North Carolina taveler, Alan Goldin reports (March 2020): I am back from my trip to Spain — luckily. I feel like I got out just before the tsunami (CoVid-19) hit because Spain closed its border today and Germany too. I ended my trip two days early. The main reason I am writing is to tell you that my two hosts, Alberto & Pilar in Mallorca and Claudia in Menorca, were incredibly kind and courageous in helping me to get through the coronavirus ordeal in Spain. I couldn’t have made it without them. They gave me advice, picked me up, drove me to the airport, made calls to the airlines and ferry that I couldn’t make, and so forth. All this I wouldn’t have needed if the scare wasn’t so real. This instance is the reason for Servas. I am glad I am part of this organization.
Phoenix member, Paula Cullison writes about their South American adventure in 2018. “We had a wonderful time in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Our Servas day hosts were very welcoming, especially those in Uruguay who want more SERVAS guests. My full lenght article is on my website”: www. paulacullison.com
Huffington Post blogger and Servas member Eric Trules describes Servas as “An Open Door to Travel the Lonely Planet.. For Free.” He also frequently writes about his Servas travels on his blog “E-Travels with E. Trules.”
Longtime Servas member Shel Horowitz explains that “one of the great things about Servas is going where the typical travelers don’t go, because a host sounds interesting,” while reminiscing on past Servas travels his essay “Servas: The Original Couchsurfing”
Helene T Stelian interviews Phyllis Chinn, (Servas Board Chair from 2008-2016) about her life as a woman in the field mathematics and her role at US Servas: Facilitating Cultural Exchange for Travelers. You can also hear Phyllis speak about Servas on the “Chronically Gifted” radio program. Find Phyllis listed under “Global Pilgramages.”
Clyde, a longtime host in Texas, sent in a yearly donation and told us how they joined US Servas 50 years ago, when reading about it in Parade Magazine! They have since had more than 250 Servas visitors throughout the years. -2019
From our 2019 traveler reports:
Spent a wonderful evening with Servas member from Istanbul at a gallery exhibition opening and traditional dinner. How fun!
Scenic walks, homemade dinner, morning pesto making, sight seeing, enlivening conversations, shared meals and more were bestowed upon us from Servas UK hosts Kirsten & Peter in Bath, England. What a delightful visit we had and what lovely new friends we made!
A picture of our Japanese Servas visitors at the beginning of their European trip in Prague. It is a happy reunion as we were hosted by one of the ladies in Kyushu island, Japan in May.
In May 2019, Ksenija and partner travelled to Japan and met three different hosts. “It was fantastic to have the local people give insight and arrange some special experiences.” (See the post above for when they reunited in September)
From our 2018 traveler reports:
Mexico: “I don’t have enough words to express how hospitable and loving our hosts were! All the hosts went above and beyond their duties as a host. One host drove us for nine hours all the way to see the butterfuly reserves and gave us many local rides. Another trusted us with the house even when she couldn’t be home. We found life long friends with our Servas hosts!”
South Africa: “I had a wonderful experience with my hosts! They were warm and welcoming. We went to the wine country for a delicious lunch. Otherwise we spent most of our time near their house. It was perfect for my final nights in Africa.”
Scotland: “Our trip was made all the better by these two amazing hosts. The hosts were hospitable, warm, shared stories, history, and food. There were gorgeous views, a quaint town, but not enough time to see it all! Would visit them again”
New Zealand: “Our experience was wonderful. Our hosts were super to meet, they opened their homes and shared their lives with us despite both hosts having made recent moves to their new homes. We had great conversation about travels and things to do in New Zealand. Our first hosts loaned us a couple of bicycles, took us for a hike up Mt Taranaki, and a few other little things. Our second hosts shared their beautiful home atop the hill overlooking the ocean and at supper their son with wife and two young boys joined and we had a very nice evening. We shared great meals and conversation with both of these hosts.”
Switzerland: “We had an amazing experience. Our Servas hosts were knowledgeable, excited to show us around, and we shared many great meals together. Every one of our hosts were someone who we would now consider friends. We have kept in touch with them since returning back to the states in July. Some of the things we did with our hosts: cooked dinners, hiked, walked in the parks, ate delicious treats, met family members, walked through the gardens, drank good wine…”
USA: “My hosts were all helpful and kind. My first host invited me along to an Italian Speaking dinner and trusted me to leave her house after she had left. As she was my first host, she kindly gave me advice — when I asked — on how to repay the kindness of hosts, and other things I wanted to know. My second host sent me texts re going to the parks in a different order due to Spring holiday traffic. She gave some really useful info on a bank account without fees which will help when I go to the UK. My third host made me very welcome and accompanied me to the skyway tram. Just loved her cat! Slept on her pullout couch, the most wonderful one I have ever slept on, it was very comfortable. My final host allowed me to attend interfaith events with him, which were very interesting. He walked me all over Memphis giving me local info that I would otherwise not have learned. These are people I would never have otherwise met, so the experience was even more valuable.”
Australia: “A very positive experience with both hosts, warm and friendly reception, great conversation, lovely food offered. In Adelaide our host spent a day with us as a guide as we drove around the area.”