#1 Sep 23rd, 2001, 05:32
Dualtagh Future Member
Unlike most of you here on these forums i have never been to India. I am 19 and intend to travel on my own to India in December. I have contemplated going on one of these 'voluntary projects' which cost quite a considerable amount of money. The main reason for going is to experience India and also to do voluntary work. Can anyone recommend or does anyone know of voluntary projects/opportunities that they recommend ?
Also i get conflicting advice when i mention vaccinations, can anyone shed some light on their experiences ?
Did anyone else travel to india on their own at 19 ? I have so many questions ......
This forum is fantastic.

#2 Sep 23rd, 2001, 09:21
Rod Future Member


You need to check your tetanus and polio, but you should do this anyway wherever you are.

You don't need a cholera jab as these are largely ineffective.

A Hepatitis A jab is a good idea, you don't need to worry about Hep B any more than you would at home and this depends very much on your sexual practices, it shares transmission routes with HIV. Stay safe and you'll be okay.

Typhoid protection is either by a jab or orally, the jab lasts longer and can be boosted later for long term protection. This is really a must.

Everybody will recommend taking malaria tablets whilst over here - a good idea if you are anxious about these things but they taste awful and they are not always necessary, some areas are malarial and others aren't. They may be a good idea to reassure people that oyu are taking it all seriously! Just don't let them dissolve on your tongue.

Here in Kerala there are loads of church run voluntary agencies so try asking around the church run NGOs where you are and see if they have contacts in India.

Go for it and have fun.
#3 Sep 24th, 2001, 03:12
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Aug 2001
New Joisey for now
  • indiamike is offline
Hi Dualtagh,
Rod gives some good advice on vaccinations and I totally agree with it, especially about tetanus and polio.

I have met many people traveling in India about your age (I am feeling old now) and the thing I have to say is "go for it now" don't wait and don't think twice about it.

Many times you will hear people older than you saying "I wish I did that when I was younger", well it's all true, do it now while you have the chance.

For me I am 33 and each year it becomes tougher and tougher to be able to travel.

So go for it, have fun, and when you return you will have a whole new perspective on life.

#4 Sep 24th, 2001, 04:53
Join Date:
Aug 2001
San Francisco
  • KathSF is offline

Do it!


I started my solo-travel adventures when I was 19. Not to India at that age, and not even solo by choice at that time (friend who was supposed to accompany me on my 7-month trip pulled out at the last minute, so I went alone). But I realized quickly that travelling solo has so many advantages that I've travelled solo by choice since then.

Being alone, you become very approachable - both to locals and to other travellers. You'll meet a zillion people, and be able to hook-up with short term travel companions wherever you go. In other words, chances are that you'll only really be "alone" when you chose to be alone.

And I agree with indiamike that you'll meet plenty of people around your age in India.

Have a fabulous trip!

- Kath
Happy trails!
#5 Oct 4th, 2001, 03:53
Join Date:
Oct 2001
  • Julie is offline
If youve got the chance to travel get yourself out there! It must be my biggest regret in life that I didnt go when I was younger and now have to satisfy myself with a couple of weeks holiday twice a year. The rest of my time is spent being a really frustrated armchair traveller but at least as theres sites like this and TT to read it allows me a glimpse into what I have missed.

But looking on the bright side...I still have it all to look forward to and one day I will be a traveller as well as a tourist!
#6 Jan 11th, 2002, 23:14
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Nov 2001
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  • Bryan is offline

Go for It mate

The vaccinations are definites ...they cost little (in UK) and even if for just peace of mind worth it
As for malaria tablets...the jury is out and there are alot of postings on LP thorn tree and here so you should be able to make a choice on that one with the relevent info ...I personally dont take them but others I've met do
As for being 19 and goin to India...mate youre gonna have the time of your life.
You couldn't have picked a better country
It really is like no where else...take it as it comes and go with the flow
Ive been travelling since about the same as you are now (Im 31 now) and that has mostly been done alone
All I can say is ...from the moment you step on the plane you'll be meeting people
Unlike most places in the west people actually are interested in meeting new people and there is always someone going your way...being alone?....No chance mate
On a final note there is a lot of voluntary workers in Calcutta ...especially alot of Irish for some reason working witht he street kids...By the way Calcutta is an incredible city ...trully one of the worlds greatest...and the best named bar in Asia ...The Rambo!!!!! Sawdust seedy joint with aircon...quality
Anyway mate Ive rambled on for too long...Your gonna have a great one and if anyopne tells you otherwise use that old Irish phrase Pogue Ma Hone

all the best
#7 Jan 13th, 2002, 04:18
Join Date:
Sep 2001
  • abraxus is offline

Thumbs up Voluntary work - Actually abraxus's wife

I travelled around India solo at 19 - a single white female. I ended up traveling a lot and doing some voluntary work in Calcutta. Ask around Sudder St and especially the Salvation Army Red Shield Guest House for info on voluntary work. i worked for the Mr Jack organisation which involved handing out medications perscribed by doctors to people living in the slums of Calcutta. It took place starting in the early morning on the banks of the Hooghly River.

I met another guy who did some work in a village with blind people. Sounds interesting but he organised it before he left and I found this sort of work hard to find without having done the same.

Enjoy traveling - it's great on your own as kathSF stated you are very approachable and it is actually hard to find time to yourself which is ok coz everyone you meet is so interesting and you'll have loads of fun.

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