Chantalklaver's Blog

About my experience to travel Europe for € 0,00.

Day 10: Evaluating Sunday

Evaluation & learn from each other was the topic of this Sunday.

The day started out to be a bit messy. Being late, having several invitations. Edgar & Morten went to the Outgames Brunch with all the officials. After that, we had our evaluation on top of Illum, a luxury department store where the brunch was as well. Because we arrived as they were finishing up, we could get our hand on some drinks (bubbles & coffee).

Morten was kind enough to facilitate our group of travelers. The feedback felt good, it felt open and sincere. The spirit was positive and full of potential, so useful for upcoming events and for HANQ.

Afterwards we went to the next cafe for some internet, and straight on to the Outgames reception.

buzzing outgames

Free bar at the reception and the Danes couldn’t believe that I wasn’t interested in drinking as much as possible. The drinking culture here is way different then anywhere else in this world. If you can find a reason, you’ll drink. If you can’t find a reason, that is a reason to drink.

Sunday night I was going to biggest lounge festival in Denmark, Stella Polaris, having a drink & bite with Na & friends.

Today I’ve learned a lot about the process and what needs to be done to create HANQ. Besides that I’ve had a good time and relaxed a bit.

August 8, 2009 Posted by | HANQ | , , | Leave a comment

Day 9: Gay Parade, HANQ

It was my mission to facilitate the ultimate test for HANQ. Unfortunately I counted a lot on my network without putting effort in community building. Thank god for my strength, adapting to a situation and making it happen. Together with approximately 20 kids, I pulled of a flashmob to show of what HANQ is capable of.

Data:
Saturday 1st of August 2009: Gay Pride Copenhagen as part of the Outgames 2009. Copenhagen World Outgames 2009 is a successful tribute to the global (LGBT) community and a fantastic celebration of diversity and love.

preparing the act

The Outgames seemed to be THE place to test the concept of HANQ, a school of creative entrepreneurship. I wanted to challenge HANQ travelers to shift their boundaries, expending their community and get in touch with sustainability. Unfortunately, Friends & HANQ travelers were a lot more interested in their beer and a good laugh. Luckily, there were a lot of youngsters ready to be challenged in a flash mob. In the spirit of “don’t be blue” they tried (and succeeded) to make the audience laugh. They made a song about gay – bi – straight love, performed it and had a lot of laughs with their face smashing pie.

the potential flash mob squad team

We have some footage about the experience, but it needs time to edit. In the meanwhile, you might want to check the pictures.

After the flashmob, Edgar, Emma & I went to a coffeebar to upload some pictures on Flickr & send out some tweets, meanwhile, discussing the day and preparing for a night out: Dinner, drinks and a lesbian party at Christiana Havn. The Lesbian party was a lot like my old high school parties: 80’s & 90’s music, only girls on the dance floor, a lot of making out & even more gossip.

Conclusion
The day didn’t turn out the way I planned. I find it difficult to ask for help, with the risk of losing my community. I experience negative feedback from some of the community members as a personal attack. It kind of ruined my night out. It’s a good thing we agreed on an evaluation day tomorrow.

For those who like it: The beautiful song of the OUTGAMES:

FREEDOM TO LOVE

we are, the shiny stars tonight.
we are, the mirror in your eyes.
we are, the voice of hidden songs.
we are,one world,one love,daughters and sons.

love of freedom,
freedom to love
love of freedom,
free….
freedom to love.

manchild, i hold you in my arms.
manchild, miracle of life.
manchild, cried a thousand seas,
for the soul of beauty,
and human right to be.

August 8, 2009 Posted by | HANQ, HyperMedia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1 Week: Pleasures & Difficulties

A day of sightseeing and personal reflection. What is it what is happening to you if you’d like to travel 4 free?

It is amazing to see how many people are opening their hearts and homes to you. But travel4free is doing something for yourself as well. Some personal development will take place.

Personally I find difficulties in asking people to do something for me. I’d rather do something for other people then the other way around. However, it does give me a good feeling if I can see that me asking for something and being there left something sustainably good. Giving someone a good feeling about themselves or helping them build up something are just a few examples.

Most difficult for me is actually to travel with someone. Being around someone 24/7 is asking something from me. I’m used to living and working independently, and it is a huge challenge for me to collaborate. Sometimes I like to be corrected by someone else, and being able to share the same experiences, but other times I hate being dependent and having to agree on subjects.

I value good relationships. But what is it about? Being willing to listen to others, meeting their needs, and in the mean time also standing for your own needs? Looking for an answer the last few days.

