If ever I thought that volunteering with All Hands in Nepal would give me a black and white answer to life’s “What next?” question then I was mistaken. Maybe it was naive to think that an irresistible path would unfurl at my feet and that I would be urged on to future endeavours within a specific area, but to say that I didn’t at least hope for such a Eureka breakthrough would be a lie.
This is not saying that the experience so far hasn’t vastly increased my understanding and interest in how NGOs work, what I can do to help and why it’s still a fantastic idea to get involved in one. It’s just that as far as future plans go, I’m still stuck in Indecision City, mired in the mud of wannabe mindfulness, generally without a solid concept of what I’m doing for the next few weeks, months and years of my life.
To be honest, it’s not the worst place to be.
My current Number One Plan is vague at best; ‘current’ being the operative word because my plans change quicker than you can say ‘I love Dal Bhat’. I want to continue to volunteer on projects around the world, hopefully get more involved in an NGO (work in Sierra Leone is currently top of the list) and whilst not actively working, travel the globe seeing as many ludicrously beautiful sights as I can see while I still have some money and nothing and non-one in particular to tie me down to a specific place.
With the help of the All Hands community in Melamchi, Sindhupalchok, I built up a list of people’s absolute favourite destinations. From beaches in tourist heaven to cultural havens, the list is quite extensive and would take me to over 37 countries so far. The ideal situation would be that I find and apply for work somewhere a fair distance from England and then make my way there via some of the plethora of idyllic spots as specified in my All Hands list. I will admit, though, that I am sorely tempted by my current Number Two Plan: to find work in the Alps or Japan so that I can ski, snowboard and write before finding another charitable project afterwards.
Decisions, decisions. If anyone has any suggestions as to where I should find voluntary work next, for whom I should work – or simply your personal favourite recommended destination – then please let me know. I’d love to hear your views.
As far as the original premise of this blog: avoiding caving in to financial expediency and a career in ‘The City’ and looking to do some good, I’m still full steam ahead. And anyway, with this attempt at a beard The City wouldn’t want me anyway.