Trustroots Summer Newsletter


  • Greetings
  • How to Reach out and Root
  • Hitchhiking During The Pandemic: A Field Report
  • How to Reach Out and Root
  • Want to Join the Trustroots Team?
  • Share your moments
  • Relevant links

Greetings Rooters! Happy Summer!

We are all slowly, carefully opening our hearts to travel and making connections as the globe tentatively wakes up after the pandemic. In times like these, it is more and more important for us all to put down roots as we reach across the world and build relationships. There is still so much conflict and uncertainty in the world, but with Trustroots, we can open our hearts and homes and minds to making friendships and living life fully. We have now grown to over 80,000 Trustroots members– your personal network of global friends is growing. Come meet everyone.

Our online platform struggled a bit in late June – messages were getting clogged in a broken email server – but a small group of volunteers (some new, some old) jumped in and solved the problem, to where we’re back to seeing close to 1000 messages and message replies a day. Connections are happening!

In this issue, we’ve got a few thoughts on modes of travel while still thinking about safety during a pandemic, as well as some basic ‘rules of the road’ for being a good Rooter, and of course, the different ways you can be involved – Trustroots in 100% volunteer driven, so we need good people to apply their talents. Come on out and get involved.

Hitchhiking During The Pandemic: A Field Report

Meet Adrian

In August 2021 Adrian, tested the hitchhikability in Slovenia, Bulgaria and Turkey to find out what is the current situation like in relation to the CoViD pandemic. Interview conducted by Jans.
How long have you been hitchhiking?

I first hitchhiked in 2004, ever since until 2019 I used to hitchhike around 10000 km per year just for the pleasure of the adventure. In total since 2004 about 130000 km.

Why did you decide to visit Slovenia, Bulgaria and Turkey last summer?

Oh, it just happened I decided to go to the seaside in Turkey – that just happened to be my route. Croatia and Serbia were also on my route but there I just was incredibly lucky and got two long rides so those don’t count.

Trucks to find a ride on

How did your experiences of last summer compared to previous hitchhiking trips?

Not only CoViD impacted hitchhikability, politics did too. And it was different in different countries. In Slovenia what happened in the last 12 months did not have any impact on the average time and effort needed to hitchhike. I still rate Slovenia as among the top hitchhiker friendly countries in Europe

But in Bulgaria: while the people I met seemed to be totally careless about CoViD, some of the drivers I met did say that some people in Bulgaria are afraid of the refugees that came into the country lately and because of this Bulgarians may be more afraid to pick up hitchhikers than before. Hitchhikability on the motorways was actually usual, but on the national roads I found it to be a lot more difficult than in the previous years – many drivers passing by were totally ignoring my presence while doing passive hitchhiking with no difference being noticed when I was using just my thumb or a cardboard.

At the Turkish border at Kapıkule I arrived on foot and I handed my documents to the border police. They told me that the Turkish government made a new CoViD related rule which forbids border crossings on foot. After a long, frustrating conversation the officer let me cross on foot. The same frustration happened when I wanted to exit from Turkey from the same border crossing.

I have tested the hitchhikability in an area that I was already familiar with and this year I noticed longer waiting times compared with the previous years – asking the Turkish people I met why in their opinion I found less people willing to give me rides in comparison with the previous years, almost all of them said that, on one hand Turkish people are afraid of the refugees that lately came into Turkey and that currently are still coming into Turkey, while on the other hand, because of the economic crisis that the country is facing, for many Turkish people it is becoming more and more difficult to have enough money to live and this led to an increase of the criminality rate all over the country.

Do you think people were worried you might be infected with covid when you were hitchhiking?

Absolutely not. If one is sick then doesn’t feel in the mood for traveling, usually when one is sick feel in the mood for staying in the bed to rest and get better as soon as possible. So if one travels it implies that is healthy, and this was pretty obvious to all the people I met during my trip.

What is your favorite hitchhiking memory of last summer?

Sitting under the sun and drinking hot tea while staring at the Aegean sea. I always carry tea with me while hitchhiking and I enjoy to take breaks to enjoy my tea.

What is your next trip going to be?

I don’t know. I enjoy more the spontaneous trips than the planned ones. Probably in the summer I will enjoy going again to the seaside in Turkey and drink more tea while staring at the same sea under the sun. While if it will happen during winter then for sure I will head somewhere to the Carpathian mountains to enjoy the wilderness, the nature and the fauna.

For more of Adrian’s stories check

Adrian at the border

How to Reach Out and Root

So, you’re headed to a new city and you’d love to have an authentic connection to the place and the people.  You’re a member of Trustroots, so you go over to the map search and start surfing around looking at the different people in the area. How best to decide who try and connect with, and how best to reach out to them?  

First, make sure you’re not just blasting anyone and everyone.  Read the profiles, make sure you can respect and understand that person enough to want to make a connection. Second, try and explain to the contact WHY you think the two of you might connect, or ask straight out if they can help you in the way you might need.  That is, make “the ask” personal and specific.  Don’t just send spam. 

Second, be specific as you can about your plans and needs.  Don’t just say, “hey, I’m coming to X, wanna hang out?”  But rather more like, “I’ll be in [your city] starting Oct 1 through Oct 22, and for the second week, my schedule will be quite open. I’d love to learn more about [your city] and how you [hobby they mentioned] there.”   If they respond – and every Rooter should work to respond to all messages! – make sure to follow up and give more details, and get more details – mobile numbers, address if applicable, their schedule (so you won’t be disruptive). 

Third, confirm when the dates get close.  Don’t expect that your local connection will remember everything they messaged about weeks earlier.  Check back in about all the details and if they are still available, and tell them if you are still on schedule.  This communication beforehand is very important to *root* that trust between you both.  If you run late or plans change, don’t expect the new contact to be totally casual with that.  Yes, we all should go with the flow and roll with it, but when you make plans with a new person, work to stick to them or communicate clearly about changes.  Don’t leave people hanging.  This is actually quite important: if you *aren’t* coming, please make sure to inform your potential hosts.

When you arrive, both the traveler and the host should work to communicate clearly about plans, boundaries, and needs.  If you’re staying at someone’s place, see if you can bring a little token gift or find some way to give back- help clean up, cook a meal, weed the garden, bring a beverage.  If you’re hosting, work to make a good impression and make the person comfortable.  One hint – make sure they know where the toilet is first thing.  Travelers often want to freshen up when they arrive at their destination. 

Building strong roots in this community is easy, and fun, and important, but remember that it does take some consideration and work. 

Want to Join the Trustroots Team?

photo by;

We are a volunteer driven organization, and we can’t do anything without the efforts of all of our volunteers. We have some exciting projects we’re beginning to work on including creating more connection features on circles, design and launching our iOS app version.

We are open sourced, and carry a do-it-yourself culture. We have a group of volunteers to welcome you and orient you onto how we have worked together. We have weekly meetings at 18:00 UTC every Sunday at Meet.jitsi/trustroots and you are welcome to pop in anytime and see what’s cooking. Come help connect people around the world.

Write us to or join our Slack

Share your moments

Every newsletter we’re looking for stories and photo’s to share with you, our community. Besides the newsletter we’re using our social media channels to inspire and show people who don’t know Trustroots (yet), what we’re about.

Do you want to share your story with the community? Email us at

Relevant Links

Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Whatsapp [Announce]
Whatsapp Community Chat

Trustroots Hackathon This Weekend!

This coming weekend there is another Hackathon happening! For three days and nights our team will be devoting as much time as possible working on projects like our react migration, iOS application and i18N translations.

We’re are also looking for additional volunteers who would like to support with our communications and social media presence. Besides our long term tech volunteers, there will be volunteers from our support, communications and community building teams and our friends from the Open Hospitality Network and HerAdventures will also be joining. In short, it’s going to be a hoot!

It won’t only be online, it will also be happening in real life and one of our Swiss volunteers, Chagai, will be hosting at his Chalet. Just show up at the address below, there will be volunteers to assist with any of your needs. Online, drop by at come this Friday UTC 18:00.

Trustroots Stories and News End of 2021 Edition

Table of Contents:

~ New Circles
~ Lets Meet in the Middle
~ The Traveling Psychology Advisor on Tour
~ #Trustroots Photos Around the World
~ Want to Join the Trustroots Team?
~ Relevant Links

Places are open, places are closed, again, Winter is here, Summer is here, migrations are happening all over, new love is blossoming, old patterns and lifestyles shifting and recalibrating.

Travel is happening, yet on a minimal level not seen in years or even decades. Some things are slowing down and going back to how it may have been. Maybe that’s a good thing.
Travelers are looking for hosts in countries that are currently open, some borders have opened slowly, some have not, and some are looking for a warm place to land their feet in the Winter. And as some move around to other spots, there are hosts and homes to stay at, local dishes to taste, social gatherings to connect to and share whatever it is all of us are going through at this very moment.

