voluntourism hawaii

Visitors and residents tend kalo (taro) together.

Photo By Travel2Change/David Murphy

Editor's Letter: Consider volunteering on your next trip to Hawaii

Sometimes, when we travel, we do it to get away from the work that consumes our daily lives. We pack a bag, jump on a plane and fly as far away as we can to a destination that looks like an idyllic place to escape to for a few days in order to forget about everything we just left behind. And, for the majority of us, the thought of doing work while on vacation never crosses our minds.

However great that this may sound, we sometimes forget that the places we’re traveling to aren’t just vacation hotspots, but they’re someone’s home—a community just like our own, with its own history, culture and people, and likely its own sets of problems, needs and concerns.

friends of haleakala national park
Volunteers reforest the unique landscape.
Photo courtesy: Friends of Haleakala National Park

In our November issue's story, “In the Spirit of Lokahi,” we highlight 11 different volunteer opportunities that visitors and residents can take part in across the Islands. Making a difference in the place you are traveling to, rather than taking and thinking about one’s own self is what Travel2Change, one nonprofit featured, aspires to teach the people who book its service-learning activities. Luckily, this idea has become a mantra among millennials and is steering the experiential travel trend, prompting people to immerse themselves in the communities they’re visiting. 

If you’d like to consider this way of traveling, or give it a try, get a copy of our newest issue on newsstands now (or subscribe here) and take a look at what ways you can help the different organizations in our island chain, who are working hard to keep Hawaii's fragile ecosystem thriving and history preserved for our future generations.