Develop your inner philanthropist and give back to your community and world by volunteering at home or abroad. Use your skills and passions to fulfill a need— whether caring for orphans, volunteering at a hospital or clinic or helping with a construction project. Hundreds—perhaps thousands—of opportunities exist for you to help those less fortunate. If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, plan a short-term trip abroad withA Broader View Volunteers’ orphanage support program in English-speaking Belize. Or, volunteer locally with organizations like Habitat for Humanity or The Boys and Girls Club. Find your perfect opportunity at Volunteer Match , a nonprofit website that matches tens of thousands of volunteers with opportunities.
Develop your technique, learn from expert chefs and experience new flavors with a culinary vacation. Top-rated chefs and kitchens all over the world offer classes as opportunities to spend your vacation learning from the best. In the American melting pot, we have access to diverse cooking traditions from Southwestern spicy to New York Italian. National Geographic’s “Intelligent Travel” blog features kitchens in all the major American culinary regions, or visit the experts of Epitourean online to plan a scrumptious getaway at home, abroad, on a cruise at sea.
Step out of your comfort zone and relent to your wild side with a thrilling escape from the ordinary. Discover limitless possibilities whether hiking, camping, rock-climbing, rafting, kayaking, or even llama trekking. Opportunities to explore are available across our awe-inspiring American landscape from Big Sur to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon to the Appalachian Trail. National and state parks also tend to have the best rates, so try searching the National Park Service online to choose the setting of your adventure.
Revel in nature with an ecotourism vacation perfect for anyone with a green thumb or affection for animals. Take, for example, the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary where previous spring breakers have described their experiences caring for the animals as “inspiring” and even “life-changing.” Are you eager to learn about the organic lifestyle and farming? Discover World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) coordinates volunteers with hosting farms local and abroad that provide food, accommodation and learning opportunities in exchange for a helping hand.
Clear your mind and spirit of stress by visiting a prayerful or meditative personal development retreat. Whether you’re religious, love yoga, or are simply in need of alone time, many themed retreats offer self-directed and professionally directed experiences that will help you add focus to your life. Mount Madonna Retreat and Yoga Center in Monterey Bay Calif., is one of hundreds of yoga centers dotted across the country that provide the perfect setting to allow you to revitalize with the healing power of exercise and contemplation. If you are looking to relieve your mind and spirit, try a meditation or prayer retreat, such as the Spring Break Monastic Experience for Women with the Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adorationin Clyde, Mo.
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