Thoughts, travels and inspiration

Tag: personaldevelopment

Five reasons to volunteer in 2020

Photo by Marcela Hernoux Photography

Last December I had the opportunity to be part of one of the biggest self-development event TEDx in Luxembourg City. Most people are familiar with the TEDx model of conferences: ideas worth sharing being delivered in 10 – 12 minute talks, made available to the public online, so that more people can have access to them.

From the importance of sharing knowledge to engaging ourselves for a cause, the TEDx conferences offer a possibility for everyone to grow not only as individuals, but also as a society. It’s meant to inspire, stimulate and motivate attendees, stirring up new and thought-provoking ideas and concepts.

This made me think of the act of volunteering: offering my time and services for free and not expecting payment in exchange. I realised throughout the process that the experience has given me so much that my time was actually paid, not in a pecuniary form, though.

Volunteering has numerous benefits and I would like to encourage you to think about it in 2020. Here is a modest list of 5 of these benefits that I felt were my paycheck.

1- Volunteering gives a sense of purpose

In a world going faster and faster, we sometimes feel stuck in a routine, doing the same actions again and again.

After long hours at the office, on the phone or on a road to meet clients, picking up the kids at school or enjoying a bit of free time with one or two beloved activities, we develop the “Sunday evening feeling” that the next week is another one before another break or holidays.

Volunteering offers a tremendous opportunity to be part of something bigger than us and to give our best for something that can change the life of many. It allows us to nourish our values and to transform us into an instrument of goodness, without the mechanised feeling of routine tasks.

With strong values of quality, respect and freedom, volunteering with TEDx offers me the opportunity to reflect on topics that can be interesting to develop my values and share them with the people around me.

It allows me to be part of a bigger group of bright minds that give their best to share knowledge with others.

2- Volunteering helps to develop deeper relationships with people

Volunteering is usually a privileged moment to meet a lot of people in a different context detached from the routine.

Listening to an older person who is retired and feeling lonely, giving a hand to a part of the community who is in need or offering some free time to teach a passion to kids or disadvantaged people is a fantastic opportunity to connect with others and build a strong relationship with them.

Offering my management skills to TEDx enabled me to meet people I sometimes work with in other contexts and develop a unique collaboration without any other interest than serving a cause I dearly care about. The interaction becomes more spontaneous and genuine, and the environment is more friendly and less competitive.

3- Volunteering is good for your career

Volunteering is also good for your career. As we all know, careers can be pretty linear with the same type of activities done with different companies at different levels of complexity over time.

Doing another type of activity, sometimes completely different in a volunteering role can turn into a chance of doing something different we like or haven’t had the opportunity to try before.

Once experienced, the volunteering activity can become a vector of experimentation and even change if successful, bringing a huge opportunity to target better things and even a career switch into a more appreciated position or sector.

Volunteering at TEDx offers me the opportunity to connect better with the crowd and the public and be in contact with events. It is a great platform for my passion for sharing knowledge and helping people, as well as assessment of practices and activities I would like to develop in the future.

4- Volunteering is good for the community

We are all part of a community of people working to make our lives better. Some having done this throughout their lives and others starting now, growing up to adulthood and getting their place in this community.

Through volunteering we can give back to those who are making our home or welcoming cities a good and safe place to grow as individuals, professionals and families. It allows us to provide a service and give something we know how to do well for the benefit of the society.

Participating at the TEDx adventure in Luxembourg City is for me a way of offering the Luxembourgish community something of value for having welcomed us so well from the time we arrived last year.

It gives me the opportunity to bring knowledge, care and thoughts to a country and city we love and want to see growing and thriving in the next coming years.

5- Volunteering is good for yourself

Finally, we are all here for a reason and the best way to be is to give in order to exist and grow. Volunteering is sharing, caring and growing for ourselves too, and it is extremely useful to do so.

It allows us to transform ourselves through our passions and see the immediate results with the people we are volunteering with and the others we offer our services.

The feeling and the emotions brought by the TEDx Luxembourg City Women event in December were absolutely astonishing. It was impressive to see people connecting as one and offering a unique moment of knowledge and passion to the crowd.

It was one of the moments where I felt the most at home in Luxembourg and I have build many friendships and connections around the event.

Photo by Marcela Hernoux Photography

To wrap up, volunteering is good for a lot of reasons and the ones I listed here were the ones that resonated the most with me. This doesn’t mean you won’t find others, maybe even more relevant for your personal view and needs. I believe everyone should volunteer even if it is once in their life time. You can be surprised to learn that it is as much about yourself as it is about the others you help.

