The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook MOBI ☆ The

The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook guides new and veteran travelers through the challenges of finding vetting and choosing their ideal volunteer experience First hand stories photos and practical advice help interested volunteers find meaningful ways to give back to communities all over the world through volunteering but also through social enterprises and supporting sustainable tourism practices

7 thoughts on “The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook

  1. Shannon O& Shannon O& says:

    I read an interestingsuggestion here on Goodreads that I the author of this book should use this space as a place to talk about my motivations and inspirations for writing this book It seemed like an ideal place to share the journey that led me to write the bookMy volunteer travel journey started in 2008 when I left on what would become an open ended journey around the world Before leaving to travel service was an occasional part of my life—I volunteered regularly in my university years but I allowed my focus on service to dwindle during my years living in Los Angeles as an actressAfter two years in Los Angeles I wanted to change my life to embrace a different dream one I had always nurtured but had never expressed I decided to pack up my life and travel around the world for a year with the intention of volunteering and giving back to communities along the way while recording the entire journey on my travel blog A Little AdriftOver the course of my trip research word of mouth and on the ground discoveries led me to a range of volunteer experiences in Cambodia Thailand Laos Nepal Guatemala and several other countries Each experience was uniue and through each I learned lessons about how to identify projects that resonated with my volunteer goals while also supporting the organization’s needs More of the back story on the writing of this book is included on my siteBut as I traveled and I saw a gap in the volunteer industry and launched my passion project a community sourced database of independent volunteer opportunities philanthropic businesses and social enterprises located all over the world GrassrootsVolunteeringorg is a free open and dynamic source of information for volunteersThe Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook is an extension of my work on Grassroots Volunteering and looks closely at each aspect of the volunteer industry that every socially responsible traveler should understand It’s the missing pieces the uestions you never thought to ask My sole goal with this book is to give you the volunteer traveler the tools you need to make positive choices as you travel the worldI always welcome feedback and uestions and I would love to hear from you if there is any way I can help you travel or volunteer internationally

  2. Andy Hill Andy Hill says:

    This guide to volunteering around the world is a necessary addition to any traveler's library It contains everything you would need to know if you were planning on travelling and volunteering in any capacity or if you were merely curious about the subject If you are already on the road DO PICK IT UP NOW The author meticulously yet engagingly and succinctly covers every aspect of the experience from the planning period through when your boots are on the ground and all the things you can do after your time at an organization has come to an end As someone who has spent time volunteering at a handful of different projects and organizations throughout Southeast Asia I would say that this book is highly useful for a veteran volunteer or anyone interested in doing work overseas or at home that will change lives Her focus on progressive tactics of long term change as well as words of warning about the sometimes shady exploitative or just ineffectual practices of some groups are so important There is also an incredible amount of references for internet research contained in the book The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook is interspersed with interviews and accounts of the experiences of others as well as the astute and obviously well researched perspective of the author making it a lively read This is a book that gets dog eared and worn out uickly from extensive re referencing Highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested in this subject as well as those with years' experience under their belt Well done

  3. Al Al says:

    “It’s entirely possible to go abroad and then cloister yourself away from the newness and diversity to take the immersive aspect out of the cultural exchange—but really what’s the fun in that?”That line from The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook gives a good feel for how the author looks at travel as a means to get know a country its culture and people not spending all her hanging out in hotels and on the tourist sightseeing trail with all the other travelers If she can leave the country slightly improved when she leaves so much the better which is where volunteering comes inAlthough aimed primarily at travel to other countries much of the advice would apply to volunteer traveling domestically and some of the ideas for vetting volunteer opportunities would make sense if you’re just volunteering in your hometownThe book discusses different options for volunteer traveling along with the advantages and disadvantages of each approach It rarely takes a stance saying one is better than the other instead giving the information to decide what is best for your particular situation and goals Perhaps the biggest kudos I can give are that it answers the uestions I wouldn’t have realized I should have askedOriginally written for Books and Pals book blog May have received a free review copy

