Zwerflust; a travel collective teachning youngsters about alternative travel

Zwerflust roughly translates to “Wanderlust”. A thing we can all relate to. We have the lust to wander on our own ways. We get inspired through TV, radio and even more on social media; #traveltheworld. But what is better then to hear it from the adventurers themselves? Zwerflust is a collective of adventurers, travelers and free spirits sharing their passion for travel and inspiring youngsters to travel in a sustainable and alternative way. 

After traveling through Australia and New-Zealand Isa decided to start Zwerflust. A collective of travelers sharing their experiences to inspire others to travel. After a few brainstorm sessions we decided we wanted to teach youngsters and young adults how to travel in a responsible way. Next to this we would share our experience on certain festivals. After a year of zwerflust it became quiet.

Still a feeling of the purpose of Zwerflust haunted me. Zwerflust has a huge potential to show youngsters how travel is possible. How do you go from the idea to work on a farm in New Zealand to having the spade in your hands and helping the farmer dig an irrigation trench? Or you want to travel, but you don’t want to fly. Is it possible to take a bicycle to the other side of your country? Or even your continent? And isn’t the world a scary place? On our screens we see murder, war and violence. From our experiences we can tell most parts of the world are good places. By showing youngsters they don’t have to be afraid of other cultures or countries, they will open up more and we end up with a more open minded and travelled generation. Because of this potential I decided to kickstart the concept of Zwerflust again.

The mating call of Zwerflust on social media attracted a small but various group of people. Arjen who walked from Alkmaar to New York, Joost who circumnavigated Sumatra with a kayak, Monique who uses walking as a form of art or Fiona who backpacked many, many countries. More people will join the project and together we can inspire people on a young age to travel the world, learn, work together with other communities and become true “World citizen”.

Remco and Coen talking about hitchhiking and traveling the world by motorbike

Soon we will start hitting up schools, festivals and all sorts of places where we can share our travel experiences. Are you a teacher on a Dutch school and do you think: “Hey, I can use a couple of experienced travelers teaching my pupils”, get in touch and we can figure something out!

Five free short adventurefilms who gave me instant goosebumps

Because I’m a filmmaker, film festival organizer and random film lover, many films pass my eyes. Some are great, some are crappy but every film is made by somebody who loves to share their experience of adventure. Sometimes this can lead to films that haunt you and inspire you to make the best of your life. I made a list of five of the best short adventure films I came across during the years.

The Important Places

(Forest Woodward/Gnarly Bay, 2015, 9″)When we become older we see how we start to look more like our parents. We see we get older as well, and how the choices we made in past years influence us. When Forest found a poem his father  wrote him after his birth, he decides it’s time to step into the time machine. He takes is 70 year old father down the Colorado river to let him relive his youth. A beautiful and breathtaking film, showing we are never too old to go on an adventure. Goosebumps assured.

The Road From Karakol
(Ducttape Then Beer, 2013, 25″)

In this film climber and adventurer Kyle Dempster starts out naked at seven in the morning. We probably ask ourselves: Why is he up so early? Well, he is crossing a river in Kyrgystan; the Alps of the Central Asia. This adventure brings Kyle to the most inhabited places in the country, cycling to blank points on the map. After getting lost, almost being swept away by a monstrous river and getting up so early he finds unclimbed peaks to make first ascents. Kyle is a great character to follow on this journey. He is a genuine adventurer and goes for the real deal, having the camera as his diary. Sadly in 2016 Kyle went to the mountains of Pakistan to never return. This film now serves as a beautiful hommage to a real adventurer.

Upon A Ribbon Of Wildness

(Ian Finch, 2015, 5″)The Outer Hebrides are Britain’s far flung north-west frontier, an archipelago stretching over 120 miles north to south, thirty to sixty miles off the coast of Scotland. Islands of myth and mystery, of mists and dazzling sunsets across sparkling blue seas, of gentle machair and rugged mountains, home of the Gaelic speaking crofting people. The Beautiful music matches perfectly with the images shot by Ian himself, making this short film a dream of adventure.

Adventure Not War

(Stept/Max Lowe/The North Face, 2017, 8″)Adventure Not War is the story of three U.S. veterans traveling back into the mountains of Iraq on a mission to heal wounds and experience the country and its culture without the shadow of war. Without the war they can finally meet the real people of Afghanistan. This beautiful story makes an unknown soldier to a real person. And shows what war can do to a person as well as adventure.

