If you are following me for long enough, you may have noticed that I tend to end up volunteering in villages or small communities. Half is my decision and half is ‘fate’s’ decision. I say fate, cos that’s where I usually find most of the hosts.
I do find hosts in bigger places as well, but I have to be honest and tell you that I actually like to go in these small places.

At first, when I started my trip, I was a bit terrified about this idea. For real!

I am that kind of person who likes to socialize. I don’t mind being surrounded by people, talking, joking, and unraveling the secrets of the Universe. You got it.
Sometimes I would almost say that I might be addicted to people.

At first it didn’t seem so fun to go to some village, somewhere, and see what awaits me there. But I decided to see if the world will end for me and I would be as devastated as I thought I will be, or if I will survive.
As you can see, I survived :) And not only that I survived, but I learned a lot of lessons from staying in small communities.

Now I want to share with you the reasons why now I enjoy staying in these places and why should you consider them for your next trip.

Grandcamp-Maisy

I think the most important aspect of staying with a local, or in a village, is the fact that you don’t know what to expect.
If you go to Paris you expect to see Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower. And to be surrounded by lots of people who are in a hurry. If you go to a resort, you expect to be treated in a way and to get massages and stuff.
But when you go in a village you have almost not a clue what you’ll get into. And that’s good! Because, you see, this is how you get outside of your comfort zone. This is how you get to know yourself.

Trust me when I’m telling you that when you travel to small places you’ll get to know yourself.
Just the fact that you will be by yourself for some time, will make you know thyself better. But this is up to you. You can start getting to know yourself better soon, or after you’ll spend lots of time wasting it on irrelevant things.

It will make you braver.

You’ll have more courage after you’ll travel to villages and small communities. Not because it’s dangerous. Not at all! (on a side note, I think villages and smaller communities might be safer than most of the cities). But because getting out of your comfort zone shows you that you are capable of way much more things that you thought you were.

And that’s where courage comes out of.
From knowing that you are able to do a lot of stuff. From learning to trust yourself and to rely on your own strength and knowledge. From taking responsibility of your actions and decisions.

You’ll be more brave because you will discover that most of the paranoia is just inside your head. You will start realizing that a lot of things that you thought are real, are just projections and scenarios, which are not true.

Another reason why sometimes I need to go and volunteer in places like this is because of the calmness and tranquility. I’ve noticed a pattern in myself. Usually after staying for too long in cities, I like to go for a while to a small place.
All that calmness, the nature and peace helps me recharge my batteries.

Vanovice

Now, for example. As I am writing this article, I am sitting on a terrace, enjoying a coffee, with a dog and a cat fighting for my attention, while listening to birds, bees and nature singing for my inspiration. I won’t say “what else could you ask for?”, because there are other things you can add to this picture to make it even better. But this is good. It’s just perfect. For this moment and time is exactly what I need.

After you’ll spend some time alone, or without the so-used-to, socialization you will see that it’s not a tragedy if you are not always surrounded by people. You’ll start to understand and live that “cliché” that says “If you’re not comfortable with yourself, you won’t be comfortable with someone else either” – or something like that.

We are taught that solitude is something bad, something undesirable, something only people who have some problems like. But you should embrace it every now and then.

I am not saying to go and live in the woods for the rest of your life. We are, in fact, sociable beings. But every now and then get out of your comfort zone, be a bit more disconnected and more connected to yourself. Don’t be afraid of what you’ll find inside. Usually you’ll find great things and skills that you didn’t even think you have.

Let me know what are your reasons to go in smaller, and less known, places?