In this newsletter, we share with you stories of encounters happening today, connections and reconnections being made, and the gifts we can share with each other.

Wishing you a happy end of year and one that is fulfilling. Come see what we have been doing at Trustroots to foster the connections that can very well change your life.

Thanks for reading as always,
Shawn Saleme
Newsletter Editor

New Circles

Yes, you read it right, after going through all requested circles for the last half year, having extensive meetings, passionate discussions if Pastafarianism should be a circle, and group meditation, we’re happy to announce we have implemented six new circles. Check them out and find your likeminded spirits around the world. If there is a circle you want to see on Trustroots then send them to this short form. How can we improve circle features ? Come join the conversation at circle development.

ACTIVISTS: Power to the people! No oceans, no life! Make love not war! Join this circle to find your fellow activists, add your protests on the map and join eachother in making the world a better place.
FILMMAKERS: Aaaand action! Holding a camera, being in front of it, working on the tech side of things, traveling to find the best settings: If this all seems familiar to you, this is the circle to join. Find fellow enthusiasts, exchange experiences, work together on projects and of course travel the world.
RAVERS: Love dancing your ass off to beats in underground and secret locations? Come join and find out where the party is at around the world. If you know, you know.
SCUBADIVERS: If you love spending more time underwater than above land exploring amazing worlds, then this circle may be good for you.
RUNNERS: Anywhere you travel, do your running shoes come with? The more miles, the better? You even travel for big competitions? Whether you’re a casual, free, marathon or trail runner, this is the group for you.
ZERO-WASTERS: Interested in reducing the waste going to landfill and incineration ? Connect here with people acting individually and collectively towards a waste free world.

Let’s Meet in the Middle

It’s November. After crossing the English Channel with my camper on the ferry to Brittany, France, I arrive in Cherbourg. It’s grey out but not particularly cold. Through an app I find a free parking place nearby which seems to be very popular and since I’m driving alone for the first time it seems like a good place to start. As I drive up I see that it’s only big white fancy motorhomes and not really any van-lifers here unfortunately. I tried to see if there are any other van-lifers around that want to meet up in the area, and turned to an active Facebook group.

Within a day I receive a message from a person named Sophia: “Hey.. I just saw your message and wanted to say hi! … We could definitely meet up in a few days, when our paths cross.”

The next day I start driving North along the coast while Sophia is driving South and since we both prefer to take our time we meet up after three days in the middle.

Sophia proposes a parking near a bay which is famous for its seal colony. ‘Wow, sounds amazing!‘ I thought. When I arrive the bar which gives access to the parking lot is removed. I guess that’s the upside of driving around in Autumn in the North of France. Again, this place is like a village of mostly big fancy motor homes but at least here people actually using them. I find a spot and go to my routine of pulling out the stairs, putting a jerrycan below my grey water point and make some nice hot coffee.

Plage de Phoques (Beach of the Seals)

The moment I see Sophia pulling up her van I see a furry companion very anxious to get out. Such a happy and energetic dog so we immediately go for a walk. The rest of the day goes by in a flash. We have the same passions like sustainability, conservation and of course traveling.

Sophia is a volunteer for the big only female travelers FB group “Her Adventures”. I’ve never heard of it so when I hear from Sophia they have over 81.4k members, I was surprised. With this project they would like to redefine travel to be inclusive, sustainable and empowering. Aside from the group they have a site where they share blogs, podcasts and even a shop with merchandise. With their promise to “have gratitude, practice self-care, be self sufficient, be kind, be polite, be respectful, have integrity, be informed, be ethical and give back” I see a lot of similarities with our Trustroots community. The next day Sophia continues her travels South while I head North again. It was great meeting each other and I’m sure we’ll meet again. Maybe I’ll visit her in Germany when she gets back home or she’ll join me on my sailboat back in the Netherlands. OR we’ll meet again in the middle.


The Traveling Psychology Advisor on Tour

After completing his first-year studying Psychology, Jens Thölke set a journey to Morocco. Exploring the outskirts of the Sahara desert through hitchhiking and staying at the houses of kind locals has impacted his view towards the world. However, it all started about a year and a half ago when he did an internship in the slum area of Mombasa in Kenya where he worked on development with orphaned children.

“I had a profound realization about something that our Western culture seldom takes into consideration. The job title, education, or the amount of money in your bank account do not matter. The only thing that matters in life is how you behave towards other people and what value you bring into the world”. This experience thereafter leads Jens to choose living a minimalism life as a retreat from a societal system that encourage addictions, prejudices and break away from material possessions.

Putting together his way of life, experiences, knowledge and the love to travel, Jens initiated a social project called ‘The Traveling Psychology Advisor’ – or the TPA for short. The TPA offers counselling for anyone who’s in need of support without charging a single penny. It covers topic such as self acceptance, stress management, dissatisfaction in life, relationship and communication problems. The idea behind this project is to provide people who don’t have access to certain services because of where they live or their financial situation. He realized that something essential is missing in this space. Even in Europe the availability of psychological assistance within the public healthcare system is inadequate or even non-existent. The access for getting help and support also can be extremely difficult and time-consuming and on top of that, counselling always associated with high cost and more likely available in cities than rural areas.

Being nomadic, Jens move around with a modified former boat transporter Mercedes-Benz 814. A green-painted construction container mounted on top of it. He has been living in the 20 square meter space since May this year. He built the interior with the help of a friend. Inside there is a small kitchenette with gas cooker and compressors refrigerator, a sofa bed, a wardrobe, bookshelf and coffee table, even a small fireplace to keep the temperature warm during cold days. It is also equipped with solar system as main power supply, small bathroom with composting toilet and a water tank that could lasts more than a week. In addition, he built a veranda that also functions as storage at the back of his moving tiny house.

When asked about how long the TPA will be going on, he said that it really depends. Currently, it has been funded from his own pocket but the continuity of the project relys on sponsorship and the donations he receives. He would like to continue the TPA for several years, going through Europe, across the Balkans, and if possible extending to Iran, India, Thailand or maybe even Indonesia, where he once did backpacked..

Jens is currently touring through SouthEastern Spain and making a stop over in the region of Murcia. He has been on the road for a couple months now accompanied by 8 months old Briard named Baloo. The first two months of the project, he had over a hundred persons signed up for appointments through meeting in person and online sessions. Up to this point, Jens never had any difficult experiences although at times it’s a challenge to find parking spot for his house and the constant need of decent internet connection since counselling are also given online for those who could not meet in person. For example people from the other side of the world as far as United States, Japan, India and others are having consultations virtually with him and for Jens himself , all the experiences have been positive.

He describes his best moment is when each person he meets appreciates the help he could offer. Even though he didn’t really plan where he’s heading to next, he takes every possibility on what option is available and whatever life throws at his feet. Until then, he will continue to help as many people as possible.

To find out more about Jens’ project and book a meeting with The TPA, you can proceed to the Traveling Psychology Advisor homepage.

Find The Traveling Psychology Advisor on Instagram @thetpa_ontour


It’s been a while (2.5 weeks to be specific) since we moved out of our school campus. We still don’t have an apartment but we always found a place to stay. We met many amazing people that took us in and let us experience their reality. I’m extremely grateful for my privilege to live such a simple life even when it’s challenging sometimes. You never realize how lucky and privileged you are until you lose it. For me being hostless (homeless) for a while is an incredible eye opening experience that showed me how lucky I am to live the life I live.

Find Martina on Trustroots @martina98 | Instagram @margienna

Circle of Life

When we returned to the U.K. about four months ago we donated our beloved bikes, with the help of our wonderful @trustroots hosts and @atelier_de_reparations_coll we left the bikes in their care and we have now received word that the bikes have found their new homes!

Their adventures continue! It was quite a big deal for us to part with them and it hasn’t been easy at times, however knowing they are now with new guardians who seem equally happy to have them makes us smile 😊

To give and to receive, the circle of life.

Find Rose & Albert on Trustroots @the-fat-earth | Instagram @the_fat_earth

Voyager, c’est partager

To travel is to share.

This is the universal language when you are faced with language barrier. Let’s learn to communicate with the heart, share an experience to keep and leave wonderful memories. I always travel with a ‘happy kit’. I always carry at the bottom of my backpack a magic trick that my father had taught me; a nail polish, to make the women I meet even prettier.

The most beautiful thing about travel is the interaction you can create without having to speak. There are no boundaries for sharing.

Find Cécile on Trustroots @ccyl | Instagram @cecileravaux

Day 153 – 🚲 KM 4673 🇪🇸

In Austria, there are apple trees everywhere! The cider have the first place in traditional drinks. It’s on all of the tables. Even in the bar and restaurant. They serve it by an original way. The right hand with the bottle up and the second hand with the glass the most down. It gave gaz to the liquid. They serve only 2 cms in the glass. And you have to drink everything directly ! We visited the cider company El Gaitero on the way to go to El Puntal, where we were host by this lovely family ! Thanks again to them for those precious moments.

