Travel for Good – Phoebe Everingham has submitted her PhD

7 Jul

Good news travels fast so you may have heard our Phoebe Everingham has just submitted her PhD thesis!

Excitingly Phoebe is our first PhD graduate in the field of Human Geography at UON to submit by publication. She has published four chapters from her thesis that have a sustained and cohesive theme throughout surrounding ethical tourism.

Her PhD is titled Embodying Hope: Intercultural Encounters in the (B)orderlands of Volunteer Tourism. You can read more about her research and articles here.

As part of her research, Phoebe travelled to South America working with two international volunteering organisations in Ecuador and Peru.

Photos from Phoebe’s experiences volunteering overseas including children playing with a water tap, building a wall and playing dress ups.


Phoebe reflects,

“…my thesis challenges how volunteer tourism is framed in a neo-colonial development aid model in both theory and practice – this model leads to false expectations on the part of the volunteers that they can actually provide aid and ‘help’ in the face of complex structural global poverty. In reality too many organizations are profiting from these altruistic motivations of volunteers, as well as the ‘poor’ communities they are volunteering in.”

Despite these negative aspects of the industry, Phoebe’s research demonstrates that the emotional connections and intercultural encounters in volunteer tourism can be meaningful and filled with hopeful moments of connection for all.

“Organisations need to foster intercultural mutuality as a key objective within their programmes, where volunteers can actively learn from the expertise of local communities. I’d love to see volunteer tourism promoted in a way that promotes mutual intercultural exchange in a way that is just, compassionate and sustainable. ”

With her PhD done and dusted, Phoebe is excited to write up further publications and continue her research trajectory around the role of embodiment, emotion, affect and hope in other intercultural contexts… with I suspect, many more happy travels on the horizon to learn from.

Phoebe has recently contributed to Good Travel with her recommendations for volunteering in South America if you want to learn more from our resident expert on the topic.

To learn more about Phoebe, you can read our post from earlier this year about winning a Bursary award.

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