WHO IS KEN BUDD?
“If you write a book about yourself, you have to be interesting and the only way to do it is being honest.“
After that shock, with his 40th birthday looming, Ken had a few questions about his own life that suddenly seemed more urgently in need of answers. Over the next couple of years, he traveled the world, volunteering with a wide range of organizations, and wrote a book, The Voluntourist, that covers his adventures as a ‘voluntourist’ in six countries, travels he made with and without his wife Julie, in pursuit of the answer to the question, “What am I doing that matters?”
In the book, Ken offers advice for would-be “voluntourists”, and he’s reprinted the advice on his website here.
You can connect with Ken here:
IN TOR 006 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- Ken Budd, a ‘white dork’ who decided to spend his personal time helping the world.
- About Voluntourism, a book and a way to know the world, help people and find gratitude.
- Ken’s account of his six diverse destinations, his findings, and the aftermath.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Rebuilding Together New Orleans
- Low cost tourism
- Disaster relief, long term rebuilding
- English teaching
- Climate change, research
- San Carlos, Costa Rica
- New Orleans
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
“Looking for meaning, something that matters.“
Opportunity to volunteer in Katrina with Rebuilding Together New Orleans.
Tourists had not returned, and people had forgotten, years after Katrina.
“People want to be visited. And spend money there.“
When he arrived there it looked like a dystopia. Rows of empty houses.
Talking to natives
“Lots of people did not come back.” Many houses were unlivable.
Business took time to reopen.
But many community members were committed to get things back to normal.
“I benefit more than the people I help.“
In Costa Rica they think Americans are lazy.
Went to San Carlos, Costa Rica, planned for 6 weeks, stayed 7 years.
Helped at an elementary school, teaching English as a replacement.
“By the time I figured out how to do things, it was time to go.“
Organizations are not used to request feedback.
Next stop: China
Third volunteer experience. “A more conscious decision.“
He had no skills to offer. Did some teaching for a new school.
“Just being there helps.“
Built long term friends.
Group of scientists and researchers, working on climate change.
Groundwork, collection. Easing the researcher’s burden. Going into the jungle was difficult and time consuming- it affected lab work.
Enjoyed talking with a lot of people.
Americans have a specific point of view about the conflict.
“You’re going through the worst airport security, twice a day, your whole life.“
A sense of helplessness.
Children’s homes. Infant work.
“I wanted to help someone else’s child.“
The value of faith and determination.
Became fundraiser. The book’s earnings allowed him to go back to the places, do some more contribution.
“Being there is an investment.“
Did not have kids.
“Do what you can afford. Going abroad is not cheap.“
“Do what is calling you.“
“Take a broader view on life.“
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Ken, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
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