Community Space

  • 6 Tips for your next biking trip
    Going on vacation with your bike could turn out to be the best holidays you’ve ever had- if you have some tips and tricks on your mind. Read through these travel experiences to learn about it!
    The tuk-tuks and us, three weeks in Sri Lanka. Do you know this fascinating sight when thousands of people cross an intersection? We were right in the middle of it with our own tuk-tuk.
    Local experience from one of our team members who was in Barcelona a few weeks ago- learn about the Covid-19 situation, some nice restaurant insider tips and so on…
    I follow the street that goes from a small suburb of Florence into a hilly scenery. It is late and i can only divine the shapes of the high mountains on the horizon. After another turn in the road an avenue with cypresses several metres high opens up. Hello Tuscany – you already feel so good! The endless cypresses string together along the strait driveway and lead me to a gate.
    Traveling with a boat really differs from backpacking or Van-Life. We already experienced this with different boats and would like to share a few tips with you, so that you can enjoy your own vacation even more. Because on the boat you’ll be faced with enough other challenges!
    Travelling in times of Corona is difficult. On the one hand bad for your own vacation planning, on the other hand good for the environment. The exotic wanderlust dreams seem even more distant than before. But the danger of a corona infection is very close, not to mention the restrictions in public life and the sometimes dramatic health situation in some regions of the world. One region where Covid-19 seems to have less impact on everyday life is New Zealand. Here, at the other end of the world, we have been traveling with  our campervan since February 2020 and are getting to know the country in an almost spooky calm. We quit our jobs in Germany, sold the apartment and the car and set off. With a 3-month visa in our pocket and mouth-nose protection in our face we traveled via Taipei (Taiwan), Brisbane (Australia) to Auckland (New Zealand). We enjoyed our first weeks in the campervan, which also heralds the late summer. After a short time the situation in Germany, Europe and the world is getting worse. Shortly before the lockdown in New Zealand we are already being asked by “worried” citizens how we would like to go into isolation. It’s still feeling very unreal. Our flight  to Australia, where we wanted to continue our world trip, got cancelled. Then, the news of a lockdown in 48 hours. We have to get off the street, like all other campers. We sent out about 30 applications for workaways/wwoofings, where we would work a few hours a day for room and food. We don’t want to look for hotels/ motels/ airbnbs yet, because the travel budget is tight and the duration of the lockdown is absolutely unpredictable. We only get one positive feedback from a middle-aged lady with calf husbandry, where we spend the whole duration of the 2-month lockdown. The Kiwis (New Zealanders) stay at home in a good manner and should avoid any contact outside their household. The geographical advantage of New Zealand is undoubtedly its insularity. Therefore, the transport of people and goods can be controlled quite easily. The pandemic will therefore be brought under control relatively quickly. At the same time, the situation in Europe looks better. Many Europeans are returning home during this time with the return actions of their countries, including about 12,000 Germans. We continue to travel, but now it is almost winter. On the South Island of New Zealand it is even a bit colder than in the North. We decide to do less in the campervan and more workaways. In a Workaway or Wwoofing you work vouluntary for a agreed number of hours and get food and accomodation in exchange. The people literally fight for the weekly decreasing number of workers and tourists. No tourists come to the country anymore. Therefore we have a good choice of work opportunities. The public life is normalizing again and we can stroll through cities and meet people while couchsurfing. From now on, the Corona-related restrictions are kept within limits: Keep your distance in the stores, no big events and mouth-and-nose protection in public transport. The visas for the remaining tourists and workers are extended twice for 5 months automatically and free of charge. We are told again and again that it is probably the best country on earth to be stuck in during the pandemic. We definitely cannot contradict this. Currently we are travelling in the north of New Zealand in our campervan and do more house sitting. About this and what else we experience, like Jessica’s Vipassana stay (silent monastery), we want to tell you in the future. This also includes how life here looks like and how (further) travelling in Corona times works, or not. Stay tuned.
