||When Ken Budd was thirty-nine, his apparently healthy father collapsed after 18 holes of golf.
In the following weeks, countless friends called to talk about his father--how much he meant to them and give many examples about how he'd changed their lives. Ken started questioning his own life and wondering how much (or little) difference his life was making.
At that very moment, an email crossed his desk with the subject line: "Katrina Relief Volunteer Opportunities." A coincidence? Maybe not. He signed up and went to New Orleans. But it didn't stop there. He kept volunteering--Costa Rics to teach English; China to work with special-needs kids; Ecuador to study climate change; the West Bank to assist refugees; Kenya to care for orphans. He's a magazine editor in real life but, for years, he's spend part of his two-week vacation time volunteering.
But, it is not all work. As he says in his book, "The Voluntourist: A Six-country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem," there always time to find the best hole-in-the-wall noodle shop, to sip chai with locals, to hike for miles hoping to see rare speckled bears and, something Ken didn't expect, to make life-long friends.
You'll love reading about his adventures (but the misadventures are the best) and will be inspired to check out the many voluntouristing (did Ken make up this word?) opportunities--near home or in far-away places.
You can hear some of our conversation here.
For more information about taking your own voluntouristing vacation: www.thevoluntouristbook.com