The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook PDF ñ The Volunteer

The Volunteer Traveler's Handbook 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. 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 slig 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 in.Although 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 hometown.The 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 questions I wouldn t have realized I should have asked Originally written for Books and Pals book blog May have received a free review copy Travelers of any age, any background, and any travel style can find a way to give back to the communities they visit.This 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 how.But this is not a deluded book, one that explains how easy Travelers of any age, any background, and any travel style can find a way to give back to the communities they visit.This 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 how.But 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 doharm 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 world.There 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 Very useful book with a lot of things to take into account that otherwise I wouldn t have considered. 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 is This is the must have guidebook for anyone who wants to give back while on the road because it is comprehensive and comes full 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 is This 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 entails.In the book s first section titled Laying the Groundwork, it answers basic questions 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 skills.The 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 satisfying.Part 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 four.One 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 experience.If anyone is capable and qualified 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 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 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 quickly 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 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


About the Author: Shannon O'Donnell

Shannon O Donnell left in 2008 on a year long round the world trip That initial trip turned into an open ended journey around the world and over the years she has shared her travel stories and photography on her travel blog, A Little Adrift Her travel focus gradually shifted, and Shannon launched her passion project, Grassroots Volunteering.org a community sourced database of local, sustainable organizations all over the world In tandem with her volunteering site, Shannon published The Volunteer Traveler s Handbook to share ethical ways to volunteer abroad On visits home to North America, she speaks about international travel and voluntourism.


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