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Traveler Tales

Stories from the perspective of both Servas Hosts and Travelers. 

What was your experience with host(s) that made your travels extra special?
Or, perhaps you hosted a Traveler that reinforced your reasons for being a member of Servas?
Tell us about it.

Send us your stories here.

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  • September 30, 2021 5:00 PM | Deleted user

    Spend time at home planning for your next adventure

    By Kari Bodnarchuk Globe Correspondent,Updated April 2, 2020

    US Servas was recently mentioned in a Boston Globe article. Below is an excerpt. Read the full article Read the full article HERE.

    "Look into homestays. After this period of isolation, you’ll likely be more than ready to embrace the world and connect with other people. Local hosts worldwide take visitors into their homes for free, and provide safe, friendly environments for cultural exchange. Some hospitality groups are geared specifically to individual or women travelers — you stay with other women around the globe, for instance — while others cater to seniors, or gay or lesbian adventurers.

    During my around-the-world, solo trip, I spent anywhere from two days to two weeks with more than 20 different host families, including a train conductor in New Zealand, students in Indonesia, a doctor in Malaysia, a retired teacher in Thailand, and a shoemaker in India.

    These were, by far, some of the most profound experiences of my trip.

    I arranged those homestays through Servas, a nonprofit, nondenominational, and nonpolitical peace organization. Started by American students in Denmark in 1949, Servas is active in more than 100 countries and aims to “build world peace, goodwill, and understanding” by getting people from different cultures and backgrounds together. Meet local hosts for a day or stay with them for up to two nights (or longer, if invited). To join Servas (www.usservas.org), pay a small annual fee and complete your interview remotely (through an online service). Then start connecting with other members through new virtual meetups and virtual dinners."

  • September 29, 2021 7:10 PM | Deleted user

    The new site and simplified membership rules go hand-in-hand

    US Servas is taking a big step forward today by unveiling its redesigned website (Usservas.org) and big changes in its membership structure.

    The biggest change that Members will see is the introduction of a single $33 annual membership fee for both hosting and traveling.

    Another big change is that you no longer have to be a host or traveler to be a US Servas member. An approved, interviewed member who chooses not to host or travel can still stay in touch, support Servas, and have access to host and traveler data.

    Finally, with the new website, USServas.org is completing its data migration to Servas.org that it began in January 2020: all detailed host and traveler information is stored only on the Servas International website. The US Servas website basic contact information, member interview records, and records of current participation (Interviewer, Committee Chair and Key person roles).

    These changes have been long anticipated, but were stalled because of the website changes needed to support them.

    The development of the new website really began in late 2019, when the US Servas Board approved the creation of a new “Member” category – neither host nor traveler. However, a new membership category required changes in the existing website. There had long been dissatisfaction with the website’s user experience; now it was found that the site’s aging computer code required a complete rebuild, at a cost in the low five figures. After investigating its options, US Servas decided to adopt an off-the-shelf program called Wild Apricot, which provides built-in membership management functions and website development tools.

    A volunteer team of Servas members has been working on the website redesign project since the spring of 2019. The team now includes website developer Will Zell, owner of Zellous.org; system administrators Dan Bare, Steve Gaarder and Carol Trible; Technology Committee chair Jim Tyhurst; and team members Cay Palmer, Joanne Ferguson, Radha Radhakrishna, Johan Cavert and David Hills.

    We hope you like our new website! Please send comments and suggestions to info@usservas.org. During the first two weeks of the website launch you can receive live technical support by calling 800-509-1450

  • September 28, 2021 4:23 PM | Deleted user

    by Alan Goldin, Sylva, NC

    I am back from my trip to Spain - luckily. I feel like I got out just before the tsunami 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 hosts, Alberto and Pilar in Mallorca and Claudia in Menorca, were incredibly kind and courageous in helping me to get through the early days of the coronavirus ordeal in Spain.  Without them, I would have never made it back to the USA! They gave me advice, picked me up, drove me to the airport, made calls I couldn't make to the airlines and ferry … And if I hadn’t been able to get home, they would have been willing to care for me and share their homes. I (and my wife) will be forever grateful. This is one instance of the reason for Servas! 

  • September 25, 2021 7:30 PM | Deleted user

    By Danny Balderrama, National Secretary of Servas Bolivia & Servas Host

    It's been more than 25 years since I first joined Servas. This led me to open

    my eyes to a completely new world. I had never thought that sharing with so

    many people who arrived here would make me travel mentally. I changed many misconceptions and I learned that we are all human beings who share one only home, The Earth. Therefore, spreading peace and harmony wa essential.

    I made my volunteering a philosophy of life, and now I am happy to see that this philosophy of life built a big family.

    Servas Bolivia has hosts in Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Sucre, and La Paz. Cochabamba has meetings every first Saturday of the month, and international travelers are welcome to attend!

    Servas Bolivia members welcome you!

  • June 15, 2020 7:55 PM | Deleted user

    by Danny Balderrama, National Secretary of Servas Bolivia & Servas Host

    Goal of project: To promote Servas’ values of peace, communication, and cultural exchange through art.

    Jean-Luc will collect the pieces of art and create a slideshow by the end of June. The museum will have an exhibition of either the physical or printed reproductions of the works. They museum will place the pieces in a catalog.A slide show showcasing the art will be created and will be circulated around the world of Servas. The copyright will be written under each person’s work.

    Required Art Theme: Servas values: “Peace through Colors”

    If you are interested, you can email your visuals to Jean-Luc in 300 dpi, (3 works maximum). Currently, ten artists have responded by sending digitized photographs. More are needed.

    Please include:

    • name of the artist
    • Servas Country
    • email address
    • CV references

    Send artwork by: June 15, 2020

    Send artwork to: Jean-Luc Turlure (Servas France): artists@servas.org

    Read more about submissions here: https://www.art-and-peace.org/event-news

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