Travel Heroes / Travel Heroes Journal

Experts share 5 essential rules for making a difference on your travels

Discover your inner Travel Hero

By Casey ONeill

Bruce Wayne had Alfred, Tony Stark had J.A.R.V.I.S and Luke Skywalker had Yoda. If you are going to be a great hero, then you need advice from great mentors. 

We asked travel volunteering and adventure fundraising experts to share their essential advice for Travel Heroes. Here are the results...


1. “Get outside your comfort zone. You’ll never regret it!” - Binka Le Breton, Iracambi

Amigos de Iracambi is a conservation-focused not-for-profit located in Brazil’s stunning Atlantic Forest. Iracambi’s mission is “working with community leaders to make the conservation of the forest more attractive than its destruction.” 

Ircambi has a longstanding and successful volunteering programme. Volunteers assist with a range of tasks from tree planting and forest monitoring to photography and IT support. Ircambi Co-Founder Binka Le Breton has worked with some amazing volunteers including a 70 year old man who taught a local girl how to use a computer and a student who was chased out of her tent by a mountain lion (and went on to become a professional wildlife filmmaker!)


2. Be completely fearless, smile all the time, laugh all the time and don't be afraid to completely fail - just make sure give it your all and give back to the communities you travel through. - Nick Kershaw, Impact Marathons

Impact marathons organises fundraising marathons in Nepal, Columbia, Malawi and Guatemala. Unlike traditional sports fundraising programmes, Impact Marathon athletes get to visit and volunteer with the projects that they are fundraising for.

CEO and founder Nick Kershaw explained that the programme caters to fundraising runners at all stages. He has worked with people entering their first big running event as well as “experienced runners looking to do more than just fly in, run a race.”


3. Start your fundraising activities early and to make sure you thank your supporters and keep them engaged by updating on how your preparations are going. - Cavill Stone, Act for Kids

Act for Kids is a well-known Australian Charity proving therapy and support to children affected by child abuse and neglect. Their annual Trek 4 Kids is one of the best known adventure fundraising events in the country.

In less than a month you will find an inspiring team of Act for Kids supporters trekking across New Zealand’s South Island and last year Trek for Kids Vietnam raised over $70,000 for the cause. One year a single Act for Kids fundraiser raised $37,000!


4. Prepare! - Joshua Donchi, Make-a-Wish

Make-a-Wish gives children and teenagers who are fighting life-threatening medical conditions the chance to realise a wish. Their National Manager for Volunteer Fundraising & Community Events Joshua Donchi explained that “Make-A-Wish doesn’t receive any government funding, so we rely on the generosity and support of the community to help make wishes come true.” 

Make-a-Wish has range of volunteers across the country and has recently begun organising adventure fundraising events. Feedback from participants so far has been great. “We often hear from our adventure fundraisers that they’ve not only had an amazing trip, but also an incredible personal journey. People usually get more out of the trip than expected, and also feel a massive sense of reward knowing that they’ve helped life-changing wishes to come true.”


5. “Realize that you are not raising money for yourself. You are raising money to make a difference to this world and you should be proud of it.” - Annie Crawford, Can Too

Can Too is an Australian charity that supports the research, prevention, care and control of cancer.  Their values are “Fun, Fitness, Friends and Fundraising!” Can Too supporters raise money by swimming, running, cycling and - in one case - jelly wrestling.

In her time working at Can Too Annie Crawford has come across a huge range of volunteers: from a skydiver in her 70’s to an 8 year old busker who even donated her earrings to the cause!

Coming soon: Part 3 of our series – How to get organised for your Travel Heroes adventure.

Are you planning to use this advice on a travel volunteering or adventure fundraising trip, or have you done one in the past? Then enter the competition for the chance to win $5,000 for your cause or charity, plus $500 travel money*.

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*The Travel Heroes competition is only open to Australian and New Zealand residents aged 18 or over. The entry period ends at 10:59am AEDST on 7th November 2016. Limit 1 entry per person & 1 entry per email address. The Travel Heroes Finalist Pack consists of a Turkish Murkish Super Soft Towel and an ecococoon Retro Chic 4 Cup Set. Further terms and conditions apply. View the full Terms and Conditions.

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