Find Max & Marie on Trustroots @bike_circle | Instagram @bike_circle

Although life has a slower pace here, time is flying. Breakfast in the sun, working on new art, surfing, lunch, walking along the beach and all of a sudden the day is gone. For three days this is still my outdoor work space, then I’ll be on the road again to find new inspiring surroundings.

Find Rob Van de Wiel on Trustroots @robmakesart | Instagram @beachbumb_rob

Hitchhiking and wild camping Mallorca:
* Kind local people with waiting times only minutes
* Easy wild camping spots despite all the private property signs
* So much free cake that we felt sick
* Hosted in a converted monastery
* Moved on by the police for hitchhiking at the entrance to the motorway. But even they were pretty pleasant, weirdly.

What a friendly island.. I highly recommend 🙂

Find Lisa on Trustroots @aimless | Instagram @aimless.travels

Helping Trustroots in 2022

We are a volunteer driven organization, and we can’t do anything without the efforts of all of our volunteers. We have some exciting projects we’re beginning to work on including creating more connection features on circles, design and launching our iOS app version.

We are open-sourced, and carry a do-it-yourself culture. We have a group of volunteers to welcome you and orient you onto how we have worked together. We have weekly meetings at 18:00 UTC every Tuesday at Meet.jitsi/trustroots and you are welcome to pop in anytime and see what’s cooking. Come help connect people around the world. Or just go to our Github link below and knock out some work.

Relevant Links: 

Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Whatsapp [Announce]
Whatsapp Community Chat

Trustroots Travel Stories and News September Edition

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere has come to a close with the seasons changing and the leaves beginning to Fall. There has been traveling and hosting happening and in this edition of this Newsletter we highlight some of those hosting experiences. We also share some stories of hitchhiking, building off-grid, how to host a meetup on Trustroots, and crazy villa parties that come as a result of being hosted.

Trustroots is growing faster than ever, and as we grow we aim to develop features that help connect everyone who uses the platform. We will always be free and open sourced and we (the current volunteers who facilitate the community) welcome anyone’s participation to help us continue to develop and build the community.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy this Newsletter. And if you are comfortable hosting at this time, be sure to subscribe to notifications so you know when a traveler comes into town.

Shawn Saleme,
Newsletter Editor

Table of Contents:
Meet Trustroots Host – Ed Purcell
Did You Know Trustroots Has a Meetup Function?
Trustroots Community Stories by Ivan F.
Meet Trustroots Member – Edoardo Baradello
Trustroots in the Media
Want to Join the Trustroots Team?
Relevant Links

Meet Trustroots Host — Ed Purcell

It all started around 4 years ago when Ed tried to couchsurf for the first time while he was in Seattle, Washington. He stayed with a guy in his sailboat along with a French couple who had joined last minute. He was amazed at how the host were generous to host in his already cramped space, pick them up in town and spent time cooking together.

“The people I stayed with were really what I liked most about the trips I took.” said Ed as he tried it a few more times.

He had wanted to host as well but was feeling unsure and thought it might not be a good hosting set-up since he was renting a single-wide trailer. “I realize now that was bullshit, every place you stay is unique and that’s part of the fun. Even my guests told me about people hosting in their vans,” he said.

Ed is now living in South Western Montana. “The Bitterroot Valley is a really interesting spot, beautiful with a milder climate than most of Montana. Despite all the suburbs, it still might be considered rural – there’s lots of hay, cattle, and produce farms.” A few years ago he bought a couple acres of open land in Stevensville, which is near the town of Missoula and started camping out while building a cabin to live in, which he now used for hosting travelers.

“Once I got the property here and had the cabin finished, I started hosting via Couchsurfing. In early 2020 I left that site hoping to find one that had more transparency. I joined Trustroots and started getting requests right away.”

Although at first it was mostly just to have a place to live and build things, Ed had been doing some form of eco-living. He started out there in a tent, using a compost toilet, solar shower and use water from gallons jugs he filled at a friend’s farm before he had a well. He said it was practical but also made him much more conscious about water consumption. With the development of the property, Ed also tried keeping as much of the sagebrush and native plants instead of flattening it for a lawn. The bitterroot flower which the valley was named after, only blooms for a few weeks in Summer. This plant is becoming more rare as the valley gets further developed. “This property has loads of them. In areas where I was going to excavate, I and some volunteers would dig them up and have them transplanted.”

As for the building, around 3/4 of the materials he used are reclaimed, including scraps from job sites. For Ed, it feels way better to build that way and happens to be a lot of fun and much cheaper.

When it comes to hosting, Ed hasn’t had a bad experience yet. For Ed, it’s fun to hear stories and learn about other countries, but mostly he likes to see his guests having a good time on their journey. “If you have a place to host people, it’s important to do it. You will have an impact on so many people by being that one extra part of their journey. You become a part of a network, making it easier to travel through the world without money. I think it adds something to your own life and your home too,” he added.

If you ever are passing in South Missoula in the States (Editors note: Only 3 hours drive to Glacier or Yellowstone national parks) , you can reach Ed on Trustroots. You can also follow Ed on Instagram @ep_cloudview

Ed with his Trustroots guest from Japan, Yuichiro

Did You Know Trustroots Has a Meet Up Function?

Traveling and want to meet up with who is around? Cannot host at the moment but would like to share your favorite local spots around? Are you new to a place and would love to meet other locals? Try to get in touch with the Trustroots meet up function. It’s really simple. You open the platform and click search and switch the meetup icon “on.” Then look for the blue dots across the map.

Would you like to create an event yourself? It can be a dinner, a city tour, hiking, a movie night, language exchange, whatever you feel like sharing. The great part? You don’t have to make a new meet up every day. You can select how long your “offer” will be visible up until a month. Want to create a weekly meet up? Just add the details in the description and make sure you renew the meet up each month.

To create an event, click on Meet in the top right corner.

Then click on Add New.

Then add the details of your event. Try to be as detailed as possible. Include event times, location, and the best way to contact you, the host of the event.

Confirm the location on the map.

Then publish it ! You can also reach out to members individually sharing the event details to promote your event. You can also cross post it on the Trustroots Community Facebook Group

Did you have a great meet up? Or are you organizing a weekly event and would like to highlight it in the Newsletter/blog? Let us Know!

Trustroots Community Stories by Ivan F.

I am getting tired of all the photos popping up on my feed of beautiful young models without many clothes on, tagging their pictures #hitchhiking . Some of us do actually hitchhike for real! So I am posting some photos of what hitchhiking is often really like!

Hitchhiking can mean hours of waiting, often at stinking petrol stations, often in the rain, usually with very heavy bags! In that first photo you can see that I am pissed off to be there. I mean, look at how shit it is!

But the beauty of hitchhiking outweighs the negatives. All the kind, kind people you meet; the houses you’re invited into; never knowing where you will end up from one day to the next; adventures on the back of pickup trucks.. It’s a way of life that only suits those that are both spontaneous and patient. And, of course, those who have time.

Follow Lisa on Instagram @aimless.travels


I just hosted my first ever guests through @trustroots . They had cycled here from Nantes, France and stayed with me for 4 nights. During this time, we saw Stockholm city and various bars along Östermalm, Gamla stan and Söder.

We ended up on a crazy villa party in the south of the city, went midnight swimming staying up to 10. We also went for a overnighter in the archipelago and played “war” on the open military field.

Follow Bjorn on Instagram @bjornmelin90


My wife and I decided to take on the crazy challenge of cycling to the North Cape through Finland.

Through this beautiful adventure we had the opportunity to meet Heidi and her sister Henna through the Trustroots platform.

It was the perfect opportunity for us to learn more about Finnish culture, their cuisine and their passion for Sauna!

Follow Karen & Ruben on Instagram @karutravellers

If you want to have your travel/Trustroots story featured on our Instagram, connect to @Trustroots.

Meet Trustroots Member — Edoardo Baradello

Why did you join Trustroots?

I am in Trustroots because I love going through space and relationships in a post-individualistic fashion. I like the idea of constantly recreating the reason for which we are moving, avoiding received concepts about mobility. After all, travelling is a form of controlled falling, like walking, from one experience to another. The thing I like most is observing its unexpected flow, my reactions and those of the communities that compose my present.

What was your best moment with a host?

If I had to pick an instant, I’d go for a hug. During a 2,000 km circular hitchhike of Morocco in 2019, I was hosted together with my friend Ludo by Karim near Casablanca. Meeting him and his family released in me a vibrant energy composed of the thoughts and traditions of contemporary Morocco. Well, the hug, right. His nephew was a restless and meteoric presence of happiness in the room where we were eating. Then, his mother called him and gave him a calm and long hug: something like a very concentrated moment of focus. The child was completely defused and calmed down, almost asleep. Needless to say, 5 minutes later he was again enthusiastically jumping around the room.
This exchange of energy and its vivid and clear impact left me smiling and it sat down comfortably in my mind as a stable inspiring memory.