Let me know your thoughts about it. Are you volunteering? Are you thinking about doing something like this? What does it make you feel? Please connect and share your opinion. I would be delighted to hear more about you and know how volunteering makes you feel 🙂

10 wonderful places to discover

From the time I have started this blog, I try to promote my thoughts for a better world.

Thinking, debating, offering ideas is key to build better lives for our families and the people we love.

Travelling is one of the best ways to open our minds and understand how others do things. It triggers our curiosity and enhances the respect we need to have for each other.

Over the last 10 years, I had numerous occasions to travel and to discover great places around the globe where I like to go relax, think and spend some good time.

Today I’d like to share a few spots that have inspired me to look at the world, understand and appreciate the beauty of it. Some of them are also not very obvious choices and can definitely amaze visitors. Let’s not wait, here are 10 places you need to discover soon!

Ireland

Ireland has fantastic sceneries and has been home for 10 years in my life. While Dublin City centre, the Guinness factory or the Cliffs of Moher are something to see, here are three places to enjoy aside from the crowd.

Dún Laoghaire is a town located at 20min in the South of Dublin and home to a lovely harbour and a couple of old Piers. Walking at the end of the day on one of them can offer you sceneries like below. Where? https://goo.gl/maps/qetaVzb8FFo2xDRq6

East Pier, Dún Laoghaire, Ireland

Slightly further South, Vico Road offers a splendid view on all the South Coast of Dublin up the towns of Bray and Greystones. You can go on foot from Dún Laoghaire, use the DART or the car to Killiney. Where? https://goo.gl/maps/BK3kiSiDmD62LCHe7

Vico Road, Killiney Hill, Dublin, Ireland

Forget about Dublin, head down to Cork and its beautiful English Market. Take the car and go to Kinsale for some fresh fish at the Bulman. Once done, drive to the extreme South and the Downmacpatrick Old Head. Stop before the private Golf Club and admire the landscape both on your left or on your right. Where? https://goo.gl/maps/vSs2nBc559p2KMm67

The Old Head of Kinsale, Cork, Ireland

Portugal

Portugal is a gem in Europe with one of the nicest food and landscapes in Europe. Starting in Lisbon, take the end of the day to go and admire the sunset from Miradouro da Graça. The light on the bridge reflecting all over the city is a perfect time for the shot of the day. Where? https://goo.gl/maps/V184Rz3NpXcsZDS8A

Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon, Portugal

Leaving the city and driving North to the region of Leiria, take some time to lose yourself in the beautiful streets of Torres Vedras. Admire the blue sky and the sun reflecting on the tiles after a good lunch in town… Where? https://goo.gl/maps/cBW4y6C7ujELhp8K8

Torres Vedras, Portugal

At the West of Lisbon, Cascais is a must-see town close to the ocean. Go for a stroll on the harbour to get a bit of quietness from the tourists and enjoy the view. Best of all, the picture was taken in February 🙂 Where? https://goo.gl/maps/Gqzv2qvj9Vodar3v8

Cascais, Portugal

Before leaving Portugal for another destination, just take one of the fast ALFA and nonetheless cheap trains to go to Porto. Spend a few days in town and cross the Dom Luis Bridge a few times to admire both sides of the city from it… Where? https://goo.gl/maps/6xb6Uvm8yaFGgVfX7

Ponte de Dom Luís I, Porto, Portugal

France

Plenty of pictures can describe France from the Eiffel tower, one of its famous monuments. Just for a change, I bring you to the Alps and Le Grand Bornand, close to Annecy. Fantastic mountain village, you will be able to eat good food, plenty of cheese and also admire la Chaine de Aravis.. Where? https://goo.gl/maps/7gUZvdJq2KMU6FDE7

Le Grand Bornand, France

Spain

What about a weekend in Spain and sunny Catalonia? Take some time to visit the Parc Guëll and admire some of the nicest views of the city. Be ready for a bit of hilly walk but the reward is definitely worth it! Where? https://goo.gl/maps/GVhCw2zp6dwteQpm7

Parc Güell, Barcelona, Spain

Arizona

Last but not least, let me share with you, one of my favourite pictures of 2013 and a trip to Phoenix in Arizona (US). This is not the closest place to Europe and not the most known in America but I highly recommend it. People are very nice and food very tasty as well 🙂

Phoenix, Arizona (US)

Do you also love travelling? Do you enjoy taking pictures? Feel free to drop me a line or comment on this article. I would love to publish more during the summer among other more academic articles.

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