In the introduction to her CD-based PDF, On the Road to Voluntourism: Inexpensive Voluntourism Around the World, Joyce Major explains that this comprehensive 88 page voluntourism resource is the result of her own experiences as a voluntourist and her extensive online research, which earned her the nickname “Queen Google” among friends.
On the Road to Voluntourism is an exceptional resource for the traveler who is serious about making a commitment to volunteering.
In addition to compiling hundreds of volunteer opportunities around the world (listed both by country and by type of experience), Major’s PDF includes tips and resources for topics as diverse as insurance (Bottom line? You need it.), hostels and free places to stay (There’s a lot more to life than just Couchsurfing), packing (Prepared, but light), and grants and fundraising (You CAN get someone else to pay for your travel).
In addition, she offers book and movie recommendations about voluntourism and about specific regions, as well as a special chapter on voluntourism for seniors.
You could easily look up any of this information yourself, but you don’t need to, as Major has done it for you.
She earned the Queen Google title.
What makes On the Road to Voluntourism more than a simple round up of voluntourism resources, though, and what gives it credibility is the fact that Major curated the entries carefully using her insight and experience from volunteering at dozens of programs around the world.
The writing is highly conversational and the overuse of non-specific adjectives like “great” detracts a bit from helping the reader understand exactly what to expect from a voluntourism opportunity.
Another concern is how this PDF will hold up over time; it’s possible that websites like Voluntourism.org and Idealist.org may be more comprehensive and current, though Major plans to update On the Road to Voluntourism each year.
Those factors taken into consideration, I still think On the Road to Voluntourism is a highly useful resource for people interested in spending time volunteering while traveling. The $10.00 spent on this PDF guide will save you hours of Googling.
Let Major keep the title; she deserves it.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
They’ll each be receiving a copy of the voluntourism CD
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Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.
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