The initial idea for travel2change was shaped particularly by one of my own travel experiences. After graduating from university about four years ago, I traveled to Mauritius in Africa for a windsurfing trip. A perfect spot for this sport.
We stayed in a bungalow and rented a pick up truck that was loaded with all our surf gear. Shacks, where the local people of the small village lived, surrounded our bungalow. I felt privileged to have all the means at such a young age that allowed me to perform this sport, a sport that has provided me with so much joy. At the same time, I realized that the local youth did not have the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful sport, although they were surrounded by the ideal setting for it.This experience triggered the idea of combining something that I enjoy doing whilst also bringing joy to others.
Traveling was something that always brought joy to my live and with the right approach, I feel it can bring joy to the hosts as well. I started rethinking travel along the lines of sustainable tourism, ecotourism, bottom-up tourism, volunteer traveling or whatever you want to call it. Traveling where travelers have an adventurous purposeful experience, the host communities benefit economically and socially as well as the environmental impact is kept low.
At this time my research on crowdsourcing influenced my thinking on the power of collaboration enabled by technology. I would have been ready to travel and work on such a project, but thought that the potential impact of a collaborative effort is bigger. This has led to the community-centered approach of travel2change. However, the challenge remained to find partners who would support the development of the website, help with incentives in the form of free trips and general support for the projects. So thanks to the support from Kuoni we are finally able to launch travel2change.
Our small team of volunteers just established travel2change as a non-profit organization in Austria and with your help we want to build a community of travelers and hosts, who collaborate to initiate change. While we don’t have all the answers and don’t know all the questions, we are eager to hear your thoughts and inspirations on how to rethink travel to make a difference in the lives of travelers as well as hosts!