Drawing on the combined expertise of two dozen leading advocates for travel that makes a difference, this how-to handbook is for compassionate people seeking the ultimate adventure -- one guided as much by the good you give as the good you get.
Early praise has called it "long overdue," "a breath of fresh air," full of "tremendous insight," "impressive" and even "the most important book on travel ever written," so we think we've done something useful. If you nurture a free-spirited and adventure-minded desire for more to travel than just getting somewhere and being there, please register to receive your free copy at http://bit.ly/1wvCUDS. #MendNotEnd
I stepped foot in Germany for the first time (of consequence) in Berlin In 1987. It was a cold, wet and dark late-afternoon in November and I had a healthy handful of hours during which to explore a bewildering divided city, to examine the Wall I had read so much about. I had arrived from the west by train along the rail causeway - an umbilical from West Germany connecting to the "free" half of Berlin, an island hemmed in by barbed wire and defiance. (Late at night, I would leave - headed east into Poland, the Ukraine and the distinct smell of coal coke - also by train, after transiting through the split-between-nations Friedrichstrasse train station.)
Since 1987, I've been to Germany many times. Leading bike tours in the Mosel and along the Rhine; repeatedly passing through Munich on the way to Austria, or Hamburg on the way to Denmark, also as part of bike tours; visiting with friends wherever they lured me; and just taking in the sights.
I have also returned to Berlin relatively often. (Both of my brothers have lived there, and one still does, as do numerous friends.) In the early 1990s, when I was present for at least one early anniversary of the fall of the Wall, I got caught in tear gas on Alexanderplatz after Western louts had jeered at the East-trained guards a little too loudly. And now many times since then, watching the change, the gentrification.
What a journey it's been for a nation reunited (or just united, as many people claim). It has involved the rehabilitation of more than just infrastructure, too, with new generations shaking loose the weight of dark times.
If you have been anywhere in Germany in the last 40 years (even if only just once in the recent present), please come and share your recollections. Of the people, the places, the food, the beer, the wine, the history. If you have pictures, share them. (I wish I had taken some!)
It's all taking place this Wednesday, October 15, at 11am ET / 3pm GMT. Look for the "Germany 25 Reunified" Twitter chat by following #germany25reunified .
Check it out -- Wednesday, October 1, 1pm ET (5pm GMT).
You can visit the discussion page at http://outbounding.org/discussion/view/can-we-mend-not-end-voluntourism.
* , Program Director of people and places
* , Independent Consultant for Better Volunteering, Better Care
* , Founder of and GrassrootsVolunteering.org
* , Author of 'Moon Volunteer Vacations in Latin America' (Moon Travel Guides); Contributing Editor of
* , Co-founder of (co-moderator)
* additional participants may be announced
The complex and broad range of issues raised in the Outbounding discussion has sparked an incredible volume of reactions. A recent tweet even identified the forum as "probably the best volunteer voluntourism discussion online - ever."
But it hasn't just been a continuation of the sometimes superficial scrutiny and overly generalized criticism under which volunteer travel has recently come. Instead, there's an emphasis on solutions, shared responsibility and shared benefits through informed and transparent consultation.
Who's in that shared space? Consumers, sending and receiving volunteer organizations and, especially, local communities. There is a role to play for everyone in the process of driving positive change in and through voluntourism. But how can we bring it about? What is the minimum due diligence required for different players? How can we work together to improve:
Responsibility in voluntourism: How can we get the message out about voluntourist responsibility? Whose responsibility is it to ensure volunteer travel is responsible?
Volunteer skill levels: Do volunteers have adequate time and skills to create positive impact? Can unskilled volunteers ever be of service?
Transparency: What is the relationship between volunteer placement companies and their projects? Do they vet volunteers for the skills a project needs? Have they built the project with local communities, when appropriate?
Voluntourism with children: What resources and support do volunteer organizations need in order to improve how they manage situations involving volunteers and children?
