Trustroots Travel Stories and Latest News

Greetings Trustrooters! Happy Winter if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere or Summer if you’re in the Southern.

The world continues to change and shift everyday, and we sincerely wish you are doing well in the midst of everything, and that you are able to experience some joy and love in the midst of it all. 

Some have been able to travel again and are using Trustroots to facilitate safe hosting. Travel itself probably won’t come back the way it was until the middle of next year it seems..

Still, that will not stop us from providing a safe and vibrant platform for all of us to connect on, make new friends on, find those who share our passions around the world, and just make life that much more fun through a hospitality and cultural exchange platform like Trustroots.
We want to share some news about what we at Trustroots are doing, and share some current travel stories from our community, and we also want to invite you to participate as we grow and be a part of the story of our community/network.

Happy Holidays, however you experience it. 

This Month’s Newsletter Features:

* New Year’s Traditions Around the World

* Mauro and his Travels to Sardinia

* Alberto on the Road in Romania

* Trustroots November Hackathon Recap

* Interview with Trustrooter Kim and her Travel Perspective

* Trustroots Question and Answer / AMA Online Event

* Members Photos from Around the World   

* Trustroots Relevant Links 

New Year’s Traditions Around the World By Tanja Caron

It is the middle of December which means (for most) New Years Eve is coming. Unfortunately, this will be a different one than usual for most with all that is going on. However, we would like to share with you 10 random (restriction proof) traditions of countries so you could try some of these at home and bring a bit of traveling to you.

1) Lucky outfit. In Brazil it’s traditional to all wear white on New Years Eve for good luck an peace. Not so smudge proof but definitely makes one’s photos really professional looking with these matching outfits. 

2) Fortunate Grapes. In Spain it’s the tradition to eat twelve grapes at midnight, one with every clock stroke. Each grape represents a month in the new year. Sounds easy? Well.. You also need to make sure you finish each grape before the next clock stroke. Who’s up for a challenge??! 

3) Kiss wisely. With so much restrictions this might be an easy on this year since most will choose their companion wisely. It’s found from English and German folklore that the person you kiss first will dictate your year’s destiny. Guess some of you will now try to remember who that was last year.. ;) 

4) Break a leg. Or chair in this case. In Denmark, it’s believed standing on a chair and jumping off of it as the New Year comes brings good luck. Happy jumping. 

5) Do a little bear dance. In Romania its costume to dress like a bear and dance around to ward off evil spirits. Bears are sacred in Romanian mythology. Fluffy and warm, a perfect fit for Northern Hemisphere members!

6) Sugar rush. It’s custom in the Netherlands to eat a kind of sweet pastery on New Years Eve. In Belgium and Germany they also know this pastery which is called “oliebollen” in Dutch. In the end it comes down to a fried ball of dough with raisins covered with sugar. Not at all healthy for the body, but the brain will jump for joy.

7) Shake your pockets. In the Phillipines it’s believed that shaking your pockets filled with coins at midnight brings good fortune. Some also scatter them around their house to improve their chances. Could be a nice way to find some money back again after you’ve already have long forgotten about it. A unconsious long term investment for travels to come…!

8) Drink your wishes. Write down your New Years wishes on a piece of paper, burn it in a glass and add the ashes to champagne to drink when the clock hits midnight to add some Russion tradition to your evening. I would suggest not to make too long of a list.

9) Salty entrance. It’s considered good luck to sprinkle some salt on your doorstep as soon as the clock stricks midnight in Turkey. Really convenient too if you live in a place where it freezes at night.

10) 200 year old music. In the USA it’s still traditional in many homes to listen to this song on New Years Eve: Auld Lang Syne written by poet Robert Burns. So add this to your playlist and you’re good to go.

We wish all our members an amazing new year. Thank you all for being part of our community and showing the world hospitality doesn’t cost a thing.

For the next newsletter we would love to hear about your New Years travel resolutions, so let us know yours! Email us at [email protected]  

Trustrooters Share Their Stories

When the Wanderlust Gets Sparked by Tanja Caron

Mauro has been on hospitality platforms for eight years now and could be considered as an ambassador after all his experiences. Whenever he has the time, he hosts travelers and when it is possible, he travels as a guest himself. Due to his job he has the freedom to be flexible when it comes to taking a break to entertain and get to know his guests. This freedom allowed him to give one of his guests a lift in his car to her next travel destination. While driving, he decided to make it a holiday for himself and he spent the day exploring together with his travel guest.

It all started some years ago when he met a traveler in his village who was looking for a place to stay. This sparked his curiosity for seeing and learning more about the world.

This last month in November, Mauro hosted an Italian guy who was passing by. He was a Chinese Erasmus student and also a Spanish travel blogger who was taking a break and looking for beautiful places to explore and discover. He stayed himself in Padova with a nice French and Israeli couple before the restrictions of his country became more strict.

Depending on the trip, Mauro cruised around his homeland this year on his motorbike or by car. Venice being half empty these days was definitely something he will remember and cherish. Walking through all the narrow streets along the channels in the evening with almost no tourists around might be something a person can only witness once in this lifetime. Wandering the coasts of Serdegna and roaming the hills of the surroundings of Ravenna were other short travel holidays he enjoyed.

It shows you don’t need to travel far for beautiful surroundings and to discover new gems. Sometimes they are closer then we realize, and sometimes it just takes looking with a different eye, a bit of adjustment and maybe the best option for now is (or considering the circumstances) a bit of patience.

