June 8, 2009–Today’s Way: As you contemplate where to spend your vacation time this summer, you might consider a little change of pace by becoming a voluntourist.  An increasing trend, voluntourism connects caring people with causes in interesting and even exotic places.  Instead of swatting flies in an overcrowded tourist trap, or being packed like a sardine on a tourbus with a guide squawking monotone facts into a microphone, you would instead be part of something far more meaningful, challenging and rewarding.  Like studying bottlenosed dolphins in Greece, or counting hatching sea turtles as they make their epic sweep to the ocean’s edge, helping collect core samples in the glacial ice of Alaska or, even studying the urban wildlife of New York City.  There is a need for everyone everywhere, depending on any special interests or skills you can offer;  our niece, for instance, obtained her diving certification and spent several weeks diving everyday on a coral study off the beautiful coast of Mexico.

To learn more about voluntourism and find out about available programs and expeditions, visit Voluntourism.org or the highly reputable Earthwatch Institute.