What was your best moment with a guest?

It was a Summer in which I volunteered for migrants’ rights protection in a small Italian city. I met Samuel and Claire hitchhiking on a side road towards Slovenia and I gave them a lift towards the East. After 5 minutes talking we felt so much in tune that they decided to come West and spend one day volunteering within the project. Then, we hitch-hiked together North, to Turin, as I was also leaving towards Germany.
In the end we spent 3 days together helping each other, fixing stuff, watching a film, hitch-hiking and cooking. I felt that spontaneous travelling can happen very close to the place where you stably live. It often carries a treasure of learning through mixing tramping realities with the one you are used to.

What’s your favorite way of traveling?

Walking with a backpack, especially in the mountains. Carrying your essential equipment with a few friends and sewing connections with villages or cities for water, food, dumpsterdiving and other realities. Even when hitchhiking, I really enjoy walking some parts, moving to a different point on foot. When walking an entire day, it happens that the body develops a crystal clear memory of the movements and the mind gravitates around essential priorities. In this sense, travelling it’s not often relaxing. It is rather awakening, yet something that feeds me.

Trustroots in the Media

Here are some articles where Trustroots has been mentioned in:

Paradise lost: The rise and ruin of by Andrew Federov of Input Magazine

How Sleeping On A Stranger’s Couch Became A Moral Dilemma For Travelers by Tyra Bosnic of BuzzFeed News

Want to Join the Trustroots Team?

We are a volunteer driven organization, and we can’t do anything without the efforts of all of our volunteers. We have some exciting projects we’re beginning to work on including creating more connection features on circles, design and launching our iOS app version.

We are open sourced, and carry a do-it-yourself culture. We have a group of volunteers to welcome you and orient you onto how we have worked together. We have weekly meetings at 17:00 UTC every Sunday at Meet.jitsi/trustroots and you are welcome to pop in anytime and see what’s cooking. Come help connect people around the world.

Relevant Links: 

Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Whatsapp [Announce]
Whatsapp Community Chat

Trustroots Stories and News July Edition

Meet the Member: Steph Ryan
You can never save enough carrots  by Tanja Caron
Glimpses of Prague
Food Makes Me Happy
My Trustroots Experience
HospEx Recordings Available
Open Hospitality Network Created
Trustroots volunteer opportunities
Share your moments
Relevant Links

Greetings Trustroots Members and Newsletter Subscribers from Around the World! 

Travel is beginning again in many parts of the world, yet some parts remain closed off and working to recover. We hope you are well wherever you are and that if you are traveling again, share with us some of your stories and feelings. Write to us at and we can highlight your stories here on our Newsletter or social.

In this issue, we have some stories around food sharing, hitching, recent photos of Trustrooters and also news about Hospitality Exchange in general. We hope you enjoy it and happy reading. 

Meet the Member

Interview with Steph Ryan

Why did you join Trustroots?
I heard about Trustroots on Hitchwiki around the time it started. I had been involved with BeWelcome and Couchsurfing, but this felt different. As a hitchhiker, using a platform designed by fellow hitchhikers had a huge appeal. In Trustroots I have found friends, comrades, and safe places to lay my head. I have found hitchhiking partners and kindred spirits. It felt and feels different from other hospitality sites in that it’s not rooted so much in exchange—which can end up feeling transactional—as in solidarity… it’s a space for travelers who love and support fellow travelers!

What was your best moment with a host?
Ooh, it’s hard to choose just one. I’ll share a favorite Trustroots experience: While hitchhiking through Massachusetts, I stayed with Olivia, a fellow hitchhiker who is one of the most generous and down to Earth people. The two of us hitchhiked together to the Appalachian Trail, where we hiked and camped a bit together, before returning to her space. There was friendship, adventure, and a chance for respite. A lovely experience.

What was your best moment with a guest
Not exactly a guest, but six years ago I received a request on Trustroots from someone to meet up. She turned out to be a rad human and a friend—we hitchhiked together, but I also introduced her to my sister. The two went up to Alaska together for years, where my sister met her current partner. I love that a connection made through Trustroots, which was beautiful in itself, led to so many other deep and meaningful connections.

What’s your favorite way of traveling?
I love slow travel. I like to choose a place to set as my home base, hitchhike there, do some sort of work or hospitality exchange, and explore the area slowly and intentionally. It feels good to develop a relationship with a place, and the people who move through it!

In terms of personal projects, I have a DIY zine for solo female hitchhikers. I also am compiling a zine of female hitchhiking stories. Reach out if you’d like to participate! Also, reach out if you’d like to come visit the desert.

You can never save enough carrots by Tanja Caron

When you saved to much fruit while traveling: click here

It only takes one spark to light a fire and that is exactly what happened when Nick got introduced to the world of foodwaste. Living in Germany at the time and wanting to spend his IT experiences for community purposes, he came across the project “”. It’s a more organized way of dumpster diving where agreements are made with local shops to pick up food which is seen as waste. Through foodsharing the project yunity emerged. And it was through an event they organized, that Nick had his first dumpster dive experience. At the event he and some of the other participants went out on the hunt to look for discharged food. Because of their experience of knowing where to look, they collected a big amount of food in a really short time. Being in front of a big bin of a supermarket, Nick realized how much perfectly good food is thrown out on a daily basis. For various reasons food is tossed away. It can be as little as a brown spot on a banana. The fire was lit. When he returned home he started to explore local dumpster dive possibilities with a friend.

Talking about foodsharing at the yunity project with others, another project was born: Karrot. Not another organization but an international tool for groups to start their own grassroots community. This tool can be used for more than just sharing food but many groups who join are connected to the original idea of foodsharing. Through the foodsharing project Nick came across another way of saving food: Gleaning. Visiting the project Kanthaus, which origin is also foodsharing, he went on a gleaning pick up. “Modern harvest methods result in many produce is being left on the field”, he says, which is the first stadium where you can save food. Going to a carrot field the amount of carrots they came across was stunning. Even the small van they brought to carry all their saved carrots was too small. The next weeks there were a lot of carrot based dishes on the menu of course, which tasted even better because now they weren’t going to waste. 

Carrot Gleaning with Kanthaus

Even when he’s traveling Nick goes dumpster diving. He looks up an online map and marks all the nearby supermarkets. After that he just goes from one to another to see what treasure can be found. He loves the creativity of cooking that dumpster diving brings. “When you collect random items, it’s always a nice challenge to see how you can turn these into a good meal”. A big bonus is the saving on food moneywise of course. In a three week bicycle trip in Germany he spend no money on food. Some finds show really well how in many cases it just about a simple thing as a date. “The weirdest is the salami, it’s literally designed to last for ages, but still has a short expiry slapped on it and to the bin! I bet it’ll keep for weeks/months still”, he posted on his Mastodon after a dumpster dive. So, do you feel inspired yet to try out dumpster diving on your next trip? There’s even a wikipage, Trashwiki, dedicated to this topic where you can find more tips and tricks. Happy diving!

Want to know more about Nick or the projects he works on? Check his Trustroots account or his decentralized Mastodon

Cheese or salami anyone?

Glimpses of Prague

How would you respond, when posed with the question, “Want to harvest the bees?”.
As the small local bus climbed the winding mountain path, I stared incredulously out the window, my chin resting on the travel backpack in my lap. An hour outside the gorgeous historical center, nestled in the trees, lives Petr, my Trustroots host, his lovely wife, and their baby daughter. They welcomed me into their alternative lifestyle for two days. They taught me to pick wild elderflowers for tea, brush bees from honeycombs, and we ate delicious casserole and apple crumble made from dumpster-dived ingredients. I still can’t stop smiling at the amazement in their eyes when I put on my nightly face mask. Apparently, in all his 50+ years, Petr has never seen anyone wear one before. — Shirley Xu

Follow Shirley on Instagram |

Food makes me happy!

This is me, smiling, because I found a nice tree house on my way to Czech Republic with my Ebike. And also food always makes me happy. Additionally I was very lucky as I found spontaneously a place to sleep with Trustroots in Könnern Saxony-Anhalt. I guess today was my lucky day! — Sérgio

Follow Sérgio on Instagram | @planetserg

My Trustroots Experiences

Pictured left: Alan hosted his first guests from Trustroots, Agnese and Térez. “They were very lovely to have around and exchange experience.“, he said. Few weeks later he had hosted another guests coming from Paris, Timothée and Margaux. Alan enjoy introducing Lisbon to travelers visiting the city. — Alan Caetano

Follow Alan on Instagram | @alanncaetano

HospEx Summit Recordings Available

On May 8, over a hundred thought leaders in the Hospitality Exchange network came together to discuss the most pressing items facing “HospEx” today. Are paywalls necessary or do they prevent long term community growth? What are all the major platforms doing today? How can everyone work together in the future? Check out the recordings at to watch and learn more. The next one will be in September. If you or someone you know is interested to participate as a speaker, write to

Open Hospitality Network Created

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A group of developers and hospitality exchange advocates have are building a new platform utilizing the same software as for the bicycle touring community.
They will be implementing some federation features, so that both platforms can communicate, show hosts on each others networks and that users can easily move from one to the other.

