#074 – Shannon O’Donnell: Using Travel as a Force for Good

  • August 7, 2018
Shannon O’Donnell Smiling in a green shirt

Shannon O’Donnell

Motivation, inspiration, sweet scenery: this episode has it all! And that’s because we’re talking to Shannon O’Donnell, a responsible tourism advocate who was named a National Geographic Traveler of the Year for her work helping travelers use grassroots tourism as a force for good. Shannan accomplishes this through Grassroots Volunteering, the world’s largest database of social enterprises empowering travelers to connect to causes and communities in the places they travel, and her book The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook.

 

Shannon also founded A Little Adrift, a massive resource for travelers spanning more than 100 countries and tens of thousands of readers. For all those aspiring travelers out there who have “a trip around the world” tucked away in their bucket list, this site is a resource that makes international travel a reality.

“Curiosity: the single best way to discover the greatest things in life!” –Shannon O’Donnell

We also discuss:

  • Shannon started traveling in 2008… and then never stopped
  • What it took to start A Little Adrift 10 years ago, as an early female travel blogger
  • How wi-fi and 3G changed travel
  • Why Shannon wrote The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook
  • Connecting to cultures through food
  • How you, me, and we can travel in a way that builds and supports the world community
  • How American consumption and production is changing behaviors in Oaxaca, Mexico (and not changing other traditions)
  • Standout snacks from Shannon’s travels
  • Travelling as a vegetarian
  • What exactly are social enterprises & what makes a good one?
  • Conscious purchasing habits
  • Shannon’s next project, a book about using travel as a force for good

Shannon’s Recipe for Transformative Travel:

  1. Find the way you’re going to connect: a social enterprise, through food, whatever.
  2. Stay curious and ask questions. You have to genuinely want to learn!
  3. Find a way to leave the place you travel better than when you arrived.

Resources:

Shannon O’Donnell’s Bio:

Shannon O’Donnell is a responsible tourism advocate and was named a National Geographic Traveler of the Year for her work helping travelers use grassroots tourism as a force for good.

Through her writing, photography, and speaking she shares stories that encourage other travelers to not only explore the world, but to understand how travel impacts local communities and cultures.

She founded both A Little Adrift and Grassroots Volunteering, which is the world’s largest database of social enterprises empowering travelers to connect to causes and communities in the places they travel.

I love the world of food and beverage, everything about it, it’s soo damn sexy! Every time we eat and drink it ignites us sensually…the look, texture, taste, smell, sound all in a unique combination, encapsulating a moment in time. The act of sharing a meal with friends, chatting, eating, and drinking together is so forking perfect. It is a feeling that echoes a sense that All Is Good! Very, Very good!

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