Wow, what a great response I’ve had, all over social media, for my last post about my route! It’s been wonderful to connect with so many like-minded people all around the US and Canada, many of whom have offered me lodging or meetups when I reach their areas. I’ve also done some Zoom calls with some of you about your wonderful ideas and projects. (If you’re reading this and you feel drawn to a Zoom or phone call to talk about your dreams or projects, please comment or use the green “contact” button above to schedule something!)
My newest step forward on this journey, which I’m excited to share with you all, is that I just finalized my Servas.org membership. I love talking to anyone who will listen about Servas, because I find that very few people seem to know about it, and it is an absolute gem of an organization. It’s a global peacebuilding nonprofit, founded in 1949 in the wake of a horribly destructive world war, and run entirely by volunteers who support its mission. I first learned about it a little over a year ago, from a friend who had had a great experience with Servas hosts when she was a traveler, moving to Oregon from the Midwest many years ago.
Servas is similar to couchsurfing.com in that it is a way for travelers and hosts to find each other and connect. It differs in that it is a nonprofit organization, and explicitly aiming to foster deeper human connection. Therefore, joining is a bit of a process: you submit a letter of introduction, which is reviewed by Servas volunteers. You answer several questions—such as whether you wish to join as a traveler, a host, or both—and fill out an online application. Then you do an in-person interview with a local Servas volunteer in your area (or, in the era of COVID, a video interview) and then you pay your annual dues. As a traveler, I paid $98.
Once you join, you gain access to connect with more than 12,000 other members worldwide. (About 1000 of these are in the US, and another 300 in Canada.) When travelers and hosts connect, the “standard” stay is two nights, which is perfect for my intentions. During that time, travelers and hosts share at least two meals, and engage in meaningful conversations, with the underlying belief that connecting meaningfully with strangers all around the world can lead us to greater intercultural understanding and, ultimately, a peaceful world.
This vision—and this way of moving toward it—is 100% aligned with my personal vision, and more specifically, my vision for this bike journey!
Between Servas, Warmshowers.org, couchsurfing.com, friends, family, and friends of friends, I’m so excited for all the amazing personal connections I will be able to make on this journey. I’m honored to do whatever I can to support each host in bringing about their ideas and visions for themselves and the greater good.
If Servas appeals to you, as a traveler or host, please take a look and consider joining!
- To schedule a one-hour session with me to talk about your dreams or projects, use the green “contact” button above!
- To be notified of future blog posts, use the green “sign up” button to subscribe