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Travel with Purpose: A Field Guide to Voluntourism Paperback – Illustrated, April 5, 2019

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Travel with Purpose: A Field Guide to Voluntourism
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  • Tie Up the Lion: An Insight Into Voluntourism
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  • Learning Service: The essential guide to volunteering abroad
Total price: $38.71
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Editorial Reviews


Starred Review: Well-traveled expert Blumenfeld (You Want to Go Where?, 2009) shares many ways to combine the spirit of volunteerism with a vacation. As he tells stories of his own good deeds abroad—being part of a medical mission in Nepal, chaperoning a high-school expedition to Antarctica—he also expounds on this booming sub-industry, its growth, how to select the right project, and the good and not-so-great sides of volunteering outside of the U.S. He writes well, with a good eye for memorable details, and provides a wealth of do’s and don'ts for starting to help readers learn new skills, lower expectations about what the work will be, avoid some of the darker issues (such as lack of sustainability and, unfortunately, human trafficking), and fund the project. Among his stories and advice are tales of a just-married couple who raised funds to enjoy a volun-honeymoon, and a young woman who fundraised through a unique combination of creative food-related events. Blumenfeld leaves almost nothing to the imagination, with appendixes on volunteerism resources, best travel applications, favorite travel books, and volunteerism videos, along with notes and a bibliography. Who wouldn’t agree with Albert Schweitzer? "Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you.", Booklist, Starred Review

Blumenfeld places the rise of volunteerism into context, offers tips for choosing worthy projects and insights into adapting and tolerating suboptimal living conditions, safety advice, and examples of various voluntourist trips taken by himself, friends, and acquaintances. The author does not shy away from some of the less-savory aspects of voluntourism, such as narcissistic motivations, economic privilege, and criminal intent. The final chapter gives useful information about funding volunteer projects, including the use of social media and crowdsourcing; securing corporate sponsors; and expressing gratitude before, during, and after the trip. Appendixes include an annotated list of useful links, Smartphone apps, travel books, and videos. , Library Journal

Blumenfeld throws all those preconceived notions about voluntourism out the window and instead focuses on the good it can do. Right from the start, Blumenfeld dispels one of the most prevalent misconceptions about voluntourism: the cost. He shrugs off the suggestion that it might cost thousands for would-be do-gooders to make the trek to an impoverished country, citing $850 as the cost for a weeklong stay in Honduras (including round trip travel). Another misconception he addresses is that voluntourists do more harm than good due to their lack of skill; Blumenfeld asserts that there is a leadership hierarchy that naturally forms. Although critics of voluntourism can be a tad cynical, claiming that there’s something selfish about briefly passing through a third world country and making a small, sometimes negligible impact, the way that each individual person helps demonstrates that this might not be the case. If each volunteer understands that they are part of something larger, and instead of overstepping their role works as a team player, there’s nothing inherently selfish about wanting to be there, on the ground working as opposed to simply writing a check., Booktrib

Every traveler can benefit immensely by lending a hand to local organizations wherever they travel for business or pleasure. Travel With Purpose explains how to do this most effectively and with passion. Don’t miss this book! -- Barbara Corcoran, Real Estate Expert and TV Personality

There’s no better education for a child than travel that provides a glimpse at how other people live their lives. Travel that also involves volunteer work is perhaps the best of both worlds. As Travel With Purpose shows, voluntourism can expand horizons, and build an important bond between parents and their sons or daughters. -- Rainer Jenss, President & Founder, Family Travel Association

Jeff Blumenfeld covers everything you need to know about voluntourism, from its upsides and downsides to how to find the right project—and he’s included memorable stories that span from Kathmandu to Vegas. This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to volunteer abroad. -- Ken Budd, author of The Voluntourist

Practical, motivating and loaded from cover to cover like an overstuffed suitcase, Travel With Purpose is a big-hearted book full of guidance and inspiration that just may finally get you out the door. Crack it open, then pack your bags. -- John Marshall, author of Wide-Open World: How Volunteering Around the Globe Changed One Family's Lives Forever

Whether for an hour or two, a day or a week, Jeff Blumenfeld’s Travel With Purpose explains how any traveler can give back to the local communities they visit, anywhere in the world. The experience turns you from an everyday tourist into a small part of the solution to some of the globe’s most pressing challenges. -- Richard Wiese, President, The Explorers Club, New York City

About the Author

Jeff Blumenfeld is founder and president of Blumenfeld and Associates PR, LLC, a public relations and adventure marketing agency based in Boulder, Colorado, that has represented some of the largest outdoor recreation companies in the U.S. Clients have included Coleman, Duofold, Du Pont, Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End, LEKI, Lewmar, Mares, Michelin, Orvis, Timberland, Timex, and W.L. Gore & Associates.

Blumenfeld is also editor and publisher of Expedition News, a newsletter, blog and website he founded in 1994 to cover news about the adventure marketing field. A Fellow of The Explorers Club based in New York, he is the organization’s former director of communications and is currently chairman of its Rocky Mountain chapter and member of its Flags & Honors Committee. He is the author of You Want to Go Where?: How to Get Someone to Pay for the Trip of Your Dreams (2009) and Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would-be World Travelers (2014). Blumenfeld also belongs to the American Alpine Club, based in Golden, Colorado, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London. In May 2013 he served as communications director for Dooley Intermed International’s “Gift of Sight” Expedition to Nepal – an effort to deliver badly needed quality eye care to 700 impoverished villagers.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 12 ounces
  • Paperback : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1538115328
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1538115329
  • Product Dimensions : 5.94 x 0.53 x 9.04 inches
  • Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Illustrated Edition (April 5, 2019)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8 ratings