The Voluntourist by Ken Budd

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Well written, inspiring and honest, this travelogue/memoir is filled with humor and humanity


Ken Budd’s The Voluntourist is a remarkable memoir about losing your father, accepting your fate, and finding your destiny by volunteering around the world for numerous worthy causes: Hurricane Katrina disaster relief in New Orleans, helping special needs children in China, studying climate change in Ecuador, lending a hand—and a heart—at a Palestinian refugee camp in the Middle East, to name but a few. Ken's emotional journey is as inspiring and affecting as those chronicled in Little Princes and Three Cups of Tea. At once a true story of powerful family bonds, of sacrifice, of self-discovery, The Voluntourist is an all-too-human, real-life hero whom you will not soon forget.

About Ken Budd

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Ken Budd is an award-winning writer and editor whose writing credits include Smithsonian, the Washington Post, the McSweeney's, Stuff, Washingtonian, Modern Humorist, Opium, Worldview, and AARP The Magazine. Ken lives in Burke, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife.
Published May 8, 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks. 464 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Travel, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Voluntourist
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1


Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Mar 01 2012

Not for readers easily frustrated with wandering thoughts, but a solid introduction to the world of volunteer tourism and a pleasant diversion for those who don’t mind a winding road.

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Campus Circle

Reviewed by Kevin Wierzbicki on Jul 23 2012

Budd doesn’t sugarcoat the conditions he sometimes had to work in or the emotions that he experienced along the way, but any reader who has a notion to do volunteer work will definitely be inspired...

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Reviewed by Cinestories on Jun 18 2012

In his book...he tells the story of his life-changing journey: an honest, funny, enlightening attempt at fighting grief with generosity, and determining if we live better when we live for others—even if it’s only two weeks at a time

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Luxury Reading

Below average
Reviewed by Poppy Johnson on Jun 25 2012

The only problem is that he gives such a subjective look at basically everything that the reader will feel exhausted – instead of uplifted – at the end of the journey.

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BrodartVibe's Blog

Reviewed by Susan on Apr 12 2012

This book was absorbing and fascinating and extremely well-written. I think anyone who enjoys reading memoirs will love it.

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Reviewed by Kristen on Jun 05 2012

Well written, inspiring and honest, this travelogue/memoir is filled with humor and humanity

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Book Chase

Reviewed by Sam Sattler on Apr 29 2012

That said, The Voluntourist will be of great interest to arm chair travelers because of how much time the author spends with ordinary working citizens of the places he visits.

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A Life Sustained

Reviewed by Courtney on Jun 23 2012

What he gives us is an honest, uncensored view into one man's journey to not only accepting the hand that life has dealt him, but embracing it.

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