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Photo credit: SITRAMINAE

Volunteer Dreams

by Sandra Millward

Since I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology back in the 1990’s, and perhaps even watching Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom show on TV, I have always wanted to see Sea Turtles in the wild.  In particular to study them and how they live.  My life went on a different trajectory, but still in the back of my mind I would love to go and watch a Sea Turtle lay her eggs on a beach, and then come back and watch the little turtle hatchlings come from the nest and make their mad dash to water.  I even spent a little time studying what type of Eco Volunteer trips were available.  Still on that “Bucket List” of adventures to complete.  But with bilateral knee replacements and increasing age I would have to choose one that provided a few creature comforts to make it possible.  I would prefer to not just be a tourist watching, but to actively engage in scientific research to broaden the knowledge base and perhaps expand what little scientists know about these wonderful creatures.  World Wildlife Fund, Turtle Foundation and other small groups offer ecotour packages which allows for Ecotourists to help and work along scientists doing long term research on known Sea Turtle nesting habitats.  I would want to start within the United States, Florida, or the Gulf Coast.  As I get healthier, then perhaps Mexico or a foreign country.  There are so many variables with International Travel that it may be cost prohibitive.  But still something to think about.

To go on an international traveling volunteer trip I would also want to consider, after my eco-volunteer experience, visiting the country while I was there and learning about the local people, customs, and food. In other words, to experience what it might be like to live in another part of the world other than in an established, modernised country.  I believe this is the way people grow and learn to broaden their point of view and become a more well-rounded citizen in their own country – their eyes have been opened and made to appreciate sometimes just how easy we have it here.  Through this growth you become a better volunteer and eco-sensitive person in your own country.  Only one earth!

From The Traveling Volunteer: “We wish you well on your mission to find that perfect sea turtle traveling volunteer experience Sandra. We trust this website will aid you in this quest!”