Travel is changing, and fast. A new generation of free-spirited, adventure-minded explorers is no longer content with just seeing; they want to be doing. When they step out of their familiar routines, they don’t want just to drift through foreign lands as outsiders looking in. They want to interact, they want to learn and they want to impact the communities they visit.

In recent years, “giving back” has principally meant one of two things: giving time (a practice commonly known today as “voluntourism”) or giving money, lately in the form of charity fundraiser challenges. Although both have been subject to heavy scrutiny these day, they are definitely ways through which the generosity of travellers can be harnessed in beneficial ways.

It’s all part of that new-generation, free-spirited and adventure-minded desire for there to be more to travel than just getting somewhere and being there. After all, shouldn’t it be possible for young, altruistic travellers to enjoy a holiday that actually means something; adventures enriched by the knowledge that your presence has a positive and lasting impact on the people and communities you visit?

ADVENTURES LESS ORDINARY shows that it is possible and explains how it can be done. Drawing on the combined expertise of leading voices advocating for travel that makes a difference, this is the definitive handbook for compassionate people seeking the ultimate adventure - one guided as much by the good you give as the good you get.


“This collection of pieces about travel philanthropy is long overdue. Engaging with local people and with communities is a laudable and humane aspiration. But it is an aspiration which must be realised with care. The fundamental principle is to do no harm and never forget that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is a collection of stories and reflections from people who have experienced, and thought about, the problems which arise when you take an adventure less ordinary.”

- Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism, Manchester Metropolitan University

"This guide helps people think about the questions they should be asking, the problems they should work to avoid, and how the stories and lessons from others might influence their own decision making. I’m grateful to see this type of publication aiming to help people make smart and high-impact choices when they travel."

- Daniela Papi Thornton, Co-Founder, LearningService.info

"A breath of fresh air at time when ill-informed journalists are providing very simplistic and shallow analysis of the travel volunteering and philanthropy sector... I find this guide has captured the complexities found in this growing sector while still being very accessible for the reader."

- Stephen Wearing, Associate Professor, University of Technology, Australia; Author, Volunteer tourism: seeking experiences that make a difference

"This book provides tremendous insight into the good, the bad and the ugly of this fascinating, emerging tourism niche."

- Kristin M. Lamoureux, Ph.D., Executive Director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies, The George Washington University


Sarah Brown: General manager of PEPY Tours, a Cambodia-based educational adventure tour operator, and member of the Learning Service, an advocacy group promoting responsible volunteering.

Cheryl Chapman: Director of City Philanthropy, a project that engages and empowers the next generation of givers across the City of London and Canary Wharf. 

David Clemmons: The founder of VolunTourism.org, David currently resides in Southern California.

Sophie Dubus: Director of Evolve Travel Consulting, Sophie has experience in responsible tourism, wellness tourism, wildlife protection, conservation and animal welfare in tourism.

Diana Edelman: A travel writer and blogger at DTravelsRound.com, Diana works to promote responsible elephant tourism with Save Elephant Foundation and is the co-founder of #RTTC, a weekly responsible tourism Twitter chat.

Christine Garde: Founder of CouldYou.org, a community-based immersion travel programme in Africa aimed at nurturing purposeful living and philanthropy to alleviate poverty.

Ethan Gelber: A long-time agitator for responsible, sustainable and local travel. Outbounding.org co-founder, The Travel Word founder, Lonely Planet author and AFAR Ambassador.

Sallie Grayson: Co-founder and programme director at people and places, an international social enterprise that matches volunteer skills and experience to local community needs. 

Alice Gugelev: A former wanderer turned World Bank consultant, who founded DoGoodAsYouGo.org to inspire and equip travellers to “use what you know, to do good as you go.”

Kakuta Hamisi: A Maasai born and raised in southern Kenya, Kakuta founded the Maasai Association and Maasai Simba Camp to support community development projects in the Maasai country at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Cole Hoover: An entrepreneur, lecturer at the University of Washington Bothell and a World Economic Forum "Global Shaper" who recently served as director of education at Global Brigades.

Mark Horoszowski: The co-founder of MovingWorlds.org, a social enterprise helping people find the best place to volunteer their skills. 

Sonal Kadchha: The founder of UK based charity Educating The Children, which focuses on sending volunteer teachers to primary schools and has also finished building the first secondary school in the Masai Mara in Kenya.

Chris Mackay: A co-founder of Crooked Trails, a non-profit community-based travel organisation dedicated to working and volunteering in environmental education, outdoor recreation, community development and ecotourism.

Anna McKeon: A communications consultant specialising in research and strategy development for social change initiatives. Currently based in Cambodia and working with a range of international children’s organisations to discourage orphanage volunteering and promote ethical alternatives.

Shannon O’Donnell: A long-term traveler, blogger and author of The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook and founder of GrassrootsVolunteering.org.

Stephen Partridge: Part of the Sandblasters team raising £1 million for the Small Steps charity by running six marathons in six days in the hottest, coldest, windiest and driest parts of the planet.

Anna Pollock: 40 years’ experience as a consultant, speaker and change agent in tourism and founder of Conscious Travel, a community tourism programme designed to transform tourism from a sector focused on growth to one that enables all its stakeholders to flourish.

Amy E. Robertson: Author of Moon Volunteer Vacations in Latin America. Overseas volunteer experiences include soup kitchens in Lebanon, building homes in Honduras, monitoring presidential elections in Ecuador, and working with youth in Bolivia.

Jorge Sandoval: Based in Ecuador, Jorge works for Fundación Bolivar Education, a volunteering organisation in Quito. He holds a degree in tourism and has worked as a Spanish teacher and a guide for his volunteers and students.

Jeremy Smith: Former editor of The Ecologist, he blogs for (and edits) WTM's responsible tourism website, writes WTTC's monthly Tourism for Tomorrow newsletter and works with various ethical tourism companies and organisations on their communication.

Victoria Smith: A tourism professional with experience in ecommerce, marketing, voluntourism and responsible tourism, now working for not-for-profit The Long Run, destinations focused on sustainability.

Sarah Vandenberg: Author, researcher and consultant in volunteer travel, with work appearing on Go Overseas, Volunteer Forever and Voluntourism Gal.

Samantha Wattson: A marketing strategist now managing director of Fundación En Vía, a Oaxaca-based, non-profit community-development organisation with microfinance, responsible tourism and education programmes.

Adventures Less Ordinary
Created and published by Horizon Travel Press
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