Iubesc Romania by Tanja Caron

Alberto is from the Meditterrean island of Sardinia. When the Fall season in October came, and with no job that was holding him back, Alberto decided to start traveling. He chose to go visit and stay in Romania. He found a volunteer opportunity on a farm there and stayed there for three weeks. He enjoyed being with the people, experiencing the culture and being in nature. While he found it a magical place, it was quite isolated and far from any major town or village. Alberto would have to hitchhike to get to the nearest city if he wanted to. He hadn’t had much experience hitchhiking, but did it to get around. (Editors note: Check HitchWiki if you ever need help hitchhiking around the world)

Although Alberto said it was more challenging than he hoped in the evening when he tried to get back to the farm. There weren’t that many cars at the end of the day, and so, Alberto had to hike 15km in the dark!

He did pass through some nice villages though along the way, which he describes as “going back in time”. The many dogs however were a little bit less enjoyable.

After three weeks he took off looking for other experiences. He would love to spend this Winter in Romania and has tried to learn the language bit by bit. Because of the uncertainty at the moment due to the changing restrictions, Alberto is keeping all his options open for what is next in his adventure. Through Trustroots he was able connect with a Trustrooter from Brașov and he said “I would love to meet more Trustrooters and find another project to put his energy to good use!”

So dear Romanians, if you have a project, a place or just want to meet this nature and meditation lover, who is an enjoyer of the simple things in life: then look up Alberto! On Trustroots you can find him under the name of ‘fuofuofuo’. He’s also an active member of the cooking circle so you may eat very well should you meet up with him !

Alberto’s Trustroots Profile

Trustroots Hackathon Weekend Recap

Another Successful Hackathon Happened last November

For those who do not know, Hackathons are events in which a lot of people come together to write or improve software programs/ features, typically in a short period of time, with some staying up all night to make magic happen and create functioning software at the end of it.

Trustroots has held such hackathons a few times a year to really make progress on features and functions of the platform. On this weekend, we had over 25 people come and work on getting the ‘Experiences’ feature (similar to references in Couchsurfing, stay tuned) worked on, before it launches.

We will plan to have another one early 2021. All skills and contributions welcome, we will find a purpose for you!

Kim Berghot is a world traveler, trustrooter and hitchhiked from her home country of the Netherlands to Iran. Contributor Jans got a chance to chat with her and her experience with Trustroots. She currently hosts in Utrecht. Interview by Jans S.

Trustroots/TR: Why did you join trustroots?

Kim: Back in the days, CouchSurfing just started going downhill. I was very happy to see the people from hitchwiki were making an alternative hospitality website aimed at hitchhikers. I think that hitchhikers are a slight different breed than the general hospitality scene. Even though we all have in common that we open our houses for others, I found hitchhikers to be less caring about who they are hosting, as long as they can offer someone a couch, they will. 😉

TR: What was your best moment with a host?

Kim: One of my first encounters with Trustroots was about six years ago. I had contacted a host in Amsterdam on Couchsurfing, but didn’t end up staying with him. Half a year or so later I arrived in Istanbul and found the same host, but then on Trustroots. I still didn’t end up staying with him, but we met up and hitchhiked together for a bit. Over the years, we have enjoyed each others hospitality several times in different countries.

TR: What was your best moment with a guest (trustroots or just general/hospitality exchange) ?

Kim: I have hosted most people in Sweden, when I used to live for a while during my studies and where I had my own studio (first time in my life). I shared many good moments with people passing by. Playing games, going to the market, going hiking.. I remember once hosting a guy on my birthday, and as a gift he made a souvenir for me from the place where I lived (for when I would go back to the Netherlands). He filled a little bottle with water from the lake in front of my house and decorated it. I was so happy with it!

TR: What is your favorite way of traveling?

Kim: These days I travel much less than I used to during and after my studies but I still host people once in a while and still go hitchhiking. Even though I have ‘enough money’ to take a bus train or car, I still really like the adventures and environmental aspect of hitchhiking.

Check out Kim’s Trustroots and/or Kim’s Youtube channel to see some of the great things she’s done. Would you like to share your story and travels in our interview series? Write us at [email protected] and title the subject ‘Interview Series

Photos Sometimes Say More Than a Thousand Words by Ivan Frmann
Coastal France by Tanja
Tanja did Dolphin spotting on her trip from Brittany to Normandy in France.
Jan’s camp in the Desert while hitchhiking through Xinjiang.
On the road in Central China.
Edo’s journey through the Adamello Valley in the Alps
Bike trip organized by Hlib, Ludovico and Martin in the Italian Alps
Ludovica and her friend about to hitchhike from Leipzig to Turin last Summer.

You’ve made it to the end! Thank you for reading, know that we will all be able to travel again, to experience new places, meet people from other cultures, explore new tastes and have fun adventuring! Wherever you are, may you have a Happy Holiday season however you celebrate it and know we can co-create the future now more than ever. Be well out there!

And come join us in co-creating this amazing cultural and hospitality exchange network! We always need more volunteers to help in all aspects. If there is a skill you want to learn or develop and be part of a fun talented group then contact us here to get started. We co-create this and the future of travel together.

Also, interested in submitting stories or writing yourself for the next newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

See you in 2021,

Shawn Saleme


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