Traveller wants to lend a hand along the way

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 15:02 07/11/2012

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Travel and seeing the world can mostly be seen as quite a selfish pursuit; you do it for yourself and the enjoyment you can get out of it, but soon-to-be Marlburian, Corrine Lynskey has decided to use her love of travelling to help the less fortunate.

On October 29 she arrived in Kathmandu in Nepal to volunteer for a month at an orphanage, giving her time and money to enrich the lives of orphaned children.

"As ridiculously fun as drinking and partying in foreign cities is, I wanted a rewarding experience where I could use my time as a useful contribution. I began to think of what I could do, and volunteering jumped out," said Corrine, who will be moving to Blenheim to live with her partner, Richard Budny.

"He has been amazingly supportive.

"I'm sure that he thinks I've lost my mind to do this, and is always worrying, but he's been so endlessly encouraging."

Originally from Wellington, Corrine has been living in Australia for the last 13 years, working long hours as a copywriter and blogger and saving as hard as she can to fund her travels. When she was 21 she saved up and did a three-week Contiki tour around Europe, sparking "insatiable case of wanderlust".

She has now travelled to England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and The Czech Republic, but will be settling in Blenheim for the foreseeable future.

She has never worked in an orphanage or similar environment before and, speaking before she arrived in Nepal, said that she expected it to be an eye-opening experience, rewarding, and she was feeling a little terrified.

Her choice to work at an orphanage is actually due to something her father used to say when she was growing up.

"One of my father's favourite expressions was, ‘any time that you think your life is difficult, or you think you've got something to complain about, let me know, and we'll spend some time volunteering at an orphanage, and discover what hardship really looks like'.

It might seem harsh, but I'm actually extremely grateful to him for instilling such an important perspective in me, because it often provided a sorely-needed reality check."

Getting involved with the orphanage work was, however, a bit of a internet based luck as Corinne surfed the web looking for organisations to volunteer through, stumbling across the International Volunteer HQ website.

One of the biggest challenges she thinks she will face will be the emotional challenge of the work.

"I'm expecting to work hard and probably shed more than a few tears. You know those renovations shows (on television), where you see elderly people crying out of happiness at their gardens and homes being made over?

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"I cry at those, so how am I expected to survive at an orphanage without having my heart broken?"

Despite this she has stuck with her plan and arrived safely in Nepal. She described her arrival as an eye-opening contrast between the beauty of the Himalayas and the poor conditions in which the people live.

Although Corrine worked hard to have enough for her trip it has never been about the money.

"I did set up a fundraising page today. The link is gofundme.com/1d7ceo.

"I'd never expect anyone to donate to me personally but if they'd like to make a contribution to the orphanage or something, I'm sure that would be greatly appreciated."

- The Marlborough Express

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