This is the point right? We all want our lives to have a positive impact on others. What is the impact of a purposeful travel experience? Whether volunteering on a specific project or being mindful and local in the way you travel, the impact far exceeds the work that was physically completed.

Take interest in the people, not just the work

Volunteer trips can be short or unfinished, but they all make an impact on the people you helped, the greater ailment that is impacting the community or country, and more than anything the volunteer. When Build Abroad sends volunteers to build a house, the impact doesn’t stop after the trip. Sure the volunteers may see the completion of the house if they stay for several months, but it is the people they interacted with and the things they set in motion that leave the greatest impact.

Understand the bigger picture

The biggest impact is teaching people about local level travel and how travelers can actually make a change in a nation’s economy, which can change everything. It can pull a community from poverty to great economic prosperity.

Break barriers created by differences in culture

Though we’ve said it before, travel gives you a new lens. It gives us the opportunity to open our eyes and really see the world and its differences as something to be celebrated, not something to be afraid of.

Don’t quit when the project ends

Jessica Wynne Lockhart, travel journalist and Founder of Go Further Travel also says when coming back travelers should connect with other travelers to continue their mission for that community or purpose.

Be an agent of change

A value driven world begins when you travel. Yes, your life will literally change when you travel or volunteer internationally if you are doing it with the right intentions. And you will change other people’s lives as well. Whether it is with a few kind words or building a new school, the impact is long lasting and will evolve over time. From staying involved in the cause through local efforts or starting your own organization to end the issue most important to you, it is about you as much as it is about them.