Before You Leave Home

Before setting off on my travels in years past, I would always purchased a bunch of South African souvenirs to hand out – whether it was to a taxi driver who went out of his way to be helpful, to someone who gave me directions with a smile, a waitron who provided great service – to name just a few. I made sure it was something that the recipient would not discard the moment my back was turned or it ended up in the bottom drawer in the cupboard. The feeling you get from surprising someone is so great, you end up having a really feel-good day. Fridge magnets are the most versatile, the cheapest and small enough to stuff a few in your pocket when you head out sightseeing.

So what do you bring out with you?

  • Fridge Magnets

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  • Key Rings

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Journaling Kit

Before you leave home, create a journaling kit to bring along to record all your favourite moments, favourite volunteer friends, favourite places, etc. You will have opportunity during load shedding to catch up on your journaling – yes, you will have bright LED lighting which will light up the lounge. Remember to light a fire and whilst journaling, let the calming sound of the crackling fire, soothe you. Oh yes, remember that glass of wine! Then journal the events of the day. So here are our suggestions for a journaling kit:

  • A moleskin A5 diary or any other diary which catches your eye

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  • Different coloured pens, patterned tape or glue stickstationary_620x550
  • Print out travel printables (check out Pinterest) and journaling cards
  • A set of clear acrylic travel stamps with acid-free ink pad
  • Map of Cape Town and Western Cape or the area you will be going to
  • Zip around case to carry your supplies and journal conveniently in one place


Another great idea is to stick a heavy bonded envelope into the back of your journal into which you can store brochures, tickets and other items which you would like to paste into your journal. When you get the urge to journal you won’t have to dig around looking for all your things so keeping them in one place is always a good idea. It is so easy if you are well planned before heading off to a foreign land to start your volunteering.

Happy Volunteering!