Ever wonder what else is there to life?
What else you can do in life?
I did so many times back when I was home. I think I may have answered that hindering questions finally. Travelling is absolutely amazing and exhilarating but it’s not as fulfilling as I thought it was. I loved seeing new sights, exploring endless new places, meeting new people from everywhere, learning new cultures, tasting new foods and taking in all these different architecture. But it can be tiring… exhausting. If you’ve ever travel long term or backpacked, you must know the feeling.
I never stayed anywhere longer than a week. And no country longer than a month beside the places I’ve lived. I knew I wanted to be part of a community life and get my hands into what’s authentic. The rawness of life as a local. The same struggles, some type of routine, everyday hustle or lack of, live and celebrate the everyday as well as the holidays with the people.
In January , I decided to join workaway.com. If you haven’t heard about it, you should definitely check it out. It’s a website that has global footprint for hosts and workaways (volunteers). You sign up for a year subscription either as a single or couple for a nominal fee. For a single person, it is $29usd (as of when I signed up early 2017). You can search projects based on different field types, countries, cities, specifics. Projects can be filtered by special interest like education, farming, animal care, general maintenance, computer, tourism and loads more.
I scrubbed through the projects for Malaysia and something pulled me to Yellow House KL. It is a social enterprises started about 5 years ago in Kuala Lumpur by Shyam Priah. She was previously a political columnist, corporate social responsibility consultant as well as possess loads of past career expertise. She started this with the idea of giving back, turning her home into a backpacker homestay focused around volunteerism. She partners with local chairty program as well as initial her own projects.
She partners with local chairty program such as the refugee school to help refugees practice conversational education for interviews to integrate back into another country; swim with special need children; soup kitchen; with animal organization such as Malaysian dogs deserve better; her own projects called street salon which washes and cuts hair of homeless and urban poor.
I wasn’t sure what to expect entering Yellow House KL but I can only say good things. You learn a lot. You learn about Yellow House, Malaysia, it’s culture, the community, the people and about yourself. I’ve learned more about understanding and tolerance. It’s not always about what is available for you to help in but what you can provide, what you can get involved in, what you can learn. It’s never as easy as it seem. Though something as simple as scooping rice to a stranger is one simple singular action, it means a lot more. It can lead to a conversation to learn about their story. It can provide you and the other person that you are more than a person on the street but that you both can relate and a connection can be made. It can open up the gates to what can be done all over the world. Simple actions, initiatives can lead to the unlimited potentials everywhere. Exposure and experience makes a world of difference.
As a part of my experience at Yellow House KL, I created a video. The first of any type of creative on this level I’ve ever made. I was a bit timid about putting myself out there as not only a voice but my face on representing and sharing what Yellow House has to offer. But with a loads of support from fellow volunteers, Shyam, I am very happy I went through it. The feedback and response have been overwhelming positive. I’m extremely grateful for it.
Check the video here: Yellow House KL (Angela)
It has loads more information, contacts and photos.
I want to thank Yellow House, Shyam and all the amazing volunteers I’ve met along the way for an sweet lifetime experience. It’ll always be a part of me. It taught me that I can be part of community. It taught me who I am. It taught me what I am capable of. Also it ultimately taught me what everyone else is capable of. Never doubt anyone. And most importantly, never doubt yourself.
Volunteering doesn’t take much. Selfless acts should never be a chore. It should come from the heart and done wholeheartedly with your soul, mind, body.
I look forward to other endeavors that come my way.
Live, Learn, Love soulfully!
Angela in wonderland // Follow me on IG @jelloooh #jellooohexploration