Why you don’t need to be Nervous for an Expedition
Joining an Opwall expedition is super exciting, but we also know that it can be a scary prospect! There are lots of things to consider, but it is also an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We have put a list of reasons together for you about why you don’t need to worry to help settle some nerves and to get you excited for an amazing time away with us!
Cost is of course a big one. Our expeditions do have a cost associated with them, which covers food, accommodation, lectures, equipment, research permits and more. We completely understand that not many people will have that money available, which is why we have a dedicated fundraising team ready to help!
We encourage you to book your spot on an expedition early so that you have access to our fundraising support for as long as possible. This gives you lots of time to apply for grants, earn money through a job and to organize fundraising events! Our team can help with grant applications and letters of sponsorship and ideas. We also have some grants that you can apply for through Opwall!
The vast majority of our volunteers fundraise a large portion of their expedition fees, so we have lots of experience with supporting volunteers through this process. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
Photo by Jack Hague
Our expeditions are often located in remote areas of the globe in places where you could encounter dangerous wildlife. We publish risk assessments for each site every year on our website, where you can read in detail about every step we take to minimize risk to all volunteers and staff.
We have evacuation plans for every eventuality and know the locations of all nearby medical facilities. We also monitor political situations closely and we have strict guidelines on how to handle species and what to do if you have an unexpected encounter. If you are worried about anything within an expedition country you can contact the country manager with any questions you have.
Going somewhere on your own is a scary experience, but it can also be so rewarding too! Joining one of our expeditions on your own is also an amazing way to make new friends. You will meet volunteers and staff who share your enthusiasm for wildlife and protecting the natural world, and the shared experiences you have will be unforgettable!
For many of our volunteers this is the first time they have flown/travelled alone. To make this easier we put together group chats for volunteers to communicate with others who are going to the same country as them beforehand. Many then coordinate flying together, which is a great way to meet people early, and make travelling less stressful!
Photo by Megan Frain
Although potentially not quite as stressful, food is a key part of an expedition, and can really affect your mood after a long day surveying! Our catering is often done by a local community, and we can provide for dietary preferences and allergies as long as you let us know in advance. We have many vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs join us and are used to catering for these.
If you are concerned about a specific allergy/preference just get in touch at email@example.com to ask about it!
Many volunteers are worried about not knowing what their expedition will be like beforehand. To combat this we have training pages which we give volunteers access to before their expedition. Here you can find lots of useful resources to help such as videos about the site, kit lists, recommended reading and more! There are also plenty of blogs on our website where previous volunteers have written about their own experiences on expedition with us and what it was like!
We hope this settled the nerves, and we look forward to seeing you this summer!