If all works well, it plans to abstract the protocol so that BeWelcome, CyclePlanet and Couchers could join the network as well. In the long run, the goal is to make it easy for new communities, such as Host a Sister, to have their own platforms, tailored to their specific needs and governed by their own rules.

The Open Hospitality Network is more than an infrastructure for others – those that already exist and new ones – communities than a new hospex community by itself. We’d like people interested in joining us to join and help, and people interested to re-build bicycle touring community in the new place to join Trustroots team as for now and self-organize from here. To Learn more and get involved, check out

Trustroots Volunteer Opportunity:

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There are volunteer opportunities at Trustroots, where you develop or learn new skills in software development, support, design, user experience and social media. Reach out and join here to get started.

                                                              Share Your Moments

Every newsletter we’re looking for stories and photo’s to share with you, our community. Besides the newsletter we’re using our social media channels to inspire and show people who don’t know Trustroots (yet), what we’re about.

Do you want to share your story with the community? Email us at There’s also the possibility to share your favorite moments with us by uploading them through this form:

If you photograph frequently, have an active social media account or a huge database with amazing photo’s, you can simply leave the link to your personal account at the form, so we can take a look. In the form you’ll also find the general terms and conditions. Together we make this platform what it is, so why not share your amazing moments?

Relevant Links:
Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Whatsapp [Announce]
Whatsapp Community Chat
Telegram Community Chat

You Can Now Share Your Experiences With Members

Photo by Tiago Rosado

From today on, you can share and write about your experiences with other Trustroots members!

Trustroots has been growing at a steady pace since 2014, and Trustroots members can tend to share a common mindset. A vast majority of the community are helpful, kind, responsible and respectful to others and when there are disputes, our large support team is there to help.

That said, sometimes members would like to understand before requesting a place to stay with a member, what experiences did this Trustrooter have so far? What kind of experiences have others had with them? Will our expectations from meeting fellow members likely be met with this person?

Well, now you can read about what other members’ experiences have been and share yours! After you’ve met, hosted, or stayed with someone, you can elaborate on the experience from your perspective. Every experience is unique and nice to share.

There are multiple reasons why someone would want to read or share an experience;

  • It’s a way to say “thank you” in to someone who has helped you.
  • One can get an idea of an experience you could have with this person. Maybe the person(s) enjoys long conversations, takes their guests on tours, is busy or not busy, or enjoys a faster or slower pace of life. You can get an idea through the experiences posted along with their bio.
  • You may want to see if the persons is active in the community — Perhaps you prefer to stay only with those who clearly demonstrate a level of generosity in hospitality and have some more experience than others.
  • Perhaps you’d like to understand what kind of people someone is meeting and how? Did they meet only with one gender, or families, or a certain language, or geographic region? It can give cues to the type of person the host has accepted in the past that could serve your research in picking a host.
  • A sense of safety and being able to trust fellow members is quite important. While experiences can never be a truly proactive safety feature all the time, it does help significantly to reduce risks for those using Trustroots.

How to Share your Experience with Others

To share about your experience, press “Share your experience” on their profile page.

This is how shared experiences look like. You’ll get a brief summary on top as well.

How does sharing an experience look like?

These experiences will then appear on both of your profile pages after both of you have written an experience, or after 14 days have passed. After this two weeks limit, you can still share an experience but you will not be able to add recommendation.

Bad Actors

What if your experience with another person using Trustroots was not great?

We take trust and safety seriously at Trustroots and if a said member has clearly behaved against our rules or otherwise disrespectful to you, or those you are traveling with please report them to support. If you, or someone you know, have been witness or a victim of a crime, please report it to the local police immediately, and inform us as well.

Posting a public “bad” experience on the said users profile may not be enough to inform future members about this person. So, we would appreciate if you report it to the support team, even as a precaution and make support aware of the member. If members can’t be recommended they will need to be asked to leave the community ultimately.

This is Just a Start

As with Trustroots culture, this is our first iteration of experiences. We take everyone’s feedback, observe, listen, and re-iterate continuing to make the design as functional and beneficial for the wider community.

For now, we shall see how people begin using the feature and adjust where needed. Please share your feedback to or in these comments. Nothing is final ever with Trustroots. We are a social experiment in community/hospitality exchange and will always improve and continue to serve all of the amazing community around the world.

What’s Next on Our To-Do List?

  • Add more nudges to sharing your experience, such as in emails, “adding contact” flow, and with the message inbox
  • Sending reminders a few days before, and at the time when the 14 day limit passes and a experience becomes public
  • Adding the ability to sort experiences by gender, recommendation, date, relation, and the amount of text written
  • Adding someone as a contact while you’re writing your experience with them

Finally, thanks for your patience! We know this was long awaited feature.

We would like to thank all the volunteers who made experiences possible for the Trustroots Community. A Big Thanks to :
*Hlib Babii, Nick Sellen, Noah E, Chagai Friedlander, Shawn Saleme

Please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback about experiences in the comments!

Photos courtesy of WikiMedia (1, 2, 3). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.

Trustroots Stories and News April Edition

Photo © Paul Grillet

*Experiences is Launched!
*HospEx Summit May 8th
*Meet the Member
*Say Hello to Warmshowers Refugees
*On the Road as a Hobo for 14 Years
*Bea’s Journey into the Multiverse
*A Photo Says More Than A Thousand Words
*How to Write a Hosting Request!
*Relevant Links

Now you can Share an Experience about anyone on Trustroots

Experiences is launched! What is experiences? It is basically a way to leave references for those you interact with on Trustroots. We call it experiences though, because we want to encourage everyone to share their personal experience, rather than share a judgement of the persons character, which can be hard to determine in a short amount of time.

Check out more about experiences through out recent blog post here.

Hospitality Exchange (HospEx) Summit on May 8

On May 8, thought leaders from Trustroots, BeWelcome, Warmshowers, Couchers and Couchsurfing will be convening for a virtual summit to discuss the future of HospEx as Covid changes how platforms operate, and what is needed for the long term existence of such HospEx platforms. If you are interested to participate as a speaker, check out this form, and the Summit will happen on May 8, 8:00am Pacific, 5:30pm Central European Standard time. Keep updated here.

Meet The Member: Matthew Temple

He’s a filmmaker, a husband, a father and a traveler. Matthew has lived and worked every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Last year, he released two films, both a documentary and a narrative feature and wrote a book on the creative process and also recently released The Lover’s Journal, a guided journal for couples that my wife and I created together. Jans got together with Matthew to talk about his life.

Why did you join Trustroots?
I was invited by my long-time hitch hiking partner and best friend. We started hitchhiking when we were sixteen (first trip northern Germany to the Cinque Terre) and over twenty-five years later, in our 40s, we recently did an amazing trip.

What was your best moment with a host (trustroots or just general/hospitality exchange)

One that stands out was long before Trustroots existed. I was hitchhiking from Germany to London with my girlfriend. I had a friend to stay with in London, but it was after dark and we were stuck on the side of the road, a couple hours away when an elderly gentleman picked us up. He had a car phone (a big deal then), so I called my friend. She was overwhelmed and said, “tonight won’t work.”

This elderly gentleman immediately called his wife and asked if he could bring us home for the night. When we arrived, it was a huge manor. His wife had wine, crackers and pate ready when we arrived. The guest suite had its own wing of the house, where we took a jacuzzi bath and finished with the sauna before bed.

The next day, he took us in to London.

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

How about a guest that becomes a very, very close friend? My wife had invited a couple to visit us in Nakuru, Kenya. But they booked an Airbnb and we had just planned to meet for dinner.

As it turned out, their place fell through and they sheepishly called to asked if they could crash with us. That was the beginning of a great friendship. We’ve stayed with each other many times since, traveled together – and even run the Kilimanjaro half marathon together.

What’s your favorite way of traveling

I’m a bit of a travel-chameleon. In the year before COVID, I walked over 100 miles from where I lived to Mt. Kenya, camping and sleeping floors along the way before taking four days summiting the mountain. Later in the year, I hitchhiked through Germany. At the end of the year, I stayed a week in the nicest hotel in Kisumu. A walk through Africa is the best story, but a beautiful room overlooking Lake Victoria with amazing food, wine, a marble shower, etc, is a wonderful gift. Each has its place for me.

Learn more about Matthew on his website here.

Say hello to the “Warmshowers Refugees” by Tanja Caron

Cycling Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan 2015.
All photo’s are from Mariha

Mariha joined our team some weeks ago as a Warmshowers refugee. She was one of the contributors-volunteers who built the WS Android app and as a bike tourer herself, she was very committed to the community.  She had been feeling that Warmshowers shifted direction gradually over the past five years and wasn’t following the original philosophy anymore. The WS board recently released a new app and claimed the community built app (used by 55K users since 2012) was a security threat and urged everyone to switch to their new paid one. Mariha finally decided to look elsewhere for a collaboration and together with some other former Warmshowers volunteers she joined our team to discuss possibilities. 

