Growth Through Volunteering in the Western Ghats

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16 Responses

  1. neha says:

    You definitely chose a beautiful and offbeat trail for your trip to India. The thing is that some destinations in India are highly popular while there are so many others like Sirsi which are kind of untouched. It’s a delight visiting these

    • Teja says:

      I have to admit that I had my preconceived notions of India before I went. Then I arrived in Goa and was like, hey this feels just like Malaysia of maybe, 20 years ago – I mean in the building styles, and the feel of the streets, and the kind of plants people choose for their gardens, etc. And Sirsi – just like any of our rural villages. Haha

  2. Ketki says:

    There are so many volunteering programs in India and i am so proud it is finally happening. Had never particularly heard about Sirsi but it super interesting to know about it. I am definitely looking up Earthwatch to check out their volunteering programs. Thank you for this article.

    • Teja says:

      Yes, they do science-based voluntourism, which is pretty cool and less common. :)

  3. Nam says:

    I think it’s great to volunteer and step outside of our comfort zone. There is no point going to well-trodden places to volunteer! I have never heard of Sirsi but I love reading about your experience!

  4. Charmaine says:

    Sounds like an amazing opportunity to go and I’m glad you took the leap! You can never know what you will find! :)

  5. Gina says:

    I think I would enjoy Sirsi because I’m recently becoming more and more vegetarian and I would like to see more of their cuisine. Sometimes the universe has a way of giving us what we need. Good to see you kicked back and mediated!

    • Teja says:

      Oh Indian vegetarian is the best! It got a bit repetitive for two weeks though – but that’s because I’m Malaysian and we’re used to being spoiled for choice food-wise. Actually I would guess pretty much all of India would be good, for vegetarian transitioning.

  6. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    Wow! this is the first time I heard about a town who practice sobriety. Usually when someone goes on a holiday chilling while drinking is part of socializing. Sirsi is green and lush and a lovely place. I was not aware that there are volunteering opportunities there.

    • Teja says:

      No, you see… apparently all of the Karnataka region is sober. But then, it’s not really an international tourism spot, so the locals are more able to go with what they feel benefits their own social outcomes, I guess. Without conflict with tourism revenue loss. There were even border checkpoints with Goa to check for smuggling.

      It’s not the first time I know of it. Some inhabited islands in south Thailand are sober. All the local inhabited islands of the Maldives are. But that was certainly the first time I encountered a place that was sober – but not Muslim. But yeah – it was incredible how much it improved the *quality* of socialising with my international co-participants. It was much more real and honest. Much less bragging and pretense.

  7. Iza Abao says:

    I can relate to you. India is not the first country that I would want to add on my bucket list. I am still hesitant to go even I have read a lot of good articles about India. Well, let’s see.
    I understand your thought process because you are smart. You think all the things that could happen whether positive or negative. I like that you are taking chances and doing things outside of your comfort zone.

    • Teja says:

      LOL smart only goes so far. First, you still need faith and courage. :) I’m still terrified every time I push the boundary still further, like I plan to this year.

  8. you.theworld.wandering says:

    I’m a true believer that the universe send us little signs all the time. And what a journey you’ve been and followed your gut, put yourself out of your comfort zone and come out the other side. I’d have to say India has never been top of my backlist either and my partner wants to take me this year.. lets see. Maybe good things will come from it too! Perhentian island also sounds nice, I have a friend working in a resort there.
    Kristie – you.theworld.wandering

    • Teja says:

      India is sooo big! I’m sure it must run the gamut of experiences. I’m going again this year, to a different part, so… don’t know whether that’ll be more intimidating than the relatively comfortable Goa/Karnataka. :) Which resort? I probably know all of them by now.

  9. Penny says:

    I’m from India. Goa to be precise but I stay in Karnataka at the moment. I have honestly never heard of volunteering programs in Sirsi. It is an interesting aspect that I have never thought off. Thank you for enlightening me on a different aspect of travel.

    • Teja says:

      Our group met up in Goa before being taken to Sirsi! It was quiet when we were there though, which I thought didn’t match what I heard about Goa. There were these lantern things hanging everywhere, with tassels at the bottom. I thought maybe it’s because there was a festival recently and people were still away.