While I go around I dream about a group of men and women from all over the world that would constitute archipelago of humans with wider understandings. Wandering and extravagant, in search of new configurations, distant from usual cultural field. New mental energies. Fresh air would blow through the world.
— Kenneth White
The Travel Club is a community of travelers, in the broadest sense of the word.
We see travel as a tool for building a culture of solidarity and understanding, an instrument for developing attitude and sensibility, a key to gaining an intimate understanding of our common planet and creating personal bonds with the world; a means to fight against prejudice, stupidity and hatred, against borders around us and within us. The creative drive of an artist, the joy of an explorer, the passion of a cartographer who draws her own unique map adding mountains, seas, ships, fish, instruments, houses, satellites, horses and people.
The Travel Club was founded in early 2005, when great poverty in the countries of former Yugoslavia, together with the prohibitive visa regimes of surrounding countries, made traveling almost impossible for the people in this part of the Balkans, leaving us isolated in our own geographical and cultural space. The mission of the Club was to teach people how to penetrate this barrier and personally reconnect with the world in spite of all the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, relying heavily on hitchhiking, hospitality, loopholes in visa procedures and so on.
To that effect we carried out dozens of public lectures all around Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia, published a book of shoestring travel stories (Unbeaten paths, 2009, 1 edition) and an experimental travel-novel (Bantustan, 2015, 3 editions), wrote numerous articles for our website as well as local media, organized four Travel Houses and two Travel Schools providing free accommodation and education to a total of 1,000+ travelers, and so on. Among other things, we are currently working on the Map of Invisible Balkans, a collection of geo-tagged super short documentary stories from the ex-Yugoslav region. Unfortunately, again, no English version so far.
Despite our various projects over the past decade, we would not dare to call ourselves artists, writers, film makers, journalists, photographers or educators. We just go around, explore, try to understand, and occasionally make something.
Our website consists of a forum, a collection of articles and a knowledge database. However, 99% of the contents are in the Serbo-Croatian-Bosnian-Montenegrin language, as the Club originated in that part of the Balkans, where most of our travel community comes from. The forum currently has around 14,000 members.
The organization was initially founded under the name of Serbia Travel Club, which was later changed to The Travel Club to include people from a wider geographical area connected by a shared language. Our old logo - a worn-out shoe on a triangular road sign - was after nine years replaced with a black circle with a white arrow, representing Brownian motion around the planet.
The Travel Club is a non-profit registered in Novi Sad, Serbia and Zagreb, Croatia. There is no hierarchy nor official membership. All our projects are funded through crowdfunding and carried out through 100% volunteering. Any money that comes our way is donated to charity or reinvested into the Club.