    Have you ever decided to spend one and a half hours in an auto rickshaw? A Tuk-Tuk is a good option to get around in Southeast-Asian cities. When Mr Thy picked me up I didn’t know what I got myself into. It was dusty, bumpy and scenic. The moment I saw the rice fields and the small children running around, waving at me, I knew it was worth the ride. Pang Na is a small village 45km out of Phnom Penh. There are not many reasons to visit Pang Na but for me there were a few very important ones. I stayed for one night in a homestay with Mr Thy and his family. This was all about an experience in a local village and I also wanted to support a very special project. “The normal school doesn’t provide English lessons for the children. But they need it to get better jobs and salary in the future. And I want them to have a better future.” A NEW START FOR THE SCHOOL Mr Thy started to teach children in his living room and outside his house in a small wooden shelter. During the last rainy seasons, the school got damaged to a point that they weren’t able to use it anymore. Currently he is looking for support to build a new school, a proper one. Seeing him talking about his plans and how much he enjoys to help, makes me smile. After a short walk through the rice fields with his son Dina and 15 children from the village, we visited a temple and the government school. Mr Thy arranged to use one classroom each day for English lessons until the new school is finished. Seeing the kids laughing and eager to learn made me think a lot about education. What if education is the key to a more successful life? And what if not everyone can afford the price of the lessons. This is not a question you normally ask yourself in a country with compulsory education. Maybe we should if its essential to our lives. STAYING IN A SIMPLE HOME CLOSE TO NATURE Making our way home with a fresh coconut in our hands, we finished the day off with a joint dinner. The food was simple and Mr Thys wife did everything to make us feel at home. She prepared the big bed with a mosquito net and made sure we have a fan next to it. Sleeping to the sounds of nature and hearing children laugh in the distance. I will never forget this night in Pang Na. Paying for a special experience and to know that my money goes directly to a project that supports children in a small village in Cambodia is an incredible feeling. Thank you Socialbnb, Thank you Mr Thy! To support Mr Thys local school and have a unique cambodian experience, check out his profile.  By Kathrin David
    This week Constantin would like to share his experiences of staying in one of our homestays in Arequipa, Peru. Constantin is a student from the University of Cologne, Germany. He already knew the organisation Intiwawa when he decided to book a trip via Socialbnb, because he has already done volunteer work for them 3 years ago. If you book a trip to Intiwawa, you are already helping them to finance their project of empowering children just because you sleep there. You really do not have to do any more voluntary work for them. But of course there is the option to do so, if you want to, just like Constantin: “Intiwawa is open for everyone who is motivated to make his contribution to the daily work. The NGO’s main focus is placed on children who grow up in bad living conditions in the outskirts of Arequipa. There is a house, la casa de Intiwawa, where all the children from the surrounding villages are welcome to spend a good and carefree time together. As a volunteer you are asked to help the children by doing their homework, taking them to a dentist, cooking a healthy lunch or just playing with them. Apart from that they are open to suggestions of own projects based on the individual knowledge or interest, like theater classes or lessons for sexual education. It was really interesting to see how the NGO does their daily work and it felt good to be a support for them.Furthermore, the location is simply great. I really fell in love with Arequipa. The city is beautiful and perfect if you like to party. It was really easy to become friends with welcoming Peruvians and other volunteers from different countries of the world. Everything was easy to reach by foot. I heard Initwawa now rents out a house very close to the Plaza de Armas where all the volunteers stay together. Therefore this accodomation with the name “Intihouse” is also the home for all the travelers from Socialbnb. With this many people from all over the world it’s definitely never getting boring. I’m really glad that Intiwawa offers their “Intihouse” for such an important organisation like Socialbnb. If you decide to visit Arequipa and Intiwawa, I’m sure that you won’t regret it and have a wonderful time.” Are you curious to learn more? You can read all about Intiwawa on our website. Or even better: book a trip via Socialbnb to experience this great atmosphere all by yourself! Feel free to tell us about your trip!