Preparing for my Volunteer Trip to Kenya

Preparing for my Volunteer Trip to Kenya

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In less than five months, I’ll be traveling to Africa on a volunteer trip to Kenya. I’ve got lots of planning to do!

Last month, I announced that I’m going to be traveling to Kenya on a volunteer trip to help animals in the Great Rift Valley. I’ve done the main things first: filled out the paperwork for the volunteer company, put my deposit down for the experience, went to the travel clinic and got my Hepatitis A vaccine, and booked my flight to Kenya. I have a lot of planning to do, but I’m slowly checking things off my list. I do have some time to prepare for this trip; however, I know how quickly time can creep up and soon enough, I’ll be on my way.


It’s a 50 litre rolling backpack, which seems like the perfect compromise between a backpack and a suitcase. I can carry it on my back or tow it behind me, depending on the situation. This particular wheeled backpack is made by High Sierra. It also has a removable day pack on the front, making it super versatile. I’ll have to see how much I still love it after testing it out when I go to Kenya in March, but I think it’s a great purchase.

Here’s a great article that makes packing for an African safari easy!


This volunteer trip isn’t cheap, so I’ve been trying my best to fundraise at least a portion of it. I have offered some incentives on my volunteer fundraising page for those who choose to donate (thank you to everyone who has donated so far!). I recently opened an Etsy store with all of the proceeds going straight towards volunteering in Kenya. Many years ago, I used to have a shop on Etsy called Lost Mitten. I have re-opened that shop selling handmade knitwear. Everything in the shop is 100% vegan and it’s all handmade by me! Introducing: Lost Mitten!

Yes, that’s me in the top photo wearing one of the knit hats for sale in my store. Currently, I’m selling slouchy hats, fingerless gloves, scarves, and purses. More things will be added each day. If you would like anything in a particular colour, feel free to make a custom request! Everything is warm for the fall, winter, and spring weather. Plus, you might want to purchase something from my shop for your loved ones for Christmas – and you’ll be helping a great cause, too!

(Thinking of opening your own Etsy shop? Here’s a promo link that will give you 40 free listings! It also gives me 40 free listings. Win-win!)


Thank you to everyone who helped me travel to Africa on a volunteer trip! Here are some articles about my trip:

11 Responses

  1. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    | Reply

    I wish I had known sooner. My son needs red, fingerless gloves for Halloween. Anyways, I’ll go have a look at your Etsy store, even though it’s still summer weather in Texas. I like that rolling backpack you picked out.

  2. Mama Munchkin
    | Reply

    You are going to have such an amazing trip. I just returned from Ethiopia for the second time and although its not as luxurious as some of my travels its one that’s closest to my heart for sure. I posted a list for third world travel on my blog in case you find it helpful-

  3. Carmen | Carmen's Luxury Travel
    | Reply

    Africa is on my bucket list. I’m sure it’s a lot different when you go volunteer verses traveling on vacation. That’s great that you are doing that. I’m sure it’s going to be an incredible experience working with the animals.

  4. Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    | Reply

    How exciting taking a volunteering holiday. I look forward to hearing how this compares to a regular trip.
    You will love Kenya, I have been a couple of times – one of my most favourite places to visit!

  5. Vicki Green
    | Reply

    What an exciting adventure. I have a similar rolling backpack and I love it. I would think your beautiful hand knit creations on Etsy would be popular items, especially with winter on the way.

  6. XX, Will Travel
    | Reply

    So excited for you! I am contemplating a volunteer trip abroad, too. Can’t wait to read about your trip!

  7. Monica
    | Reply

    Is the backback without a waist belt comfortable?

  8. Rhonda Albom
    | Reply

    You knitting is really impressive. Good luck with the fund raising. As for the back pack, ours also has a removable day pack, and we love it.

  9. Sophia
    | Reply

    How old do you have to be to volunteer abroad? I’ve been wanting to for so long but I think for most places you have to be 18+?

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Sophia, I’m not sure – it is likely different with each program. I know for people under 18, there are volunteering abroad programs aimed at younger people. I think you would best look into the program that you’re interested in doing and see what the age requirements are.

    • Hannah
      | Reply

      Sophia, I just read your comment…I am not sure about exact ages either but I did read the book called “Wide Open World” by John Marshall and how is family (husband, wife & 2 teenage kids I think they were maybe 14 & 17?) volunteered for 6 months. Anyway, he does have a little info in the last chapter about how they did it with kids/where to look etc. Its a really inspiring book!

      Lauren, I am really excited to read about your adventures! Your knitted goods look awesome, but since I live on a subtropical island in Japan I don’t have too much use for warm stuff otherwise I totally would have brought something!

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