  4. Patrick Colgan Patrick Colgan says:

    Travelers of any age any background and any travel style can find a way to give back to the communities they visitThis is what this book is about and any passionate traveler not only those planning to volunteer will find it a great inspiring enriching read From long term independent volunteering to short voluntourism tours or the support of local social enterprises Shannon O'Donnel clearly shows that everybody can help and howBut this is not a deluded book one that explains how easy it is to change the world O'Donnels explains why sometimes people with good intentions can do harm than good and tackles the most important matters such as picking the right projects and how and why projects fail giving at the same time an interesting insight into the volunteering worldThere are also many real life volunteering stories which I found extremely interesting moving at times and a lot of travel advice especially useful for beginners and links to websites for further reading This is a rather short book just over 100 pages and seems aimed at beginners and people at their first or second volunteering experience but I think everybody can learn from it I have traveled for almost twenty years in over 40 countries and I still learned a lot

  5. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    This book is VERY helpful if you are someone like me who is wanting to volunteer abroad someday I found her tips and suggestions very helpful I also found I appreciated her opinions on particular matters like volunteering with Children it allowed me to think about what change I want to make in the world and how that is accomplished I recommend this as MANDATORY reading to anyone who wants to volunteer abroad in their lifetime

  6. JoAnna JoAnna says:

    I am embarrassed to admit that Shannon O’Donnell’s book The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook has been sitting on my desktop for about a year now I kept looking at the icon knowing that I needed to open it so I could review it but it wasn’t until I was doing research for an article on voluntourism that I finally got around to reading it and what an awesome read it isThis is the must have guidebook for anyone who wants to give back while on the road because it is comprehensive and comes full circle from the planning stages through the volunteer work itself Voluntourism is a murky area of the travel industry because there are so many ways to define the sector and many organizations are using the term simply to draw interested travelers without actually providing a sustainable meaningful experience for travelers and the communities in which they serve Because of the state of this muddled industry this handbook smartly begins with an introduction into what exactly international volunteering entailsIn the book’s first section titled “Laying the Groundwork” it answers basic uestions such as who should volunteer why people should consider volunteering understanding the motivation behind volunteer work as well as a deeper exploration into the effects and ethical issues inherent in the activity I know Shannon is a strong believer that people should understand the root causes that necessitate volunteer work so she also includes a comprehensive list of resources that potential volunteers should read This helps travelers appreciate the deeper issues behind the need to dig a well or teach women business skillsThe second part of The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook “Choosing the Right Experience” helps readers understand what they should be looking for when deciding on a volunteer organization and experience and it breaks down the differences between organized and independent experiences Extensive space is also given to the intersection of volunteering with family travel long term travel and practical skill application The other particularly important part of this section focuses on managing expectations I think this is a grossly under discussed and yet essential thing to think about in order for a volunteer stint to be both successful and satisfyingPart three “While on the Road” discusses a lot of basic travel tips such as cultural immersion and knowing how to travel with a light footprint The fourth section “The Nuts and Bolts of Travel” is similar with information on safety health cultural norms and the like Of the book’s sections these parts are the most common sense and universal in application for travelers in general However buried in this fourth section is an important piece of information about what to do if there are problems with the volunteer placement Don’t skip this section even if you skip the rest of part fourOne of the most valuable things that Shannon offers in The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook is a comprehensive resources collection There is a lot of information out there about voluntourism much of it fluff and incomplete In compiling all of these resources Shannon has saved readers a ridiculous amount of time and guesswork in planning a voluntourism experienceIf anyone is capable and ualified to write a book about volunteer travel it is Shannon The foundation of this book is based on her experiences volunteering in a variety of countries conditions and positions Her global volunteer work started in 2009 when she taught English to young monks in Nepal and she continues to serve many of the communities in which she travels today Her passion for ensuring travelers make well educated choices about volunteer work led her to launch Grassroots Volunteering which serves as a resource to empower travelers interested in volunteering on the road She is a trusted source and expert in this field and anyone thinking about embarking on a trip that involves volunteer work would be wise to invest in this book

  7. Maialen Maialen says:

    Very useful book with a lot of things to take into account that otherwise I wouldn't have considered

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