New York Do you dream about chucking the daily routine to become a park ranger, or getting a job on a cruise ship? Maybe you're more the volunteer type, or you'd like to learn about falconry or try a silent meditation retreat.
A new book called "Immersion Travel USA: The Best and Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living, and Learning Excursions" offers a thoughtful guide to a variety of travel experiences that involve more than a weeklong road trip or a few days in a hotel.
The book, by Sheryl Kayne (Countryman Press, $19.95), tells readers how to get involved instead of just visiting the places they are interested in. Chapters are devoted to volunteering, learning, and working, in addition to a section on caring, which describes opportunities for animal-lovers and activists, and playing, which lists ways to enjoy sports and the arts.
The book also includes inspirational first-person narratives, like the story of a woman in her 40s who lost her executive job and decided to move to Alaska, where she got a job as a waitress in Denali National Park to pay her bills. An older couple describes how they sold their house, bought a motor home and went to work for the National Park Service in the Everglades in the winter and Yellowstone in the summer.
Other unusual listings in the book include rustic ranch work at Allen's Diamond Four Ranch in Lander, Wyo., the National Storytelling Festival held annually in October in Jonesborough, Tenn., and the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project.