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The VolunTourist™ is a premium Newsletter for the Travel Trade. For those interested in discovering what is happening in the world of VolunTourism™ and seeking emerging practices, general information, and case studies, this is your Source.

Volume 4 Issue 1 Contents




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VolunTourists: 10 Things To Consider
When approaching VolunTourism experiences, whether you are a first-time or veteran VolunTourist, the most important phrase to keep in mind is this one – Gnothi Seauton – “Know Thyself.” This is not meant to imply a metaphysical exercise and a recounting of the entire inner workings of your being; in this case, what it entails is a simple understanding of two things: “What makes you tick?” and “What ticks you off?” How well you answer these will impact you and everyone else within your sphere of influence throughout your journey.

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"Making History" VolunTourism-Style

Diversity is at the core of urban environments throughout the world. People of many lands have crossed oceans, deserts, and frozen tundras to dwell in major metropolitan areas. When Ms. Karinda Washington and Mr. Ali Fadlallah decided it was time to get their respective communities connected, they realized that a trip filled with service and interaction would be a unique way to share the similarities amidst the differences. With the backdrop of a Pay It Forward Tour from Dearborn/Detroit, Michigan to Memphis, Tennessee, two busses and their drivers, and a cast of students, faculty, support staff, and volunteers (two from Australia, even!), they did what some might have thought impossible - they made history!

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So You May Know

When A Destination Becomes A Home
As we open our fourth year of publishing The VolunTourist, I am reminded that there is still much to learn about this nascent industry. Every day is an opportunity to uncover its potential, to expand the horizons of imagination and creativity, and to more fully understand the breadth and depth of "exploration meets inspiration." I was recently reminded of this during a short 90-minute visit with a resident of Maple Ridge Assisted Living center on my way through Dyersburg, Tennessee. >>>


Photo By Greg Rolfe, Copyright © Developing World Connections, All Rights Reserved
Photo By Tony Dufficy, Copyright © Developing World Connections, All Rights Reserved
Nancy McGehee, PhD., Virginia Tech University
Your Letters To VolunTourism.org
My inbox is fast becoming a request list for exchanging links, advertising, and establishing partnerships. For those who may be thinking along the same lines, please know that VolunTourism.org will maintain its internet presence as an open-source, information-rich web site without the clutter of banner ads and countless trips from which to choose. Here are some of my responses to these requests. >>>

Wisdom & Insight

VolunTourism Wisdom & Insight From WhatHappensNow.com
Marta Ruohoniemi contacted me recently to discuss writing a story on VolunTourism for WhatHappensNow.com. I reviewed their website and quickly ascertained that some of the WHN "Wisdom & Insight" could serve as an excellent resource for VolunTourists and VolunTourism Practitioners alike. Thus, we have created a "virtual" information swap. The following excerpts from WHN feature tips that all of us can consider as we prepare for, participate in, and return from VolunTourism journeys. >>>


New Words, New Data, New Blogs
Folks are creating new words, generating new statistical information, and writing about VolunTourism in articles and new blogs peppered across the internet. Here are just a sample of some of the postings you will find. >>>


Social Capital & VolunTourism
For this issue of The VolunTourist, I am grateful to connect with Dara Parker, Founder of Handprint Adventures. During the Corporate VolunTourism webcast held on November 6, 2007, Dara spoke about her belief that VolunTourism can make a contribution which does not necessarily revolve around sustainability and community development. In fact, she suggested, during the discussion, that the formation of Social Capital may very well be the most important derivative of VolunTourism. It was this conviction that led me to reconnect with Dara and pose this issue's 3 Q's to her. >>>

Supply Chain

Developing World Connections
If you ever have the opportunity to speak with Wayne McRann, Co-Founder of Developing World Connections, you will immediately appreciate his interest in the notion that volunteer- and travel & tourism-related experiences are crucial to the underpinnings of any engagement in any destination. It is most difficult to render service without a corresponding interaction with the arts, culture, geography, history, and even recreational elements present in that space. This credo may be based upon philosophy for some, but for Wayne and his team, it is viewed as necessity. >>>

Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee

Coming Home To Culture Shock: A Preliminary Analysis Of Volunteer Experiences
For this issue of the Research Forum section of The VolunTourist, Dr. Nancy McGehee connects with research ”guests” Simone Grabowski, Stephen Wearing, and Danielle Leigh, all of the University of Technology, Sydney. In their research, they examine the motives that drive young people to participate in some form of volunteer or humanitarian activities while on a leisure trip and the benefits and impacts that the volunteer tourists derive from the experience on their return. Perhaps more importantly, they are in the midst of a longitudinal study to assess levels of re-entry shock and their determinants, a little-studied area in volunteer tourism. >>>

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