Since Warmshowers is only for tour bikers and their supporters, we talked about what they need on a platform and how Trustroots can help them out. Bicycle tourers have very minimal needs when traveling: a warm shower, a friendly person to chat over a meal and a safe place to stay for a night is usually more than enough. At the moment you could really help out these Warmshowers refugees by joining the cyclist circle if you would like to welcome them and update in your hosting description if you have safe storage for a bike. Bike tourers usually carry a tent, hammock or bivy with them and it could be useful for other members as well to add aside from a safe bike storage, if you have room for a tent in your garden so they can crash when their phone died and you’re not at home. Note however the location displayed on someone profile isn’t accurate due to safety reasons. Be sure to contact hosts before traveling and ask for the exact address.

In the mean time we’re working behind the screens to explore features that Warmshowers has which could also be useful for our community, like visibility for people in your own circles only and adding a phone number to your profile. For now we would like to welcome all members who joined us from Warmshowers. May you find safe havens, hospitality and community spirit here on Trustroots like you did for years on Warmshowers.

See you on the road!

On the Road as a Hobo for 14 Years (and counting) by Shawn S.

Kenny Flannery left his hometown and family with nothing but a backpack, uncertain of his next destination. He just hit the road, hitchhiked, staying at locals homes through HospEx sites, and checked out local food and drink wherever he went. Well, it’s 14 years later, and Kenny is still on the road, still making friends, still having adventures, still drinking new brews, and tasting new cuisines. We talked to him in depth in a video interview which you can watch here.

He’s never stayed in one location for longer than a month, making him a true nomad and hobo as he treks around the planet. But what about love and relationships, what about community? Well, tune into the interview to learn more..

Kenny has created offerings as he travels, including his series on visiting breweries. he’s actually raising a couple bucks to fund it, so check out his kickstarter if you want to support an independent travelers creative pursuit.

Want to learn more about Kenny? Check out his:
Website: Hobo Lifestyle
IG: @hobolifestyle
TV Show: @HoppingShow

Video Interview Below:

Bea’s Journey Into the Multiverse by Shawn S.

Bea it would seem had everything going for her in Brazil. She had a successful media career working for companies such as Nike and Univision, had over 100k followers on her Instagram account and had many doors of opportunity available to her to continue her career in the media industry.

She had a radical change of heart though.

She wasn’t happy in her job, and she didn’t want to have boundaries anymore and have her life dictated by her company. So, she quit her job, deleted her Instagram account, sold all her designer clothes and left Brazil to as she describes to “connect with a deep sense of humanity.”

My life was a shit,” she said. And one night while she was in contemplation, she had an inner light come to her and clearly say to her “Trust me.”

This light took me out of my body. I woke up and everything was beautiful and I could see downloads of the ‘source.‘”

Bea left Brazil to Europe soon after and trusted her journey each step of the way. She didn’t have a plan and would sleep and go wherever the road took her. She hitchhiked around Switzerland, over to France, and Portugal where she had citizenship as well. She would go on to teach yoga, do performance art, make wonderful connections, volunteer and stay in communities. She would also find connections from Trustroots.

Trustroots saved my life, really,” She says.

She had been in a relationship that was beginning to turn sour, and when she felt she needed to leave, she turned to the Trustroots network and instantly found a good soul to connect with as she continued her journey.

One night she was with friends around a fire in Portugal just talking. She said in a joking manner that all she wanted to do was simply travel with a horse. Her friend decided to take her seriously, and the next day she gifted Bea a beautiful white horse. Bea packed her things, she named “Mandala” , and she went traveling with her horse.

It was a healing journey for her, and she would ride the horse south stopping along the beach, making friends, until after a few months she came to a know a community called “Land of Love.” Someone told her about it before, and one day a guy came up to her and said asked what she was doing. After talking, he welcomed Bea and Mandala to the Land of Love, where he was a community member. After a little time, the community adopted Mandala and Bea decided to go back to Brazil as Covid began to grow around the world.

Bea’s advice to travelers who want to be as free spirited as she is is while it can be really hard, she says to keep your frequency high, to silence your heart, to eliminate boundaries you may impose on yourself, and to look at the best side of every person and to smile often. While she had fears, even as a female, she never experienced abuse or danger, and the connections always came to her.

Currently, Bea is in Bern, Switzerland after a 9 month Covid quarantine in Brazil. She’s continuing to travel, open to any opportunities, and is producing music, art and getting more involved in crypto.

“We need to trust each other. I believe in life, human connection, community and no boundaries. “

To connect with Bea yourself, check out her Trustroots profile, or on IG @OmFlowYoga.

A Photo Says More Than a Thousand Words by Ivan F.

My Trip on Teide

It was my first 4000m high hike!” Paul said. It supposed to be the classic one, starting from 2000m and going to the top at 3,718m. However on the day before they spontaneously decided that it would be nice to start from the beach and hike the 4,000m in one shot!

We started at 1pm with a single bottle of water. We assumed we would buy it from a store there but everything was closed!“. It took them an hour to find people who are willing to give enough water for the hike. “It was difficult because of the length but to be fair, we are no less proud of it!” .
The best moment of this hike? “After walking under the stars for the whole night, we arrived just in time for the sunrise with a view on all other islands. Magnificent!” – Paul Grillet | Find Paul on LinkedIn.

Dax en Annie

Annie just turned 60 on March 9th. On that day, she started her 1,572km journey with Dax from their home in Mechelen, Belgium to Estivella on the Mediterranean coast of Valencia, Spain by foot! For Annie, walking is a form of therapy after overcoming cancer. She’s sticking to her life motto Tabu soro; which means ‘Never Give Up’ in Fijian.

Dax; named after Jadzia Dax from Star Trek Deep Space Nine, is a working kelpie with a lot of energy and always manage to charm people around her. “We walk approximately 25 kilometers each day. And we try to meet people along the way, stay with new friends and add experiences to our lifes!” – Annie Timmermans.

Follow Annie on Instagram | @timmermans.annie or visit her blog.

Hind the Yogini

When I think of what’s important for a healthy life, I think of travel.
Travelling gives you freedom. Travelling makes your emotions come alive. Travelling forces you to confront your personality. Travelling allows you discover new loves.

And, on a personal note, travelling exposes you to great food. Whenever it’s a local or exotic dish, you can tell people’s culture by the way they treat their food. And sometimes it’s absolutely amazing! Being a budget traveller, I love how we gradually discover that life is not all material, but that everything we need in life is from within. And, of course, a cleverly packed backpack.

Follow Hind on Instagram | @yogini_ad

How to Write a Hosting Request!

Now the threat of covid is starting to slowly diminish many people are cautiously starting to look into the possibilities of travelling again. Soon you’ll could be knocking on someone’s digital door with a request to stay. A fair part of Trustroots user base are seasoned surfers and hosts. But for those of you new to all of this, or those of you just looking for inspiration here are some tips for writing a good host request.

  • This is the first in a new set of how-to articles based on the Trustroots Wiki. Just like to any Wiki these entries can be edited by anyone who wants to add something. So feel free to work on the entry on writing hosting requests, or on any other topic you can contribute to.

Read their profiles!

  • See if you may be compatible or at least get along.
  • Try to contact those who have logged on recently, you can contact those who haven’t but if they don’t have push notifications set up, they won’t see your request.
  • If you’re traveling with friends, make sure they all have profiles.

Introduce yourself

  • Start with a good impression and say the person’s name
  • Introduce yourself. Don’t tell your whole life story, but try a little harder than just saying, “Hi! I want to surf your couch.” Don’t copy/paste your request emails to try to get a couch.

Timing is everything

  • Don’t rush, but don’t be too early. If you need a couch by tomorrow, you are making it hard for yourself. Try to send requests 1-4 weeks before. Many hosts will have a hard time accepting couch requests more than a few weeks in advance
  • Don’t feel bad about asking more than one host at the same time

Are you for real?

  • Make sure you have a complete and detailed profile.
  • Write about what you want to do in the place you are wanting to visit

And feel free to ignore any or all of these rules if you want. This is just what the collective wisdom of the contributors to the wiki, and is meant to help you on your way if you do find more effective methods why not add them to the wiki?

Share your moments

Every newsletter we’re looking for stories and photo’s to share with you, our community. Besides the newsletter we’re using our social media channels to inspire and show people who don’t know Trustroots (yet), what we’re about.

Do you want to share your story with the community? Email us at There’s also the possibility to share your favorite moments with us by uploading them through this form:

If you photograph frequently, have an active social media account or a huge database with amazing photo’s, you can simply leave the link to your personal account at the form, so we can take a look. In the form you’ll also find the general terms and conditions. Together we make this platform what it is, so why not share your amazing moments?

