Crowdfunding for Travel?

Where it Matt-ers

Believe it or not, no wait.. believe it, there’s a crowdfunding site to help you raise money for your travel expenses. When I bumped into Golibre during my research, the excitement of the existence of such a site soon gave way to some sense-making – why would someone fund something that’s usually considered a leisure activity?

When I shared this with Michael, he too sounded bewildered. While it is true travelgasms are often experienced by travelers themselves, in the eye of the beholder that is, but in this case also in the ears of the listener.

It’s just like being there!
Having traveled quite a bit around China, India, SE Asia and Europe, like many other travelers I’ve had the privilege to met some amazing people and exchange exciting stories. Making friends with local cultures and co-travelers, and sharing experiences have been priceless – especially in times where even 20+ years of a way of life, makes other ways of doing things seem so outrageously unimaginable.

Living & re-living experiences!
While I haven’t done much of America, and never been to Africa, Australia or the Middle-East, I’ve had theĀ privilegeĀ of learning about these places by chancing upon those who have been there. It did feel like I was there too, right through their experience sharing. It was equally fun to share experiences of similar places we’d been to.

Seeing is believing!
Like most people, I too read about places before traveling there and at times get carried away reading. For instance prior to the 6-Month stint in China, I’d encountered some media discourse that almost foxed me into not making that trip. Glad I did it for I loved the trip, so much so that I felt there was much more I’d experienced through the travel than what the gamut of information available on the world wide web would have ever told me.

Feeling something – in your hands!
With travel comes souvenirs and pictures. While the latter stays for a lifetime, the souvenirs are usually gifted. I do the same, and often end up feeling ‘if only I bought a few more’. Here is where this crowdfunding idea looks to pitch in. Imagine receiving relics from ancient India, the Machu Picchu, the former Mesopotamia, the Terra Cotta Army in Xi’an China or even something that’s more contemporary, like the Oktober fest mug from Munich – priceless isn’t it.

Share and care, and travel!
I remember asking a friend for some Chinese Tea when she left for her trip, but then she forgot. On the hindsight, I feel maybe I should have given something in return, especially since she was making that big trip for a reason. There are many who travel as part of their book-writing, movie-making, or helping social causes and small businesses. There are few excuses not to travel, besides the expensive flying costs. Crowdfunding may well take care of this final frontier, don’t you think so?

2 thoughts on “Crowdfunding for Travel?

  1. I think it is getting especially interesting when you are able to share not only money. Check out: http://conscioustourism.wordpress.com/

    From a personal experience I can tell that it works. 2 years ago I started a game (chllng.me) in which I asked people to give me challenges that I had to overcome in Brazil.
    I even found an investor betting on my challenges. Funnily I failed in most of my challenges but got the epic win. Lost on an island I found the love of my life. So very often you cannot predict which outcome your journey will have but that is good like that. In the end the experience and the friendship that I gained are priceless and through that I hope to have returned a much higher value than I received.

    • A few months ago I went to a Renaissance Festival (because I’m col like that) and waehctd a demo by an amazing glass blower. He has made custom glass installations valued at over $300,000. A lot of artists would love a commission like that, but you cannot sell a $300,000 installation unless you have a $300,00 art piece already.Wow.I slightly disagree, which is where your project aspirations come in. What if you have made a $200,000 piece and you are hungry to up your game?orWhat if you’ve made beautiful digital art and you are eager to apply your talent to videography? I say, you show people what you HAVE DONE and tell them you can LEARN TO DO MORE. Maybe you could create a scholarship section on your website. People will be there because they want to see your work (or they already have). Now give them a mission statement and a plan. Offer a hypothesis about the affect of art on environmental understanding, social awareness, psycho-therapy. Devise a way to test your hypothesis, to answer questions. Tell everyone the skills you want to develop in order to do this project.And ask for their help. In short, write a grant proposal.I think if you put forth effort at the beginning people will see you are serious. I also think you will feel more serious and it will affirm your knowledge that art is something worth funding. People should never be embarrassed to ask others to support a worthy cause. Even less so if they are being honest. I suspect you are worried someone will think you are begging under the guise of pursuing knowledge and saving the environment. You aren’t. You really are pursuing knowledge. You really are taking steps toward the bigger goal of saving the world. And yes, it is true, you will use some of that knowledge and some of your new skills to make art from which you will profit. But others will also profit from that art and we will all benefit from your knowledge and skillsHave I gone on too long? I know asking for money is a struggle for you. but remember, University Students get scholarships all the time. The funding agents don’t ask for a specific return on their investment because they know a better-educated populace is better for all of us.