Tall Bike Tour

(Zenga Bros, 2015, 11″)The Zenga Bros are exploring creativity, society and mainstream media. They have their own idea about this; “Be yourself, but only weirder.” Through Tall bikes they express their feelings towards society. A truly creative family showing life can be lived outside the box and this is way more fun then a “normal” life. Not an adventure film in the traditional sense of the word but in a way of living. Take your television, drag it behind your bike and go explore the boundaries of creativity!

Do you know some great adventure films as well? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook!



Walking tasusiyt: the long road to the Barrage du souss

I’m lost. The only thing I see are thorn bushes for kilometers on end. In the distance the long shape of a mosque, an indication that i’m not too far away from society. But nothing more. I look at the sun but can’t make anything of that. How can I lose track of the river?

Sometimes an adventurous journey is a real adventure. Sometimes nothing happens. We tend to forget this; the long kilometers of black asphalt, cars passing by, the dredge only broken by a honking horn or a passing donkey packed with weeds. A day where actually nothing happens, until something happens. Because on an adventure the little things are the most important.

The long asphalt stretches it’s black tongue in front of me, mostly I don’t even see the end. I know it’s just 20 kilometers more. A walk of four hours, but I calculate six. At these moments my mind wanders, it wanders from left to right, from the tip of the iceberg all the way to the bottom of the ocean. Good ideas come up, stupid jokes that make me grin and past experiences with friends or family. As the ticking of my walking sticks indicates the ticking of the clock and the passing of kilometers the sun flies more towards the west. I hit the end of the road and put up my tent at an orange orchard. The voice from the mosque tells me it’s time for an evening prayer. Time for dinner.

During the night my phone bleeps and indicates it’s empty. For the next day I apparently don’t have a GPS, but I’ve made a drawing from the map; this way I should be able to find my way to the base of the Souss river, the Barrange du Souss. I have found my way before with my own maps, but it seems my “map drawing skills” were a little out of date. The map is simple; I just have to follow the river, pass a bigger road, follow a little more river and then hit the road towards the Barrage. 20 maybe 30 kilometers, I could make it! After walking in the base of the river for an hour or two I decide to go for the edge. The boulders and the sand in the river make the going too slow. After an hour I have no more clue where the edge ends and the Moroccon wasteland begins. Thorn bushes everywhere and no shade to hide from the scorching sun. I can see for kilometers on end. There is nothing. Only bushes, sand, boulders and the occasional crossing turtle, who asked what i’m doing there. I know when we are lost we have the tendency to walk in circles, so I look for a higher point in front of me and just walk that way. When I stop i feel my head getting dizzy. I have to keep going. Finally I find a cactus with a little shade. It might not be such a good idea to lay under it, but it’s the only shade I find.

Finally I find my old friend the river again, I’m happy to see him. I recharge my phone at a little store in a village and go on my way towards the last kilometers. When I see the first streams water in little rivers next to the path I know I’m getting close. I follow the flow and see how the sides of the river get more and more green. Lush vegitation instead of dried up clay. I walk through nameless villages until I reach the town of Oulouz. Here I treat myself for a tea with a big omelette. The locals in the store are fascinated by my story, and I’m fascinated by theirs. We exchange experiences, smiles and end up talking about soccer. Barcelona or Real Madrid? I get the omelette and tea for free. Just a little sign of Moroccan hospitality.

Im going uphill towards the Barrage, and when I finally reach it I’m happy but tired. I sit down and enjoy the view and strong winds blowing shapes into the water. I’ve made it; I nearly walked the entire length of the Souss river. Except for the 14 kilometers I hitchhiked towards Taroudant my feet took me all the way from Agadir to Aoulouz and the Barrage. I think of all the people I met; the lonely young sheepherder who stalked me for most of the trip with weird whatsapp messages, the girl who wanted to be an English teacher and her father who owned a little store giving her an opportunity to go to school. The countless women who were hidden inside the houses but made me tea. They have not seen my smile their tea gave me. The farmer who gave me two kilo’s of oranges or the little kid who wanted to throw a rock towards me because I didn’t give him money. The shared laughs, countless hands and all the types of beautiful handshakes I’ve came across. And the countless sardines I’ve eaten. Maybe next month will be a sardine-less month.

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