Thursday, September 22, 2011

International Volunteering Grows Up

From the latest issue of Verge Magazine:

International Volunteering Grows Up 
As volunteering overseas takes off, growing pains lead to new challenges for the field and for volunteers. by Jessica Lockhart.

"'There have been questions about the actual impact that voluntourists are making,' says Ezaki. 'Is it really for the community--or is it to satisfy the needs of volunteers?'

The concerns raised by the influx of short-term 'poverty tourists' seem endless: Children's rights groups warn travellers that visits to orgphanages are a literal guilt trip; abandoned children form bonds with volunteers, who in turn abandon them by returning home. On online message boards, volunteers complain of 'make busy' work projects. (In one scenario, volunteers were asked to repaint a wall that had been painted by a previous group of volunteers--and the one before that.)" 

Monday, September 19, 2011

"30 Under 30"

My goal is to travel to 30 countries before I turn 30. 

But, how do you determine if you've been to a country?

My travel partner in Australia, Jo, had a solid and indisputable formula for determining if you've visited a country.

"If you've eaten a meal there, you've been there," she advised, "but it doesn't count if you don't leave the train station or the airport."

Makes sense to me.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Mapping it Out

The other day Court told me that she's excited to travel with me because she knows I'll plan everything. With only a month (!) left to go until our departure, here's an inside look into at just how thoroughly I plan my travels:

Excerpt from a Skype conversation with Sasha, who we'll be staying with in Geneva

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