These are just some of the topics likely to be broached during this Google+ Hangout on Air. We hope you will join us and the following panelists, most of them major contributors to the Outbounding discussion and leaders in the voluntourism space.
cc: #volunteer #volunteering #volunteerabroad #volunteerism #voluntourism
* Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba, Minister,
* Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, CEO,
* Teresa Clarke, CEO,
* Rumit Mehta, Founder, Immersion Journeys
* Sarah Robinson, Account Manager, (co-moderator)
* Ethan Gelber, Co-founder, (co-moderator)
* additional participants may be announced
Held in cooperation with , and .
Co-presented by and , and with the participation of the (the minister herself will be in attendance), the , and Immersion Journeys, the panelists will be looking at the challenges and success of marketing East Africa as a travel destination.
The Hangout is free and accessible by all. Just click on the link below. That's at 11am ET (3pm GMT) on Monday, September 8.
This is our contribution to the #JustOneRhino fundraising campaign. It benefits the ambitious and very expensive Rhinos Without Borders goal of translocating 100 rhinoceros from South Africa to Botswana by mid-2015. Click here for more about the #JustOneRhino campaign, including how you can make a donation and be in the running for $30,000 in raffle prizes!
This is part of the Editor’s Note, written by our editor for “Adventures Less Ordinary: How to Travel and Do Good,” a free guide to mindful adventures. Drawing on the combined expertise of two dozen leading voices advocating for travel that makes a difference, it is a handbook for compassionate people seeking the ultimate adventure – one guided as much by the good you give as the good you get.
Thanks to the following for their contributions: Sarah Brown ( ), Cheryl Chapman (City Philanthropy), David Clemmons (Voluntourism.org), Sophie Dubus (Evolve Travel Consulting), Diana Edelman (DTravelsRound), Christine Garde (CouldYou?), Sallie Grayson (people and places), Alice Gugelev ( ), Kakuta Hamichi (maasai-association.org), Cole Hoover, Mark Horoszowski ( ), Sonal Kadchha (Educating The Children), Chris Mackay ( ), Anna McKeon, Shannon O’Donnell (Grassroots Volunteering), Stephen Partridge, Anna Pollock (Conscious Travel), Amy E. Robertson (Moon Travel Guides), Jorge Sandoval ( ), Jeremy Smith ( Fair Game Travel), Victoria Smith (The Long Run), Sarah Vandenberg
#voluntourism #socimp #MendNotEnd #GoVolunteer #GoAbroad cc:
#Cuba has been taunting me for two decades. And i’m not alone; Americans now travel to Cuba in record numbers. With re-loosened travel restrictions now allowing for “purposeful” and “people-to-people” contact, it’s possible to go. While you’re at it, why not help protect the country’s nature and culture!
When you go to #Morocco , don’t make the same mistakes this writer did. Learn how to capture the country’s special light, and with it your impressions of a place that will surprise you. When he was there, he met the woman he eventually married. He deeply wishes he had taken more pictures and that they were more evocative and of better quality. He wishes he had taken a #photography workshop in Morocco.
Compelled by curiosity about how the World Trade Center Site in New York City is presented to people unfamiliar with it, our editor joined a 2.5-hour Ground Zero walking tour set to circumnavigate the new and emerging World Trade Center, taking in its history, its buildings (past and present) and reminders of just some of the people and events from the day. He came away with a head full of concerns about the persistence of memory.
#neverforget911 #NeverForgetSeptember11 #911Remembered #nyc #neverforget #911anniversary
Not all voluntourism projects are created equal and sometimes hard data can demonstrate it. Acacia Africa find out what’s really at stake and where a little generosity of time and energy offered by travellers (through ) is meeting the needs of the Ugandan people.
#voluntourism #volunteering #volunteerabroad #volunteerism #Ugand
The Travel Word is a website that showcases responsible, sustainable and local travel.
We are committed to inspiring mindful and independent travellers headed off the beaten path with local businesses making responsible and sustainable decisions about their destinations. Through anecdotes, articles, profiles, opinion pieces and news, our local voices aim to inform travellers about unique and ethical ways to experience a destination, travel responsibly and help sustain the distinctive qualities of a place.