May 2020. While most borders are still closed and travelers still quarantined, the world alternative traveler community has been shaken by terrible news: Couchsurfing hospitality network is forcing its registered members from "developed countries" to pay to access their profiles - without consultation, nor notification. A decision that led us to question the future of this network...
Because we like to read, get informed, talk in numbers (also simply talk), debate, exchange ideas…
And because we like to share our thoughts so that greater reflections can be born!
By March 2020, the world is on lock down: coronavirus epidemic is spreading, hospitals are filling up and political measures are becoming tougher. Overnight, everyone is called upon to isolate themselves - sometimes on the other side of the world, with limited resources. Here, we will talk about our confinement abroad, from our choice to stay to our disrupted daily life.
While volunteering in a hostel in Kyrgyzstan, we were struck by the interest and enthusiasm of a majority of travelers for attractions involving animals - such as multi-day horse treks with tired horses, or souvenir photo sessions with an eagle on arm... Choices that often exasperated us, but also raised many questions!...
Since a few months, we see appearing everywhere in the media articles and reports with catchy title: "he made the World Tour without money", "she crossed Europe with 0 €". Is traveling without money a real or false good idea? This is the sensitive question we asked ourselves ... A real question, which gives pause!
During our trip, we asked ourselves several times this question: "Should we boycott over-frequented places?" Indeed our way of traveling tried to be the more responsible possible, but is it really responsible to visit a place that suffers from mass tourism? We wanted to put our thoughts here, bringing both our personal and documented lights on the subject, in order to bring out some answers... but especially solutions!
After graduating as an engineer, Clément, Julien's little brother, undertook (also) a world trip by hitchhiking with a friend. On the road, Clément developed a reflection on transport and ecology, a subject that is close to his (and our) heart... Not having a blog but things to say, we wanted (with his blessing) to share his thoughts, giving him total freedom of speech - for a result that reflects its author: punchy, scientific and totally offbeat!
"Cars pollute more than flights" and "we pollute less by flying once a year than our neighbor who takes his car every day". Fake news, truths?... After two years on the road, we wanted this time to be sure: studies reports, calculators, calculation methodologies… As good scientists, we screened all the data found to make them speak – and tell you why we stopped flying!
"Are you traveling around the world?" "Yes, we are!" "So, are you also planning to go to America?" "No, not at the moment..." "So you're not really going on a round-the-world trip..." But what does it mean exactly, to really going on a round-the-world tour? Is it necessary to travel in a certain way? To visit all the continents? To visit a minimum number of countries? From these exchanges and questions a deep reflection was born, on the definition given to the words "round-the-world trip" - an expression commonly used to describe a long journey. So, round-the-world or not round-the-world?
A new phenomenon is emerging in South Asia: "Western white" tourists would beg to partially finance their trip, either by selling postcards, playing music, or brandishing an advertising sign. These beggars of a new kind are called Begpackers, a word game between beg and backpackers. While we don't endorse this practice, we also wanted to nuance the debate created by media articles laden with judgments and amalgamations.