Purposeful Travel to Nepal: An Ethnographic Study of the Eudemonic and Hedonistic Experiences of Volunteers
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AbstractPurposeful travel is apparent in relatively new modes of tourism and particularly in volunteer holidays where tourists are searching for meaningful experiences which provide a sense of physical, emotional or spiritual fulfilment. The positive outcomes of volunteer holidays on destinations is heavily debated from questioning the morals and merits of a growing profit-making sector to whether destinations have little or no long term benefit from such travel. Whilst the author acknowledges the wealth of literature in this regard, she concentrates on the notion that volunteering is not just about helping other people or worthy causes but also about personal self-development and social egoism. She concludes that these two features have eudemonic outcomes and that these are worthy of investigation. Based on an ethnographic study, this paper analyses the experiences of participants on an elephant conservation expedition to Bardia National Park, Nepal. In its evaluation it conveys the close relationship between altruism and egoism as well as the eudemonic outcomes that purposeful travel can sometimes provide.