National Geographic Books released the third of its popular The 100 Best Vacations series this past May on 100 Best Volunteer Vacations to Enrich Your Life. The book is more than a travel guide, it’s a book that showcase a collection of trips that inspire and awaken your soul. Author Pam Grout is especially skilled at making the content informative, fun, and inspirational. Information-filled sidebars provide travel trivia, background facts and useful information for people volunteering.
Ms. Grout in her introduction illustrates a key reason for volunteer travel:
“The thing all volunteer travel share? They shed light. They give us more realistic picture of the world. Suffice it to say, the nightly news does not provide an accurate lens through which to view our planet. Most news reports are one reporter’s opinion…Even people who travel — pople who have ticked off, say, the Taj Mahal and the Arc de Triomphee…– don’t always have a realistic vantage point. Fancy hotel chains have set up mini-Americas all over the world.”
With volunteer vacation…”you’ll see a country for what it really is, neither a sound bite or a statistic of those who died in the last tragedy. You’ll get to know real people. You’ll work beside them, share their struggles, learn what it feels like to live in a village where no men are over 50 and experience what it’s like to be invisible to outsiders.”
This book is perfect for someone new to volunteer vacations because you will be inspired. It explores a myriad of adventurous and novel travel ideas — something to fit any destination and interest you may desire. These volunteer vacations span six continents and trip ideas cover the spectrum ranging from helping build community or restore a castle (Czech Republic) to helping Palestinian farmers bring in the olive harvest (Salfit, West Bank) to research the great white shark (Gansaai, South Africa) to taking karaoke and educational puppets to rural villages (Phnom Penh, Cambodia).
Now doesn’t these whet your appetite?
Want to get to know the author behind the book? We will feature our conversation with Pam Grout in our next post.