Great place to wake up to, Quiberon France.
Photo’s: Tanja Caron

Home is where the cats are,
they’ve been traveling with us for over three years.

Relevant Links:

Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Whatsapp [Announce]
Whatsapp Community Chat
Telegram Community Chat

Trustroots Can Now Be Translated

Hallo, Hola, Hello, Salut, Ciao,

There’s a lot going on behind the screens, and we have volunteers working on different fields to improve our platform. One of those fields is translating Trustroots to multiple languages, and we’re happy to say we’re releasing translated Trustroots in five of those languages!

From this day forward, you can select one of these languages, and instead of English, most wording will change in your selected language. Of course, our goal is to offer more languages, but for that: We need your help! If you’re interested, please join our volunteer team. We’ll help you get started.

When logged out, you’ll see a language button in the top right corner of the homepage. Here you can select your preferred language. When logged in, you can change your language preference at the “interface language” section in your account settings.

Please note that this is not an automatic translation tool. Therefore everything you write on your profile will show as the language that you wrote it in. The same goes for other members their profiles. This tool is created to make it easier to navigate and use Trustroots for those preferring another language than English.

Here are also some numbers on translation progress:

Translation status

Note that 100% refers to portion of website that currently can be translated. Some parts of Trustroots are still on little bit older technology and are not included in translation tool. To help us get over finish line, join our development team!

Happy rooting!

Trustroots Travel Stories and News February 2021


Greetings Trustrooters and readers!

Hoping you and anyone you are with are well in this unique time in human history. As the pandemic continues to encourage governments to close borders, impose lockdowns, curfews, and other restrictions, it is good to remember that it will be over soon enough. Vaccines will be more readily available, borders will open, travel will happen more freely, and doors will be open for those to stay over and share life together. 

In this months Newsletter, we hear stories of those who are traveling, such as Mutlu hitching around the world and helping teach maker skills to orphans, we learn about Rhonda and her years of volunteering around the world, only to open her own place to host volunteers. There is Magali, a sailor and “GypSea” living and working in the Caribbean islands, and there are bikers touring around echoing the salvation of Bitcoin. 

These are just some of the stories of Trustrooters and we hope they inspire you once you’re able to move around. There is a world of opportunity out there, sometimes you just need to realize it is there. Check out your profile again, update it, and subscribe to notifications so you know when a traveler is wanting to stay with you. You never know, you may just make a lifelong friend, partner, or learn something from that person that will completely change your life trajectory. Happy Reading. 

This Months Newsletter Contents: 

* Hackathon This Weekend! Feb 26-28 13:00 UTC +1

* The Tall Biking Fox

* Tomorrow is Never Promised

* Meet the Member with Jans

* Photos Sometimes Say More Than A Thousand Words

* The GypSea Life of Magali

* Karaoke Time!

* Trustroots News and Experiences Update

* Invitation to Volunteer

* Trustroots Relevant Links

This Weekend we are hosting another Hackathon and all are invited. We will be working on finalizing out our experiences feature, building out interactivity within circles, add new circles, testing and dreaming about the future of the site. Come meet some of the team and gain new skills in building out an open sourced project like Trustroots.

It will begin on Friday, February 26 at 1300 UTC +1 and will be going on non stop until Sunday night. Come and make some new friends and help us improve the site, we would love to see you.

Welcome Room Link (Your first stop) :

Hackathon Room Link :


Trustrooters Share Their Stories

The Tall Biking Fox by Tanja Caron 

Whether traveling to Europe on a cargo ship, living and working in a squatters community, cruising around on his tall bike, or spreading flyers about his four favorite subjects, Fox’s story is really, one of a kind. He renounced flying because of the huge carbon footprint and he is happy to pay more traveling in other ways of crossing oceans. With his French visa ending and no extension possible, Fox had planned to go back to the US. The port of his departure was in the Netherlands however so he turned traveling down there to go on a bike trip instead. A tall bike trip. Because that is the best way to get around according to Fox.

He build his tall bike at a community bike workshop which he helped set up some years ago. The shop is part of “Le Chat Perché .” An initiative which started 15 years ago in a squat in Lyon. Back then Fox was in France as an english language assistant. Through the years the project became bigger and had moved locations several times. They organized concerts, critical mass gatherings, tall bike jousting and bike polo. At its peak over 50 people lived and worked together there which made it a creative hub of different workshops. Fox recommended this video to see what they did over there.

Back to this year. Having made his fifth tall bike, Fox was ready for his trip up North. He loves the reactions people have when seeing him cycling by. “When people see it, it kinda snaps them out of their thoughts or what they are doing. It brings them somewhere outside of their ordinary state of being, even if for a moment, and I can feel the change in the energy”. Most common question of course is how he get’s on and off his bike, which he conveniently made a video about. Fox has four topics he is really passionate about and which he loves to share with others. That’s why he made this bike trip into a “B.A.V.E” tour. Bitcoin, Anarchy, Veganism and Eckhart Tollé.

He cycled from Lyon to Geneva Switzerland, back to the Vosges in France going up North trough Belgium to the Netherlands. In Switzerland he stayed with people he knew through mutual friends of camped out in the wild. Coming up through Belgium he realised wild camping is almost impossible in the Netherlands so he looked up hosts through our platform. His second host and he has so much in common that he left him as a good friend. Because of the restrictions his trip back got delayed until unknown time. He joined a “squad” (it became legalised under a Dutch law recently) eco-community East of Amsterdam for a month before he found his current place in Amsterdam. Since it’s possible to apply in the Netherlands for a two year freelance visa, Fox is now looking into those options as a freelance bicycle mechanic.

If you want to know more about Fox his adventures, projects or B.A.V.E topics, be sure to look him up through his profile up and check his decentralised social media account on Mastadon.

Tomorrow is Never Promised By Tanja Caron


What began as a leap of faith resulted in a nomadic lifestyle for seven years and counting! Rhonda had left the life she knew in Orlando, Florida along with her sweetheart Ryan in a small bus. There was no plan or destination, just the yearning to go and see what may have crossed their path.

In the beginning of their journey they came across a small hotel looking for people to help with Christmas decorations. They made a proposition that they would help in exchange for some warm showers. But what was only supposed to be a couple days work resulted in a two week stay where they did so much more than Christmas decorations.

They helped out with organizing and executing a special event and used their skills with preparing online presentations. Among their travels in Southern California after, Rhonda successfully used her skills as a photographer in exchange for room and board in multiple resorts.


Continuing their adventure they joined many volunteer projects, exchanging their skills for their needs and came across so much generosity. In India, they taught art and English in a school and opened up the schools first library.

In Germany, Rhonda helped out her host on his farm to set up an accommodation to rent out to other guests. Sometimes even when they do pay for a place, it results in more reciprocation back to them.

In Portugal, they rented a place for a month which resulted in a friendship and free stay for over three months. With their new friends they explored the beautiful nature surrounding their temporary home and their host even helped them out to make some money while there such as connecting Rhonda with a student who wanted to learn English.

Many years later they’ve explored four continents and recently bought a plot of land in Bulgaria with the intention to become a travel hub where travelers can also work for a bit of time. For those longing to this lifestyle Rhonda has the following advise:

Recognize that when you say ‘I can’t’ to yourself you believe it. If you really yearn to do something then go for it. Tomorrow is never promised.

Want to visit and volunteer in Bulgaria with Rhonda & Ryan? Message her on her Trustroots Profile



Sometimes There Are a Thousand Words in a Photo by Ivan Frmann

Christian welcomed his very first guest from Trustroots recently. His thoughts….

“A few weeks ago I found Trustroots and this was my first guest. Fox is originally from the US and lived in France for the last year. Right now he is traveling Europe on his tall bike! His trip is dedicated to bitcoin, Veganism, Anarchy and Eckart Tolle. Even though it felt strange in the beginning to have such a complete stranger in my apartment it was a really enriching and adventurous encounter!”

Ivan 1

A universal thing unites all of us : the desire to be free and happy. These are the sensations I feel every moment, backpack on my shoulders. This picture represents it all at once.

To live alone or with others, in almost autonomy, what happiness! Bath in rivers, lakes, waterfalls ; warm your body next to the fire or by the rays of sunshine ; let yourself be caressed by the wind and by this soft and soothing atmosphere, which nothing can exceed and replace.

Beyond all of this, one of the most important parts is the travel itself. Any hitchhiker will be able to confirm that it’s an extraordinary and exciting social adventure. Meeting all these caring people is an exceptional boost !

