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Hey, that’s (could’ve been) my book!

Paul was just sending along news that might be of general interest to the Matador editors:

“Frommer’s publishes voluntourism book.”

I clicked through…. Hey! That could’ve been my book.

In August, 2008, I applied for a writing gig that really interested me: Frommer’s was planning to publish a guide to voluntourism that highlighted opportunities around the world. I was confident I was an exceptional candidate for the gig. In addition to my own travel, writing, and volunteering experience, I’d spent some time earlier that summer documenting voluntourism projects and, in the process, I’d learned through observation what made a voluntourism experience successful for the volunteer and the community being served… and what could undermine a project from the get-go.

Anyhow, I applied, went through several rounds of email exchanges about my experience, produced a customized writing sample, and was ultimately winnowed into the final pool of prospective writers for the guide. It was down to me and one other writer… and the other writer got the gig.

So there it is: Frommer’s 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference.

Would I have loved to write this book?


But I’m also glad Andrew Mersmann wrote it and I hope thousands of travelers use it.


4 responses »

  1. I remember when this was in the works 🙂

    Don’t worry. There’ll be many more books to write.

    The cover shot is beautiful though.

  2. Definitely, Lola! And I looked up the author’s bio- he was certainly qualified to write the book. I really am happy for him.

  3. Well, at least you’ve had a lot of great experiences! I too have volunteered all over the globe and even teach a class on volunteering. I decided to put my voluntourism resource list in CD form rather than one more book. It focuses on inexpensive voluntourism. Hopefully it will help more people get out there to help! Good luck with your next book and your next project!

    • Joyce-
      Fantastic! I’d love to know more about your CD and your teaching, especially because I’m the editor of MatadorChange (, where we publish lots of voluntourism content. Feel free to email me at Going to check out your blog now! Thanks for visiting.


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