Boulder residents tend to travel and to volunteer at levels significantly higher than the national average. I just made up this statistic, but does anyone doubt it?
Not surprisingly, voluntourism – where the adventure of travel meets the satisfaction of volunteering – is a trend catching on in Boulder, in part due to the efforts of Jeff Blumenfeld.
The local author wrote “Travel with Purpose: A Field Guide to Voluntourism” (2019, Rowman & Littlefield) to alert readers to the possibility of adding volunteer activities to their travel plans.
Hooked on the excitement of travel and committed to creating positive change in the world, Blumenfeld comes to the Boulder JCC for a Lunch and Learn at noon on Thursday, September 26.
A practical guide, the book covers the wide range of voluntour options, from traveling with the primary purpose of Tikkun Olam – repair of the world – to learning about the community where you are vacationing by spending just a few hours providing a much needed service. Whatever your budget, destination, skills, or interests may be, Blumenfeld suggests ways to make your next journey more meaningful.
The founder and president of a public relations and adventure marketing agency based in Boulder, Blumenfeld is editor and publisher of Expedition News, which for 25 years has covered adventure marketing. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and serves as the Explorers Club’s Rocky Mountain chapter chairman.
Travel writer Alison Gardner is credited with inventing the term in a 1994 article about volunteer vacations for seniors. Blumenfeld himself became an advocate of voluntourism after volunteering on Dooley Intermed International’s “Gift of Sight” Expedition to Nepal – an effort to deliver badly needed quality eye care to 700 impoverished villagers. He became their communications director, and began exploring other options for visiting and impacting communities. In 2009 he published “You Want to Go Where? How to Get Someone to Pay for the Trip of Your Dreams,” a guide to expedition and adventure sponsorship.
A veteran on the speaking circuit, including being the guest speaker on several cruises, Blumenfeld is an avid sea kayaker, skier, hiker, fly-fishing angler, and sailor.
Come with questions and share your experiences voluntouring, as we explore the brave new world of traveling with purpose.