Global Issues Tourism: Traveling to make a difference

The idea of traveling for a purpose or to make a difference has been in my mind for a while now. Unfortunately, I haven’t acted upon it yet, but my research and interest continues.

Today I came across a company called Global Exchange Reality Tours. It is based on the foundation that travel is educational and can positively influence international affairs; the trips are aimed at demonstrating how you can contribute to solving global problems. The tours operate in over 30 countries and are given under the wing of Global Exchange.

For instance, you can go on a Gandhi legacy tour in India that is conducted by his Grandson, Dr. Arun Gandhi; you can go to Afghanistan to help Afghans rebuild their lives, or take a trip to Israel/Palestine and spend your time working with non-governmental peace organizations.

The tours look like they give you a flavor of the Peace Corps, but you don’t need to be a US citizen to qualify. They are normally only 2-weeks long and cost anything from $850-3000, depending on the type of trip. If you have the right skill set, you may be eligible for some sort of financial aid.

Have any of you been on a trip like this?