The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem

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HarperCollins, May 8, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
14 Reviews

VOL·UN·TOUR·IST
n. 1. A guy who attempts to save the world in an attempt to save himself.
2. Someone who can only do it two weeks at a time.

When Ken Budd was thirty-nine, his father collapsed after eighteen holes of golf. Ken and his wife raced to the hospital—but it was too late. In the weeks that followed, as grieving friends revealed how his father had changed their lives, Ken started questioning his own life—and admitting, after years of denial, that he and his wife would never have children.

And then, still struggling with grief—his grief at losing his father, his grief at not being a father—Ken received an e-mail with the subject line: "Katrina Relief Volunteer Opportunities." He signed up. He went to New Orleans. And he kept volunteering: Costa Rica, to teach English; China, to work with special-needs children; Ecuador, to study climate change; the West Bank, to assist refugees; Kenya, to care for orphans. His goal: to find purpose by helping others, one trip at a time.

Wry, funny, and heartbreakingly honest, The Voluntourist will linger in your mind long after you've turned the last page.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BrieAnn - LibraryThing

After the death of his father, Ken Budd reflects on the type of man his father was, and on his own life and wishes. One of his greatest wishes is to have children, while his wife does not feel the ... Read full review

Review: The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem

User Review  - Goodreads

I love how honest Ken is in this story. He never says he's perfect and often times questions if what he's doing makes a difference. His doubts as a husband and the emotions he endures after not having children lead to a vulnerability you rarely see in 21st century male writers. Loved it. Read full review

About the author (2012)

KEN BUDD is an award-winning writer and editor whose writing credits include Smithsonian, the Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Stuff, Washingtonian, Modern Humorist, Opium, and Worldview. Ken lives in Burke, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife.

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