The Invisible Key (& 2)

Is that a river? – I asked out loud while contemplating the beautiful shore of an small river, but big enough to swim. And no easy to find if you didn’t know the area. Picture perfect.

Yeah, we are so lucky that runs along side this part of the property – Rachel, our good hearted host said while smiling – It’s perfect for the summer!

And it was summer, early July, and although the running water at the house was not working properly (luckily!), we had the best bath ever.

It should have been obvious to me as a guest that people don’t usually live in hotel rooms, and many people do not live in what we could call a “normal house.” Sometimes you may stay in a flat in the city center, and sometimes in the suburbs, or in a cabin in the middle of the woods, sometimes a room for yourself, or sometimes you may have to sleep on the living room floor. In my opinion, the most important part is the willingness to share.

As a previous host, I learnt some tools to understand both sides of a hospex experience, and to be aware of expectations while being a guest. And being a guest is an significant task nowadays, the same way it is to open your house and life to strangers, so you got to try to be your best. And what are the tools? These are the ones I know: kindness (always handy), acceptance (will help enjoying your stay), gratitude (this will show easily), tidiness (of heart, body & stuff), helpful (always something to help with), self reliant (be a light weight), communicative (please don’t make assumptions), fun to be with/talk to (just be yourself), and over all, be open to learn and to share. If I may, a guest is pretty much an ambassador of humanity, big isn’t it?

I must confess that I have been hopelessly spoiled from hosts, each of them offering what they had. From a wonderfully simple meal or a comfy place to a river bank shore, from a bed in the forest to a glacier to a private fly (I know!), a long list of unforgettable places discovered and experienced with some of the most generous people I’ve met in my life. But most importantly, I have been very fortunate by the genuine blessing of meeting them and being allowed to be part of their lifes. This kind of experiences and gratitude, you feel it in your heart and touches one’s soul.

Hospitality Networks has brought back the essence of hospitality, which by the way had nothing to do with money, and fortunately has encouraged us to make that effort to be better persons and grow. It is said that hospitality is “the virtue of great souls that care for the whole universe through the ties of humanity”. This is also a big one but the best part is that the whole thing is not only enriching, but also lots of fun.

So what is next? Plenty, there are so many possibilities when using your invisible key: Trust. Use it to discover the world, to discover humanity on a different light, to discover the people you never expected, to discover hidden places, hidden moments, hidden friends, hidden hearts. Use your key to discover yourself.

This article is the second part of this one. Thanks for reading, and Happy 5 de Mayo!

Trustroots community is now 5000 members strong

Trustroots 5K

Thank you!

Thanks for the photo goes to Wesley Stanford. Check his photos, they’re great!

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article (in German)

Sofa, so goodA couple of weeks ago Mikael, Callum and I were interviewed by Marlene Göring. She was writing an article about hospitality exchange for a renowned German newspaper.

Here’s the article, it’s in German: Sofa So Good – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (posted here by author’s request). And a big chunk of it is about Trustroots! It mostly looks pretty great. I just want to comment about this part:

Im Internet lässt es sich noch träumen. Im Moment melden sich auf Trust Roots etwa 1000 neue Nutzer im Monat an. Die Währung der Plattform ist Vertrauen: niemals Werbung zu schalten, niemals kommerziell zu werden. Die Versprechen klingen wie die, die Couchsurfing einst gab – und gebrochen hat.

Three remarks about this.

  1. The Trustroots Foundation has irrevocably dedicated assets to charity in its by-laws (as far as my understanding of the situation, happy to receive legal advice if it’s not true and even better: how we can improve it). We simply cannot sell the assets, they have to be given to another charity if the Foundation ever dissolves.
  2. It’s open source. Anyone can fork. And I hope we’ll have profile export functionality soon, so people can download their own data (and possibly import it into another website). This makes forking the Trustroots network easier than almost any other network out there.
  3. We have a track record of not selling out (and of getting upset about sell outs).

Read more details in our FAQ

Anyway, exciting times!

PS. Here’s a machine translated version of the article.

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