Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering

Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering

Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering
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Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering

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For anyone who reads this blog, you are probably aware that I really found my love for travel by volunteering internationally while I was still a teenager. I simply never understood the value or impact that volunteering had until I dropped out of college and boarded a plane to volunteer in Thailand when I was 19, after the tsunami struck South East Asia in 2004.

Easily one of the great experiences of my life, planning a volunteer trip can be tough, but thanks to Kirsty and The Underground Guide to International Volunteering, the whole process just got a lot easier.

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Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering
Kirsty while volunteering in the wilds of Nicaragua.

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Volunteering not only gave me a completely fresh and unique view of the world, introduced me to cultures wildly different from my own and sights I had never seen, but it allowed me to meet amazing people from all over the world, especially other like minded volunteers. I’ve volunteered with a group called All Hands, for many years and worked on projects with them in Thailand, Bangladesh, Mississippi and the Philippines. Lucky for me, I met Kirsty along the way and we ended up working together in a couple different spots around the world together over the years.

After randomly connecting again via random mutual friends in Rwanda, Kirsty told me she had been working for years to compile a comprehensive book titled, The Underground Guide to International Volunteering, which is an amazing resource for anyone looking to volunteer anywhere in the world and something that would have been wildly valuable to me when I first started looking for ways to help way back in 2004.

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Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering

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One of the biggest problems I had when I started looking to volunteer was trying to find a reputable organization which felt genuine. So many sites I cam across felt like a scam or charged insane amounts of money to people simply looking to lend a hand. While there are some very good organizations that charge to volunteer, I will always lean towards the free ones. Whatever your preference is, The Underground Guide to International Volunteering has the answers you are looking for.

Kirsty has interviewed volunteers from all over the world and covered every topic you could ever imagine asking before committing to a volunteer trip abroad. She covers destinations all across the world, different types of organizations offering a wide variety of volunteering opportunities as well as the real questions everyone wants answer to like “will I get sick?“, “is it safe to travel alone?” and everything between.

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Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering
A young boy on his father’s cart in Reyenda, Bangladesh where both Kirsty and I volunteered together in 2008.

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I would have given anything to have this guide when I was lost sifting through an endless mess of websites in a dingy internet cafe in Dublin so many years ago and am thrilled to have such an experienced friend as Kirsty compile all the essential information together to help people get out, see the world and lend a helping hand.

Volunteering abroad will give you experiences you never dreamed of, meet people you will never forget and bless you with a perspective few people are lucky enough to have. Take the chance, make the leap and dive headfirst into one of the best experiences of your life, you now have the complete guide at your fingertips, don’t waste it.

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel.¬†Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

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