The Way Is The Goal

Bewelcome, new kid on the block!

For two years now I have been using hospitality exchange networks while traveling and also to host travelers in Barcelona and now Amsterdam. This added a new and really nice dimension to my life. Thanks to the people I met through hospitality exchange, I extended my vision, scope and aspiration.

I never felt like volunteering for these networks though ( and How they are organised simply does not inspire me: they are top-down structured and volunteers hardly have impact on how it is run.

But since a year there is a network that does want to be member-driven: I joined its volunteers last weekend in their yearly assembly when they select the yearly board, do some brainstorming and make plans for the coming year.

I hitchhiked to Essen (Germany) with four cars and had an excellent and very inspiring time. Obviously, since it is a new network there is lots of work that still needs to be accomplished but I am looking forward doing my share for this first hospitality network that wants to be truely democratic (ie. member-driven or grassroots), transparant and opensource – one that is not only able to facilitate hospitality exchange but also able to share the access to the buttons and empower volunteers.

Update 2016: Trustroots is now the way to go for a good couchsurfing alternative!

1 Comment

  1. Florian

    Yea, I so much agree! Although I never volunteered for CS I did so quite a bit for HC – and at some point this became extremely uninspiring.

    For me the fascinating thing about BeWelcome is that it does not only offer the service (meeting locals when travelling) but it makes it very easy for people to get active and help to build up the community. There’s no boss, nobody who will make money thanks to the hard work of volunteers – a sustainable (work) investment.

    Greetings from Barcelona 😉

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