Travelling the world is a once in a lifetime experience, but to make it even more memorable, choose to fit in voluntary work abroad during your travels. This can add an extra element of adventure to your trip and allow you to give something back to the places you've visited.
Whether you're travelling exclusively within one continent such as Asia or Africa, or you're going around the world, making time to help out in one of the communities you pass through along the way can allow you to experience a more authentic side to the country you're in.
Here are three ideas that could make for a particularly worthwhile and thrilling experience.
Care for elephants in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is the ultimate destination for thrillseekers, being home to a world of landscapes that range from dense forests where your ears are filled with the cries of monkeys, to palm-fringed beaches that are a true slice of paradise. While you're here, you can meet the local people of Wasgamuwa National Park and learn about their culture and religion, go trekking to the Sigiriya rock fort on the hike of a lifetime or cycle through the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa - where you can also volunteer to help research the primates who live here.
However, perhaps the biggest adventure you will have is getting up close to the beautiful Indian elephants that call the island home. You will hear about initiatives that have included encouraging farmers to plant crops that are inedible for elephants, and learn about the experiences of the locals.
Wildlife monitoring in Namibia
Africa remains one of the most popular places to visit when travelling, while the opportunity to get immersed in nature is a real incentive to volunteer. With this in mind, why not combine the two by assisting on a cheetah conservation project in Namibia?
This thrilling scheme is run on a reserve measuring a staggering 22,000 hectares, where creatures like giraffe, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, impala and - of course - cheetahs roam. However, it is vital that we conserve places like this for future generations and protect the animals that live here.
That's why a project such as this is so worthwhile. You'll be responsible for helping with basic maintenance like repairing waterholes, taking down disused cattle fences and collecting old bones. You will also keep a keen eye on the resident cheetah population, helping to monitor and track these stunning big cats.
Childcare in Cambodia
There are few better places on the planet to really get off the beaten track than Cambodia, which is why it is fast becoming one of the must-visit destinations among adventure-seekers. There can be no more thrilling experience than learning about a culture so different to what you're used to. You will be taken to the Killing Fields - today known as the Choeung Ek museum - which is a concentration camp where thousands of people lost their lives, and also delve deeper into Cambodia's past by visiting the 12th century capital of Angkor Thom and the Terrace of the Leper King in Siem Reap.
Once you have learnt about its history, don't be surprised if you feel compelled to give something back to this beautiful country. You can take time out from your journey of discovery to volunteer at the orphanages of Phnom Penh, helping with the children's lessons and playing with them. A trip like this really is the adventure of a lifetime.