When deciding where to go on holiday, a travel agent took our brief for a mix of adventure and relaxation and suggested Borneo. The beauty of the place and education in conservation was a revelation.
I spent a month in Sabah (coincidentally where Raleigh operated for some years). My boyfriend and I heard that David Attenborough got his initial inspiration from climbing Mt. Kinabalu. Expecting it to be somewhat of a romantic stroll, we were surprised to be traversing across a granite rock face to reach the summit, from 2 am with head torches. Meanwhile, to our amazement, the nimble guide was literally sprinting up and down in falling-apart croc shoes!
We visited Orangutans in the wild, went to a turtle conservation island, on a jungle river canoe safari and went diving in clear blue waters, learning a lot about conservation (and its challenges) along the way. Already well traveled, the adventure and education on conservation was amazing.
While on the island, we were approached by a school to volunteer for a few weeks. It was a challenging experience not having the right resources to teach, especially with the older children who needed more advanced learning. I'd always donated or volunteered in some capacity, but that's when I became more aware of the need for organized volunteering. By volunteering for an organization such as Raleigh, you are provided the resources you need to make an impact, and ensure your time is well spent.