Posts Tagged ‘voluntourism’

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LuxuryBackpacking: Backpacking & Independent Travel

Kassim Qureshi has created a site that caters to every type of person interested in traveling. Between his own memoirs, guest articles, recommendations, tips and just some fun miscellaneous stuff, LuxuryBackpacking will definitely tickle your travel bone. It’s sort of like your “funny bone” but better because it’s about travel.

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Grantourismo! An Interview with Lara Dunston & Terence Carter

In 2008, Lara Dunston was interviewed about her life as a travel writer and her experiences traveling with her husband, Terry Carter, who is also a travel writer, photographer and now – an expert in the art of eggs – culinary-style. (You think I’m kidding…)

Together, they have taken on a new project, Grantourismo!, which has them traveling from their home-base-storage-unit in Dubai to a new destination every two weeks over the next twelve months.

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Volunteerism vs. Voluntourism: Are They Synonymous?

A few years ago I joined a travel-related website while researching a trip to Panama. Some of you know will know it as I have spent quite a bit of my online time over there and one of the common questions posed in the forums deals with volunteerism. “This company charges $X,XXX for a 2 month program. Is that cheap?” or “Is this company on the up & up?” or “Shouldn’t volunteering be free as long as I get there? I’m volunteering, after all.” All good questions. Ones that make me think daily as I remember volunteerism as something you did not pay for, except your transportation to get where you were needed.

Travel Guy

After spending 11 months in Ecuador volunteering as an English teacher, Jon Brandt is back in the US biding his time before his next trip. Destination: Buenos Aires.

The Value of Voluntourism: Interview with Stephen Greenwood

In a time when voluntourism – the act of travelling to volunteer, or volunteering to travel – is becoming big business, there is one question I keep coming back to: Does voluntourism help the people who are supposedly being served, or is it primarily for the benefit of the volunteer?

It’s the question I asked Brian Hermon about his volunteer work in Ghana; and it’s the same question I asked Chris Guillebeau, who also volunteered for a time in Africa.

And now Stephen Greenwood. Last year, Stephen spent five months living in Tanzania, shooting footage for a documentary and film about an orphanage in Arusha, a city in northern Tanzania. His blog, Observations, is a treasure chest of insightful snippets, beautiful photos and probing questions. After spending an afternoon browsing through, I asked Stephen to share more about his experiences in Tanzania.

Why We Travel: Mark Shrime’s Story

All it took was a nun.

The flight from New York City to Paris and on to Benin was about as uneventful as flights go; maybe half an hour of turbulence and two complimentary glasses of cognac rocked the entire sixteen hours of travel. Until I landed in Benin, the only thing eventful that had happened to me was that, despite my best efforts, I thoroughly and completely lost an armrest war to my left-hand neighbor, who seemed to consider that his window-seat ticket also bought him a controlling share in the adjacent aisle seat.

Given that he was approximately double my size (you will see…this promises to be a recurring theme), I’m surprised I lasted as long as I did—which, to be fair, was only about 27 minutes. I had little choice but to become intimately familiar with the contralateral armrest, and each passing, just-wide-enough-to-make-you-rue-elbows, duty-free-stocked beverage cart propelled by plastic smiles.

Voluntourism: Choosing the Right Placement For You

I was conducting a voluntourism workshop not so long ago. Some participants were new to voluntourism and wanted to learn more, some were already semi-veterans of several volunteer tours of duty and wanted to learn how to “do-it-yourself” on a budget. But a couple of participants were rather disgruntled and unhappy former volunteers. They came to complain, though to no one in particular and voice their concerns.

They said they had followed all voluntouring instructions they’d read about to the letter and yet had been totally disappointed with their volunteering experiences. We sat down to chat after the workshop and one thing became immediately apparent. “Nobody told us that before,” they said. “If they had, maybe we would have enjoyed it more,” they said, “and maybe we would have chosen better.”

No, they did not end up with a crooked voluntour operator. Their provider arranged exactly what was promised. So what went wrong? Nothing really. Except for the participants’ initial choice of work.

How You Can Change the World Through Volunteer Work

Find a need. Fill a need.

For many of us there comes a point in life, when you take pause, look around and realize we have it pretty good. It’s that moment when you discover that no matter how many points the Dow has dropped, or how high gas prices have become, we still live like kings and queens compared to a lot of people in the world. Then comes the wave of guilt, compassion, inspiration – whatever it is that moves a person to say: “ I want to do something. I, (insert full name here), want to make a difference.”

Travel and Volunteer Differently: Interview with Anna Etmanska

Anna Etmanska likes to do things a bit differently. While most of the world is off prefers such tried-and-true destinations as France, Italy or Thailand, Anna opts to spend her days in off-the-beaten track locations – like Bahrain, or far-north Sweden. And while many people are signing up for ready-made volunteer packages sold by voluntourism agencies, Anna likes to get out there and organise her own volunteer work.

In this interview, Anna talks about volunteering, writing, and her inspiration to travel.

Volunteer Work in Ghana: Interview with Brian Hermon

How valuable are volunteer experiences? And who do they benefit the most: the volunteer or the community being served?

Brian Hermon has done his fair share of volunteering, from an early two-week experience in Costa Rica to longer-term projects in Tanzania, Vietnam, and now Ghana.

In this interview with TravelBlogs, Brian talks about the impact volunteering has had on his life, the work he is doing in Ghana, and some of the difficulties of life in Africa.

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