Author Archives: natashastein

About natashastein

I'm interested in travel, learning about other countries and cultures, responsible tourism, environmental issues and wildlife. I like being outdoors and beautiful scenery can really move me and reinvigorate me. I enjoy walking and am planning to get a rescue dog to keep me company on my strolls. I also love to write stuff. I've set up my own website (, written blogs on topics I'm interested in and written various articles about volunteering overseas. I've always enjoyed writing in my previous jobs. I'm a bit of a creative all rounder - I can draw and make things. It's something I'd like to do more of! I love art and photography and go to exhibitions when I can. I am currently teaching English as a second language in Worcestershire, where I live. I have an eclectic career story. My professional background is in travel and tourism and the charity sector. I have worked for a major holiday company, specialist tour operator and coordinated a University alumni travel programme. Most recently I've worked for a Destination Management Organisation and local government tourism department focusing on promoting the Cotswolds primarily via social media. I also worked for VSO, the international development volunteering charity for 6 years as a Volunteer and Placement Adviser and have done bits and bobs of volunteering with different charities.

Is there enough assessment of the development impact of volunteer tourism?

Much has been written about volunteer tourism (or “voluntourism” as it is widely known) but there are very not many articles or research papers about the development impacts of this form of volunteering.  We have all read the negative stories … Continue reading

Posted in Thoughts on responsible volunteering | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Another perspective on volunteering – “Does Voluntourism do more harm than good?”

Here is another interesting article from last week, “Does Voluntourism do more harm than good?” which appeared on the Travelmole website and in the Vision on Sustainable Tourism newsletter. Gopi Parayil gives a local perspective on the dangers of volunteer … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Host destinations need to benefit from volunteer tourism

This is an interesting article from Green Futures magazine, published by Forum for the Future, who work in partnership with TUI Travel, owners of i-to-i and Real Gap on sustainability issues. The article includes comments from a Product Manager from … Continue reading

Posted in Volunteer Tourism in the news | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The responsible volunteering debate rages

It has been a busy week for debating about “voluntourism”. I have about 8 tabs open with different articles, blogs and comments about responsible volunteering. It all seems to stem from this article in the Independent newspaper’s Voices section, titles … Continue reading

Posted in Volunteer Tourism in the news | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

It’s all about the preparation

For any kind of volunteer placement, whether it is 2 weeks or 2 years, preparation and research are essential. This could be something that is easily overlooked by volunteers when they can purchase a placement from a volunteering organisation with … Continue reading

Posted in Thoughts on responsible volunteering, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Positive stories of volunteering

If I ever need to feel positive about the impact volunteers can have, I go to the VSO website and read the “life-changing stories” section. I worked for VSO for nearly 6 years and during that time I was responsible … Continue reading

Posted in Volunteering stories | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The ethics of organisations offering discounted volunteering trips

I received an email this week from i-to-i Volunteering and Inspired Breaks, promoting a discount on i-to-i projects. I have somehow got onto their mailing list (and I’m not entirely sure how or if this is something I can asked … Continue reading

Posted in Volunteer tourism companies | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments