Connecting members all over the world
16th SUSTAINABLE WAVE-LETTER - July 2012
1. Connecting members all over the world is OUR goal
Sustainable Couch has just welcomed its 400th member.
The results of the questionnaire we had earlier this year are clear: the two main goals for 2012 are spreading the word about Sustainable Couch and deepening the engagement of the existing community.
In order to do to: it is important to connect people. [/b]
[b]On the one side, at a virtual level: presenting stories of cool travellers, projects, initiatives all over the world. These experiences can be an inspiration for change. This time Doris will describe her South America trip and her blog.
On the other side, we also want to promote real-life meetings! That is why from this month the newsletter will have a new section called: "Sustainable Couch experiences": invitations from the members for the members to get active and to join them in cool sustainable activities. This time you will get the chance to surf a sustainable couch in an eco-farm in Portugal or to enjoy a great sustainable summer fest near Vienna.
If you would like to promote your local event or invite people to surf your sustainable couch, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. "(Travel) stories are a gift: share!" a report by Doris
“I learn by going where I have to go”. I love sayings, and this one was written on a bracelet given to me by my beautiful friend Jennifer when working in a yoga community in Hawaii. And as my feet are constantly itching and as my travel bug is always teasing me, I go to a lot of places ... and perhaps, no hopefully, I learn a lot.
What I am sure about though is that I get to know the most amazing people on the road. Like the couple Anne and David, who were doing their Permacyclist project introducing positive initiatives between New York and Rio de Janeiro while traveling to the Rio +20 summit. Or like Mardy and her friends of the Busking project who were promoting street artists and becoming gipsies themselves. Or like Yasmin, an Austrian traveler and passionate hitch hiker whom I met in Bogota: We moved there at the same time and while I came back to my home country, she´s still there, founded a Bike Kitchen with others and spreads sustainable seeds everywhere.
Long term traveling can be exhausting – at least traveling in South America, and especially, traveling with too much wanderlust and too little time to “see it all” (an impossible mission anyway!). Ask my family and friends, patience is not one of my gifts. But patience is one of the main things you need in South America, apart from a love for meat (hey, I am vegetarian, …) and at least a basic knowledge of Spanish, which I got thanks to my great teacher Lucho in Bogota. So freaking-out and frustration about the unreliability and tardiness of everything were part of my everyday experience…. or rather would have been if I had not met some beautiful people who impressed me with their hospitality, friendship, trust, presence and activity.
Naming only a few people by name is unfair: I had the most incredible encounters with hosts, fellow surfers, travelers and random people on the street while traveling through South America for the last 7 months – and at times, I think it´s the people who keep me going. Of course, seeing the wildlife in the jungle of the Amazons region in Ecuador, snorkeling with sea lions on the Galapagos islands or enjoying the most gorgeous beaches in the forlorn Cabo Polonio in Uruguay are gifts and I am grateful for all of these special moments. But sharing these impressions, these events with people makes them unforgettable.
Let´s feed the travel bug: littlemissitchyfeet.com
This being said, it´s not a big surprise that I started a blog when coming back to Austria after about 1,5 years of traveling, isn´t it?! I have been blogging and writing for some platforms for many years now, but with my blog littlemissitchyfeet.com I can share even more (mostly in German, but there is a part of My Blogs in English as well. The full English version is work-in-progress).
When I was a child I used to have little booklets telling stories about Little Miss Sunshine, Little Mister Smart and such – but as far as I remember, there was no Little Miss Itchy Feet. But there could not be a more appropriate name for someone like me who gets a serious attack of far-sickness as soon as she´s at one place for longer than a week. A road trip for a weekend, some excursion, some new discoveries … something to feed my travel bug, please! So when I read this couchsurfing-nickname of Alison, my amazing host in Riobamba, Ecuador, I just had to call my blog like that.
“Stories are gifts, share!” The quote could be my mission for the blog littlemissitchyfeet.com because that´s what I am doing. It is not only stories about my inner and outer journeys, not only talking about a sustainable, green way of traveling but it´s also about sharing stories of travelers with a mission and – best case - inspire others to do the same. Sina and her friend for example who traveled from Australia back to Germany fundraising money; or the Global2000-ambassadors Rowan and Melvin doing their trip by foot or Kristin who travels around the US searching for and promoting vegan food. Or Massi, spreading the word about sustainability and the Sustainable Couch movement. There are so many interesting, motivating people out there, being a great example of how to change the world for the better one step at a time. As long as there are these stories, these true gifts, they have to be shared – for example on littlemissitchyfeet.com!
If you want to read more, like my FB page
If you are traveling with a mission yourself or know about a project you want to read more about, let me know! Thank you & happy trails!
3. Active community. The members of Sustainable Couch invite to
- Sustainable surfing in Tavira, Portugal
Victoria is happy to invite members from all over the world to visit her in her wonderful eco-farm "Quinta Alvourada do Ouro".
Accomodation: tent (with one of the coolest couch ever: a straw bed :-) a 4 bed "community house "... or build your own private house from materials found in the woods, stretch the limits of your creativity !
Couchsurfers /volunteers can help with some work in the farm, such as farming, general maintenance and art project.
If you are interested, just contact Victoria through her Sustainable Couch profile (the link to her CouchSurfing profile is provided there)
- Sustainable Summer Fest near Vienna, Austria
The Vienna Sustainability Group invites all interested people to the "Sustainable Summer Fest 2012". a few places are still free, join asap!
Take action, start now!
Sustainable Couch Team
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