Each Mile – An interactive, social incubating, cycling travel show, blog and Facebook Group…
Web travel shows and blogs relay the adventures of a singular traveler or a couple, as they traverse the planet, attempting to share with their viewers and readers, travel advice, unique locations and inspiration for their next world trek. So how is Each Mile different (asides from having the Bruce Campbell of travel hosts)?
Each Mile is a travel show and blog, hosted by myself, Ira, an avid cyclist, wanderluster, any-food-tryer, history lover and spontaneity affectionado. It will follow my 2017 world expedition by bicycle from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Beijing, China. It is not a timed trial run, racing to the finish line, but a stop and smell the flowers adventure, seeing, tasting, meeting and experiencing as much as possible along the way type of journey. The primary goal of it is promote sustainable, immersive and out-of-the-box travel amongst its viewers and readers. What that means is not presenting just the “sites” and the “best hotels”, but looking beyond the guidebook recommendations, investigating local haunts and off the beaten path spots. It isn’t what I call checklist traveling, where one simply goes from place to place, seeing what they are told to see, snapping photos aimlessly, capturing staple images, not lived moments. This trip is about lingering, about sharing a coffee or beer with a new friend or randomly doing Irish dancing in the Czech Republic (my first couchsurfing experience).
Itinerary (Where Is This Going?!)
So how is this show interactive? Rather than working from an itinerary based upon the desires and dreams of yours truly, the show allows for you, the user, to plan the trip from start to finish. Asides from the blog and show, that will be documenting the entire process, there is a Facebook Group. The Facebook Group will be the place where you can post your suggestions for where the trip/blog. Questions will prompt you to think about specific locations, but all itinerary ideas are considered. And where can this show/blog go? Well, anywhere. The rough world tour plan is to go from Vancouver, Canada to Beijing, China and it will be by bicycle (the peddling kind). One stipulation is that I do not want to use planes. Rafts, tankards and all other forms of nautical transportation are okay. The general direction I’d like to follow for this trip would be to cross Canada to Newfoundland, head south, all the way to Argentina and take a boat from Rio Grande to Durban, South Africa and then head north-ish towards Saudi Arabia and then onto China. I will be couchsurfing and camping wherever I can, but the rest of the itinerary planning will be up to you! The ideas for the journey could be places you dream to see, people to meet, places you’ve been, food to try, hidden gems that only locals know about (this will also be expanded by the couchsurfing component of this project) or a general travel experiences you’d wish to explore or know about. The ideas can be as general or as specific as you’d wish. Users, such as yourself or selves, can place their ideas for the itinerary in the Facebook Group. The ideas will be collected, reviewed and added to the interactive map as points of interest. As the itinerary grows, these points will be connected by lines and voila! we have our World Tour. Additional side trips, adventures, suggestions will also be done at random, informed by the numerous locals that the show/blog will meet along the way.
…But Why? (Themes of This Trip)
Aside from the obvious reasons for this trip (adventure, exploration, random dance sessions in public spaces). there is a deeper theme to this journey. I choose to cycle travel, not because it is more cost effective or necessarily that it is healthier, but that I feel I get to see and meet a wide range of people and places that are not generally found on the tourist maps. This is wonderful, because of the serenity and pristine nature of locations that are not found in guidebook and that little voice inside of you that can’t help but proclaim, “I got to see a place that the masses haven’t got to yet!” Though I find a lot of places that pass under the tourist radar, do this not because there isn’t anything to see there, but because a generalized notion or stigmatized concept is held against it. People say, “I have been to The Netherlands”, when all they have done is maybe three days in Amsterdam. People consider the capital cities to be the summation of the entire country. Yet, the capitals can simply be the tip of the iceberg or not even on the iceberg at all. The other side of travel involves the mass media influence that dictates how we see the world. Don’t travel there, that country is bad. Travel there, that country is good. These people are all thieves. This religion is crazy. Terrible generalizations that mandate where we go and who we interact with. This trip isn’t about mindlessly traveling into war zones or places of unrest and foolishly trying to promote travel in unsafe places. A theme of this trip, is to dispel or to discredit generalizations, stigmatizations, and stereotyping of certain places on earth and to broaden peoples’ scope on travel. I am not am claiming to discover anything, yet merely play my part in sharing the less visited corners of the earth with my viewers and readers.
Social Incubator (Why We Give You Moneys?)
The other component of this tour is a social incubator project that is in the works. The idea is to not crowd fund to send a cyclist on a journey, but rather raise money for a new social project. Like micro-credit loans, the focus of this project is around community based businesses and start-up organizations and the funding behind them. This project is in its infant stages and will be updated and specified as time goes on and this website and it’s community grows.
Theme (Hidden Message Re: Helter Skelter)
In connection with the social incubator project, there is also a theme for the traveling to keep in mind. Like the big businesses, everyone knows about the Louvre in Paris, or the beauty of ancient Rome. These places are well documented and tourist meccas. But like small businesses, what about the smaller places, the off the beaten path places, or the places that are unexplored, simply due to some global stigmatization held against them. This show aims to dispense with these generalities and falsehoods and shine a positive light on cultures, people, places and histories that are often ignored in the global community. The goal is by no means to act as some sort of beacon of light, solving world issues in its’ wake, but at it’s best, to introduce it’s viewers and readers to places they may have never considered to travel to before.
Travel Ispiration (DIY Trips)
Each Mile also wishes to promote viable travel for all budgets. Social networks for traveling such as couchsurfing and warmshowers will be demystified, so readers and viewers can see first hand the wonderful human connections and cultural immersion that can come out of staying with a local host. The blogs and videos, that will see each location partially through the eyes of locals and will provide honest reports on how much things cost (food, activities, visas, etc) and where to get the most out of your trip The viewers and readers can contact the host through private messaging and email, to ask questions or make comments in the Facebook Group. The host will not only provide personal response, but will address the issue in the show or blog. The trials and tribulations of the host will also be blogged/filmed, so that nothing is left up to the imagination, the complete travel experience, with all it’s stresses and triumphs will be on full display. Some suggestions that were inquired about in the Facebook Group may prove to be impossible, such as attaining certain visas, but even these seemingly negative outcomes, provide a useful and verifiable answer to a raised question.
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eachmile/
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