to the Solidarity nursery in India. We hope the kids will enjoy it for a long time!
|Isa with young Tibetans from project.
Clara and Alberto in Kenya: marriage proposal and volunteering
Clara and Alberto made a solidarity trip to Kenya this summer. They collaborated with the NGO that cares for and offers education to girls who are victims of terrible situations such as mutilation or early marriage. One afternoon, walking through the Rift Valley, Clara launched herself and asked for Alberto's hand. Was the the first time they made a trip of this type, and they will never forget it.
Why did you decide to ask for the hand during your solidarity trip in Kenya?
Clear: It wasn't really a very thoughtful decision! He had once mentioned it to Alberto, but he thought he was joking! There I got to take it seriously. We could not say a specific reason: it just came up.
|Clara and Alberto collaborated with girls with few resources Kenya.
How was the time of the request?
We were walking around the Osopuko school area. You could see the entire Rift Valley and the truth is that we felt at home, despite being the only muzungus (Europeans) in the area! Ana and Christian separated and I decided to ask the question again.
Told like this, the story does not seem very romantic, but for us it was very beautiful.
What does that trip mean to you?
It was the first time we left our comfort zone. Traveling in Europe is very easy and doesn't cause you stress, but it doesn't surprise you like Africa either. Being able to get to know another TOTALLY different culture and integrate with the population there is something that cannot be explained in words. A part of you is captivated of that.
|Clara and Alberto along with other volunteers from the kenya project.
Do you plan to return?
ohWe would like to return in a few years to see how the project is going and how the girls we met there are doing! Right now we want more to continue knowing little corners of the planet, but in a few years we will return.