The OG Experience

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What to Expect on an OG Program

Ethical travel is at the crux of our philosophy. We take local transportation, we eat local food, and we sleep according to local standards. We make our programs as financially accessible as possible while packing them with adventure, community service, and education.

 If you’re looking for a tour bus to take you to a pat-on-the-back volunteer project, you’re in the wrong place.

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Redefining Volunteering

We partner with local organizations that exist before we arrive, appreciate our support during our time there, and will continue their work after we leave. Though we get our hands dirty on community-requested projects, more of our time is spent learning from our partners to understand the underlying issues and challenges they face.

“From spending time working in the remote hill tribes of Thailand, to facilitating leadership programs for youth in Cambodia – every experience was engaging, authentic, and unforgettable.”

– Fiona Kiernan, OG 2010

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Experiential Education

Our programs examine the issues facing each region through the eyes of the local and international leaders attempting to solve them. Our Program Leaders facilitate meaningful discussions and mind-blowing workshops that will challenge you to think critically about what it means to make a difference.


“Out of all the volunteer trips I’ve been on, this has been the only one that allowed us to question our motives and actions – and the willingness to do so shows how much OG cares about the quality and intention of their programs.”

–Gillian Murphy, OG 2012

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Planned Daily Excursions

We organize a thoughtful itinerary for every day that you travel with us. Treks in mountainous regions, meetings with local activists, comfortable homestays, and delicious local dishes… all of these daily details are organized for your team.

“Our program was thoughtfully designed and expertly executed by skilled and knowledgeable Program Leaders. The experiences and learning will be a part of me forever! OG has created an amazing set of learning and growth opportunities.”

– Simon Galton, OG 2020

Where do you want to go?

Get ready to be shown a side of these places you never see, hear or know about. Each of our programs examines the complexities and lived realities on the ground, sharing the experience with a small group of open-minded travellers.

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Immersive Experience

Our programs are designed to uncover the on-the-ground realities of each region we go to. Our teams eat local food, use local transport, learn the local language, and are often welcomed into the homes of our partners.


“With OG you are not getting a censored version of the places you are visiting. You learn, smell, see, and truly feel and experience what it means to be where you are.”

– Hannah Hirsz, OG 2012

Intimate Groups

A close-knit group of 8-14 people allows for the perfect blend of intimacy, flexibility, and challenge. Small teams are more sustainable for our hosts and provide access to places that big tours can’t reach. Traveling together allows us to hear new perspectives and learn from each other’s diverse experiences.

“The OG crew you show up with is more than just a bunch of random people; by the end of the trip they become your family and great friends.”

– Bryan Adams, OG 2012

Cultivating Self-Sufficiency

Our goal is to facilitate experiences, not manufacture them. Our program leaders will show you how to thrive in a new country during your time together. Our longest programs provide Independent Travel Time so that you can put your newly developed skills to the test and explore in your own way.

“Going with an organization like OG allows you to explore all the possibilities, pushes your boundaries, and teaches you to be a global citizen, with a passion for adventure.”

– Kandace Parks, OG 2013


We know that the cost of international travel can be high, but we’ve committed ourselves to offering something that everyone can access, regardless of economic background.

“Operation Groundswell has changed the way I want to travel. Everyone should have an experience like this…it will change you for the better!”

– Marlee Huston, OG 2014


We understand that diving into an experience like this is not a decision to be made lightly. If you need more information to share and discuss with your family or friends, there’s lots we can do to help!

If Not Now, Then When?