On this adventure of a lifetime, you will get to witness and experience the incredible diversity of India. This road trip takes you through five different regions, from the foothills of the Himalayas, to the vibrant cities of Rajasthan, to the beautiful and relaxing beaches of Goa. On this trip you will get to see everything that India is best known for - colorful and bustling streets, awe-inspiring temples, and delicious food - as well as see what lies off the beaten path.
Aside from the must-see tourist destinations, you will also visit local communities where you will have the chance to volunteer while learning about their lives and culture .
About the Project
On this eco-tourist road trip, over the course of a month, you will travel through 4 of India’s most diverse states. The trip will focus on education and fun, as well as environmentalism and community development. You will have the opportunity to learn about Indian culture and history in an engaging and immersive way, while also getting the chance to assist a local community through sustainable community development work. The first three weeks will be spent traveling the region, and the final week will be spent volunteering.
After arriving in Delhi, you will be given the chance to rest from your flight and start to take in the sights and sounds of your new surroundings.
You will begin your adventure by travelling to Shimla, for a two-day trek in the mountains to a height of 3,100 meters! On this leg, you will also visit Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama, for an introduction to Tibetan culture with visits to holy temples and traditional markets. The group will then return to Delhi briefly before venturing to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world.
You will then journey to Rajasthan and the city of Udaipur, known as the “city of lakes.” Here, you will visit the Monsoon Palace to witness the breathtaking sunset and enjoy a traditional Indian cooking class. Following this, you will travel to Jaisalmer for a jeep safari, camel ride and overnight camping excursion in the desert. This leg of the trip also brings you to Mumbai for additional exploration, including a boat ride to see the Elephanta caves.
Finally, you will make your way to the beautiful state of Goa. Known for its beautiful tropical beaches and laid-back lifestyle, there is no better location to wrap up your adventure and reflect on what you have learned. Aside from relaxing on the beach and exploring the wonders of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will also have the chance to give back to the local community through sustainable development volunteer work.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Your volunteering will take place in Goa during the last week of your trip. You'll be assigned to a specific project depending on first, the needs of the community and then personal preference. These projects include:
Slums Outreach Project: Many of the children living in the slums around Goa cannot afford to go to school. This project aims to organize fun, educational activities for these children in order to inspire them to learn and give them some much needed attention. You’ll play games and sports, sing songs, and do some arts-and-crafts, all aimed at teaching the kids basic English, while giving them the attention and love they need and deserve.
Animal Welfare: At the animal rescue center, volunteers make a lasting contribution by caring for injured cows, dogs, cats, and goats. The center's patients are mainly animals injured in motor accidents and orphaned young animals who could not survive on their own. The rescue center provides emergency surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation as well as adoption services. Volunteers have a range of possible tasks, including rescue and rehabilitation, animal husbandry, construction of enclosures, animal transportation, preparing meals, first aid and more. Between the months of May and September, volunteers may also feed the wild dogs who migrate to the beaches for the season to escape monsoon rains.
Schools Renovation: Volunteers will help to ensure a positive learning environment through renovation and beautification of local schools. Tasks vary depending on the need of the school in which you are placed, and may include painting, decoration, construction and groundskeeping activities.
Accommodations: Varies depending on the location. All locations provide shared, single-gender rooms. All hotels will have access to hot showers. Private rooms can be provided on nights where the group stays in hotels an additional fee. A homestay will also be included in Shimla, and there will be a desert camping experience on the desert safari. During the volunteer week in Goa, participants will stay in shared rooms in a volunteer center which is fully equipped with computers, a kitchen, hot showers and a garden.
Food: In most locations you will be provided with 3 full meals per day. Please note that in Udaipur and Goa, 3 meals per day are provided during the week and 2 meals (brunch and dinner) on the weekends.
Internet: All hotels are equipped with wifi, as is the volunteer center in Goa. Remote locations such as homestays and camping will not have internet access.
Laundry: Laundromats are available in each city.
Please note: Because of the nature of the Road Trip program, please expect to find some degree of variation between the locations’ amenities.
Positive and flexible attitude
Motivation to volunteer with children or animals
Good level of physical health
Basic level of English
Copy of passport