I would like finish with my favorite quotation : “No other world is possible for those whose imagination is already dead.” So dream! – Théo Hareng
Follow Théo on Instagram | @theo_greentrip


When I travel on my bike, I feel alive and free. I can do everything alone and yet not feeling lonely. It’s a pleasure to be able to enjoy traveling and do sport at the same moment. For me, it is truly a remarkable experience!” – Marc Vadillo

ivan 4

Back in 2020, Marc did cycling trip through Camino de Santiago starting from his hometown in Tarragona, Spain. Three weeks later he decided to go for another trip around Southern France and had the chance to witness the 2020  Tour de France when he was in Col de Peyresourde.
Follow Marc on Instagram | @estilnomada

ivan 5

Solo traveling for me is another level of growing up. I surprised myself to do unexpected things, to leave my comfort zone, to be more open and brave, to heal, and to be the better version of me.” – Herlin Utami

Pictured above, Herlin tried to learn how to make ‘Ketupat’ with a local from Gili Gedhe village in Lombok, Indonesia. Ketupat is a compressed rice cake wrapped with woven young coconut leaves in diamond shape.
Follow Herlin on Instagram | @letsgo_lin

Ivan 6

“I was waiting for a hitchhike and about to freeze that night, but when I finally find a comfortable place, my feelings are impossible to describe.” – Ferdi Karataş

Ferdi started his journey from Ankara to Bolu, Turkey. The weather was about -10 degrees and he had to wait for almost 2 hours outside. “I thought that it was going to be a terrible day for me!” he said. He couldn’t express his feeling when someone finally stopped their car. However, this experience has made Ferdi interest in hitchhiking even bigger.
Follow Ferdi on Instagram | @feardii

Meet The Member by Jans


This month Jans interviews Mutlu, a world traveler originally from Turkey.

Trustroots/TR: Why did you join Trustroots?

Mutlu: I have been traveling the world for 3 years. and I get to know and introduce what I’ve been through. I travel by hitchhiking, I spend very little money, I am an interior architect, in every country I visit, I teach professions to poor and orphans as much as I can with the money I earn from people I design for their homes. I teach the furniture decoration and electronics professions by giving voluntary lectures. I have supported dozens of children so far in order to provide a good future for their country in the future, and I continue to do so. I traveled from Nagorno-Karabakh to the country of East Timor, from the island of Papua to the mountains of northern Pakistan and in many challenging areas. I will continue my journey until I reach the farthest child.


TR: What was your best moment with a host ?

Mutlu: The best moments was when I lived in the country of East Timor. I had lived with orphans for 7 months and had became their family. As a person with a background in interior architecture, electronics and furniture decoration,  I volunteered building tables, chairs, cabinets, bookcases, and wooden toys for orphans and children with disabilities. I made similar wooden products and gave gifts, and taught children how to design the wooden products themselves and also taught them how to make small toys or small table chairs for themselves.

I also gave electrical lessons to older children, and I taught how to get electricity in a village without electricity. I have also traveled to 35 countries and volunteered in 26 of the 35 countries.  Of course it is sad that I leave every child, a heart bond is formed in a short time, but for new children, I have to keep going.


TR:What’s your favorite way of traveling?

Mutlu: My favorite way of traveling is hitchhiking, because it helps me meet new people. Hitchhiking is indescribable for me, because it helped me have good memories of my trip. Hitchhiking always gives me a chance to meet new people and new companions. Yes, sometimes hitchhiking was very difficult, and sometimes I came across bad people, and sometimes very good people, but every emotion added a different color to my journey. My only bad memories in my hitchhiking adventure is that the people I know in his car are attracted to me and they approach me, I don’t like it, they wanted to take my phone and my money twice, but I jumped out of the car and ran away. 


Check out Mutlu’s Trustroots profile to keep in touch, or get involved with his volunteer projects, or be his companion along the way!

 The GypSea Life of Magali by Shawn Saleme


In February 2016, Magali was working at a call center in Lyon, France. She had fallen in love with the town and considered it her home, but she wanted a change in her life. She had an itching to do something more than just live life in France, even though Lyon was a nice place to be. She wanted a renewal and a new way to do life and she didn’t just want to see the world for only the holiday her company gave her, she wanted to be challenged and she wanted to take a big bite out of the world. 

Her sister had decided to work on boats on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean, and so when Magali took her next holiday, she visited her sister there. And what happened? She got taken on adventures sailing, she met sailors who quit their corporate jobs only to sail full time and she felt sensations around the sea that she said only love could compare with. 

She knew what she had to do. She had to quit her job at her job in France, halt her dream of being a flight attendant, which was difficult anyway to become, and get out to the sea! It didn’t matter that some of her family didn’t like the idea that her or her sister were working on boats in the Caribbean. She was going to do what she wanted and have a fun filled life being outside instead of being at a desk. She read the book “How to be a Yacht Stewardess” by Julie Perry, got her STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) and went to the boat show in Antigua, and got a job! 

And She never looked back. 


It has been 4 years since she first worked the yachts and super yachts and she doesn’t plan to stop. She will work the high season of sailing and yachting from November to April, and then in the off season, she travels the world, doing such things like crossing the Pacific ocean (called a TransPac), visiting friends in Europe and even working in the Mediterranean if she wanted the extra work. It seems she is, really, living the dream. And she still feels that sensation like she first did sailing the seas and smelling the sea air, making fun memories everyday. She also loves to sing, and one can follow her TikTok to see her latest songs. 

You can also follow Magali’s journey on Instagram at Purplespleen 





(Editors Note: Trustroots does have a sailors circle showing all the sailors around the world, so click the switch for the sailors circle and the Trustroots map will populate all those in the sailors circle. Send a message and see what happens! )

I Want It That Way by Tanja Caron 

kareoke 2

One of the stereotypes about Japan is that they are crazy about karaoke over there. Well we found a Trustroots member who fully agrees. Masashi is a karaoke enthusiast who started organizing karaoke meet ups in Tokyo before the restrictions closed all the fun. But when the restrictions are lifted, he is planning to pick up where he left off because those three months before where too good not to be continued.

Masashi’s first encounter with karaoke however didn’t blow him completely away. In his student years he ended up in an “izakaya,” which is an informal Japanese bar, where there is karaoke. Apparently that experience wasn’t the end of karaoke for him because years later here he is: organizing weekly karaoke nights. A song which is a hit every time according to Masashi is “I want it that way” by the Backstreet Boys. So, start practicing if you’re planning to visit Tokyo in the future because it seems you can’t go there without joining one of Masashi’s karaoke nights.

Check out his Trustroots Profile to get your Karaoke on next time you find yourself in Tokyo!

Trustroots News Update and Invitation to Join Us

What have we been doing at Trustroots? Mostly, we have been hyper focused on launching our experiences feature, which is similar to references with Couchsurfing but with a much different intention. That will be launched very soon. After that, we plan to work on building out more interactive features within our circles. Many have requested that we pursue this and we listen to what the members say. Email us at to make your suggestions. 

Trustroots is completely open sourced and volunteer driven. We cannot do this work without the help of volunteers, and so we welcome and invite you to come join our Trustroots family, make friends, learn and develop new skills and help make the world a better place through connecting travelers together and giving them safe places to stay along the way. 

We can especially use more developers with knowledge in React JS, user testers, storytellers and user experience. If you are a developer, you can always check out our Github repository and take a look around. You can also join our hackathon this weekend to get an idea of what we’re working on as well currently. 

If you are interested to join as a volunteer, come join our Slack  and one of our volunteer welcome team members will help show you around and get familiar with how we work. 

There is a lot of space for everyones ideas, so come and see them manifest. Frustrated with the ways other HospEx sites did things? You can make the changes you wish to see with us. We’re a fun bunch for sure and all over the planet. 

Until the next time, stay safe and healthy ~ Travel will happen again but if you want to host now, switch the notifications to your profile and begin welcoming some guests if you feel comfortable to do so. 

If you are interested in submitting stories, videos or photos for the Trustroots digital assets, the newsletter or our social media platforms. Email us at, or DM those platforms directly (Check links below).

Until then, be well and thanks for reading. 

Shawn Saleme

Trustroots Editor

Relevant Links: 

Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Whatsapp [Announce]
Whatsapp Community Chat

Trustroots Changelog — December/January

Let’s see if this becomes a habit, but the idea is to highlight all the small improvements and continuous efforts that go on Trustroots, thanks to all our volunteers! 👏

The search got a bigger upgrade under the hood — it’s now smoother and faster, especially on mobile. Visuals got refreshed a bit, but primarily this change will also unlock any future improvements to Search. Stay tuned!

Already visited dots are now a bit transparent, and currently selected offer is black.

Before / After


  • New Circle descriptions and images for quite a few circles.
  • New areas of Trustroots available for translation: contact page, statistics page, and search map. This will get us closer to releasing translated Trustroots to everyone.
  • Fix our Instagram & Twitter profile links at the site, and both of those profiles have been much more active recently, too.
  • Fixed profile description jumping while editing it.
  • Added API for blocking users (half the job done, now the interface…)
  • New experiences feature had boatloads of progress, bringing it closer to public release.
  • We sent out a newsletter! 🎉
  • We kept helping you out by the support team. ❤️