What is The Travel House? It is a place for all travelers who, first, need a place to stay, and then it turns into a magical house where people share their stories, experiences, and skills.
This is the fourth time that The Travel House has opened, this summer in Athens. Before that it was in Istanbul, Granada, and Tibilisi. Combined, The Travel House has so far provided free accommodation for 784 travelers from more than 60 countries.
The Travel House is sponsored by The Travel Club, which is a travel community, an Internet magazine about geoculture, and a database of knowledge on independent travel. The Club was originally organized by young people from the Balkans. With more than ten thousand registered members, The Travel Club is the largest travel community in southeastern Europe.
Lazar Pascanovic, from Novi Sad, Serbia, founded The Travel Club in 2004. His initial idea was to build a site where he could find travel companions. His friends weren’t as passionate about travel as he was, and he got tired of traveling alone. In the beginning it was “The Serbia Travel Club”, but as people from across the Balkan region began taking part it morphed into The Travel Club. Today it is a big community, bringing people together through various projects such as The Travel House.
“We see travel as a tool for building a culture of solidarity and understanding, an instrument for developing mental attitude and sensibility. A key to gaining an intimate understanding of our common planet and creating personal bonds with the world. A means to fight against prejudice, human stupidity, and hatred, against the borders around us and within us. The creative drive of an artist, the joy of an explorer, the passion of a cartographer who draws her unique map adding mountains, seas, ships, fish, instruments, houses, satellites, horses, and people.”
This is the aim of The Travel House, too: to unite our small, unique communities into a global one where everyone can gain from each other.
THE TRAVEL HOUSE in Athens
When you get to Athens, lovely volunteers will help to make your experience fulfilling. You will get a chance to learn basic Greek through introductory coaching, eat delicious Greek dishes, enjoy tours of the beautiful city of Athens, and go to the beach at Limanakia.
You will also, of course, be welcome to share your skills, which is in the spirit of the house.
Many travelers have visited the house and shared their stories, impressions, and experiences.
“I’ve been traveling for five years already. Sometimes I make a stop and work for a couple of months to earn some money to continue the trip.” Gustavo, Buenos Aires.
“I’ve been traveling by car and I picked Jascha up while he was hitch hiking. We’ve been traveling together ever since, and we’ve been to six countries together. In every country we buy at least one CD that we listen to in the car. We have a pretty neat collection by now.” Jascha – Germany and Nathan – Finland.
“I’ve been riding a bicycle for three months, and I will continue riding it for four more. When I was in Hungary everybody told me to be careful in Serbia. But, actually, the most polite people I’ve met on this trip were in Serbia. And in Turkey.” Lee, airport technician from Sweden.
The oldest visitor in the history of The Travel House arrived last night. Richard Nadeau lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. He’s 66, sleeps on the floor, and travels alone.
In life, we are all at once runners, seekers, explorers, and dreamers. We all have fears from which we are running, and dreams we are pursuing. On the road we are transforming ourselves and discovering the world. In this long and beautiful journey we often realize that we are not alone and that many others share the same fears and the same dreams. We are living our stories in the same time, and they are the stories of somebody else.
Every person with an individual story to tell is an important piece of the biggest puzzle called life. If I have captured your attention and you would like to go and meet amazing people passing through the Travel House, fill out the application here.