You’ve decided on a Kauai vacation! The “Garden Isle” of Kauai has so much to offer: awesome natural wonders, miles and miles of beaches, unspoiled areas for hiking, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and a relaxing ambiance.
So what will you bring home from your Kauai vacation? A few souvenirs, perhaps, lots of photos, and of course some macadamia nuts. But what if you could also bring home some truly important things — without making your suitcase any heavier! Consider these benefits of volunteering during your Kauai vacation and see what volunteering will allow you to bring home at the end of your vacation.
- New skills: You could bring home new skills you learned on your Kauai vacation; skills involving gardening, horticulture, environmental sustainability, or habitat restoration, for example. And you could begin to use those skills to improve your own home and community — or even to jumpstart a new job or career — after your vacation has ended.
- Sense of accomplishment: The healthy glow you get from spending time in nature and soaking up the sunshine during your Kauai vacation will fade. But the healthy glow you acquire by accepting new challenges, meeting new people, helping others, and becoming a positive part of something that is larger than yourself, will last for years.
- Broadened horizons: When you volunteer as part of your Kauai vacation, you will have an opportunity to learn about Kauai — its people, language, culture, food, and geography — in a particularly intimate way. What you will bring home from Kauai is an ability to see and understand more clearly the interplay of all these features in your own life and community as well.
- Personal connections: Volunteering during your Kauai vacation will allow you to become personally connected to Kauai and its residents. You will get to know the individuals with whom you are working, and you will be involved in the day-to-day life of Kauai. And like all the other benefits of volunteering, your feeling of personal connection to Kauai and its people will continue long after you have returned home. In fact, seeing a photo of Kauai in a magazine or hearing a story about Kauai on the news may well trigger strong feelings for a faraway place to which you now feel a personal connection.
- Improved physical and emotional health: Numerous studies have shown that volunteering correlates with individual health benefits, including lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression. As volunteers themselves often note, they get so much more from volunteering than they give. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of such a promising opportunity to improve your health?
- Sense of renewal: The whole point of taking a vacation is to take a break from the usual routines of daily life, to reduce stress and gain perspective. You can “supercharge” your Kauai vacation by pairing it with volunteering, which itself offers opportunities to “get away from it all”. You can break away from your usual routines by engaging in new activities and making new friends, reduce stress by performing physical tasks and helping others, and gain perspective by meeting diverse people and getting to know a new community. Return home with newfound enthusiasm, energy and a sense of purpose for the life and activities that await you after your vacation.
There is no doubt that macadamia nuts are delicious, but why settle just for nuts when you could also bring home something really meaningful? As you plan your Kauai vacation, keep in mind these benefits of volunteering, and consider investing some of your time in a worthwhile Kauai nonprofit. Your suitcase won’t be any heavier, and your Kauai vacation really will be memorable!
Learn about various volunteer opportunities on Kauai here!