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Immersion Travel USA: The Best and Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living, and Learning Excursions (Immersion Travel USA) Paperback – September 17, 2008
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“. Sheryl Kayne’s provides a refreshing approach to travel within the United States. Instead of cataloging landmarks, this book guides you to meaningful travel based on volunteering, working or learning experiences. Kayne invites you to engage authentically with unique regional cultures for a trip that is sure to enrich your life and that of the locals.” — Society of American Travel Writers Foundation
About the Author
Sheryl Kayne has dedicated the last few years of her life to exploring immersion travel and volunteer opportunities around the U.S. Most recently the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico, Kayne has traveled to Great Britain, Europe, the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Middle East, South America, Canada, and 46 states in the U.S., and has worked in many of the places she has visited in a variety of positions. She is an Adjunct Professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, where she resides when she’s not off on an immersion travel opportunity. Kayne has experience in stand-up comedy on the New York circuit and her work has been appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Shape, American Profile, Hadassah, and Parents magazine. She has appeared on MTV, CNN, ABC Weekend Evening News, and NPR.
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Immersion trips are for everyone (young and old, rich and not). In fact, immersion travel can encompass a period of less than a day, even in your own hometown. A portion of Kayne's definition of immersion travel is "taking an active part in where you visit." The book is primarily divided into five chapters: Helping, Learning, Working, Caring, and Playing. The book has over 400 pages, so each chapter has dozens of listings. Each listing has contact information, rates, and an explanation. Many entries have accompanying personal stories; they add real weight, as we are mot just reading a travel writer's list of activities.
Many entries are well-known, such as working for the National Park Service, caretaking properties, sports camps, houseboat rentals, and route 66 tours. There are also cooking schools and history, science, and archaeological opportunities. Needless to say, there is something for everyone. A sample of fascinating entries include astronaut camp for adults, coral reef checking, humpback whale counting, and cowboy poetry gatherings. Some entries include suggestions for nearby lodging and dining--but that is not the main purpose. The purpose is to list meaningful trips and it does very well.
I imagine there will be international editions published in the future. I look forward to them.
Reviewed January 2009 by Charles McCool at LowerAirfares.com
Experience an archaeological dig, volunteer at a national park, or play at the NY Yankees fantasy camp--If you love to travel, whether you are just getting started, or have traveled extensively, you will surely enjoy this book as much as I do.