Book Review: The Voluntourist

August 31, 2012  By: Gretchen

While not strictly about African travel, this is a great read about Ken Budd living through something of a mid-life crisis after his father’s death and the realization that he would not become a father himself. He deals with these crises through volunteer travel (not a bad outlet!). He visits six different countries and does a different type of project in each, though more than one is focused on caring for children. Ken visited New Orleans to help with post-hurricane clean up, taught English in Costa Rica, worked at a special-needs school in China, helped study the effects of climate change in Ecuador, visited the West Bank to assist refugees and finally worked in an orphanage in Kenya.

The reader can see the impact of each trip on Ken and how it helps him to work through his grief as well as towards becoming the kind of man his father was. It’s a funny and touching read.