by Ken Budd
“I want to live a life that matters,” is the single thought that resonates through the heart and mind of author Ken Budd in this stunning and thoughtful memoir.
Following the sudden and unexpected death of his own father and the realization that becoming a parent was no longer an option, Ken Budd decided to detour his life and travel the world doing what he could for those in need.
Recalling his father’s philanthropy and generosity of heart, and feeling the lack within his own, Ken stepped into the worlds and lives of those desperately in need of the bare basics and some willing hands.
Upon arrival in places like New Orleans, during the disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina, and China, to work with disabled children, Ken realized that his own skills as a professional were useless. In circumstances such as these he had to learn through volunteering, developing his skills of survival, practicing endless patience and engaging in stiflingly hard work.
“When you are trying to figure out your life, severity is more illuminating than comfort, and when you are trying to help those who have suffered, you want to know what they endured.”
Leaving home time after time for places like Kenya, Ecuador and Palestine, Ken worked through his own grief and found the substance he aspired to gain. During his travels he realizes, “I’m not only working for free, I’m paying for the privilege.”
“The Voluntourist” is a book about love, travel, grieving and nurturing. Written with sincerity and humor, Ken Budd touches his readers with life as it is and life as it could be, an excellent read for those looking for adventure and inspiration.