My day
Traveling around with old friend Nicholas Blok, I’ve see many spots in North Sealand. There are beautiful castles and churches, the ocean view on Sweden, sweet villages and amazing ice creams. It feels good to relax. Gaining our key back at Silas’ place, we all met together at a great place nearby to have candle light dinner.
Oh, yeah. The apples I picked (also for free at our sightseeing trip) were no good for an apple pie. They included so many worms, they were impossible to eat (by human beings)

August 3, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Day 7: Collect a “Homo” for free

Mission:
Culture sniffing & getting out of Copenhagen, mission accomplished

Strange how soon you adapt to a new rythm. Staying at Silas felt like home. Working a bit, being relaxed, having good chats. It’s time to do some culture sniffing. After a breakfast of homemade bread and eggs we left Silas’ house all together and went to town to go see hanq traveler Nicholas Blok.

We’ve heard that it was able to collect a “Homo” for free at the library. Guess what? Sold out!!!

art the library copenhagen 3

Instead we could watch some gay art for free.

After this, Nicholas and Silas took us to the Round Tower. It usually is 25 Danish Crowns to get in, but I got us in for free. A bit of talking and you can get a lot without paying.

kings tower with a nice view

A beautiful view all over town impressed us. The art museum we went to see afterwards was pretty nice too.

With Nicholas we went for the night. His parents prepared us a lovely dinner of lamb, a salad and gratin potatoes. With a homemade daim chocolate pie and strawberries afterwards. Something I hope I can proceed once I’m bak in my own home. I’d love to make some more homemade food, it tastes so much better.

What impresses me so much about theis trip is how nice people are. If you have a lack of convidence in people, travel4free is the ultimate challenge. I’ve met such nice people on the road. Nicholas compared it to being a pelgrim in the old days. It’s polite and common curtesy to invite Pilgrims in for a warm meal and a safe night. I experience it as so much more. People are putting a lot of effort, love and energy in it, to make you feel as comfortable as possible. It is an amazing feeling. We’ve been on the road for almost a week and we’ve had a hot shower, a wonderful breakfast, a hot meal and a warm & safe bed every day. Internet was available almost every day.

August 2, 2009 Posted by | HANQ, Travel4Free | , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 6: God created all countries, except The Netherlands

… they did that themselves.
(expression from Lars, for those who do not know the Netherlands, we are below sea level)

Mission:
Organize workshop to earn our stay: Mission Accomplished

It’s strange how much work it takes to keep everybody posted. Writing a daily blog, taking pictures, editing footage takes quite a lot of time. Therefor last morning we were working on that, before we started with our workshop Creative Entrepreneurship.

a nice picture with silas our host of the day

Before we’d forget, we took a picture of our host Silas. Silas has been a CouchSurfing host for a few years now and in that time he hosted dozens of people. After a year or so, he thaught it would be great to make a memory board. Behind us, you see part of it. Silas hosted people form all over the world. In Europe, almost all countries /states are covered. The Vatican is one of the few exceptions.

After a home made pizza for lunch, we started with the workshop. Due to recession a lot of temporary contracts were not proceeded in Denmark. Especially in ICT there were some job losses. Astrid and Silas decided they didn’t want to do nothing or be unemployed and they are starting a new project: an outstanding dating website.

astrid is telling how she is experience a HANQ workshop

The weather was gorgeous, so it was possible to have the workshop outside. We are still editing the footage of the workshop. If it is done, I’ll integrate it in this blog.

After the workshop, we were invited to join them for a BBQ. I think this Travel4Free experience is going to spoil me. HomeMade and biological food has the best taste. And so far we received it almost everywhere. The meat was minced, added herbs to them and shaped into hamburgers, homemade rolls, a lot of vegatables, great baked patatoes & homemade sauces. With a dessert of strawberries and icecream. Lars & Karen, some friends of Silas were at the BBQ as well.

Karen is a math teacher at high school, in my opinion a good one. She cannot help that her classes are pretty big (32 students). But she tries to challenge all students and trigger them to think about math. Challenge based learning, some competition and using creative reporting tools (such as a song) are a few of her methods.

Check hanqglobal for more info about the workshops and tips& tricks

July 31, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Day 5: Sleeping in at a fairy tale

Mission today:
Go to our steady place, find workshop opportunities: Mission accomplished

After a night out, we loved to sleep in. Morten had to leave at 9, but he was kind enough to offer us to stay a bit longer. Sleeping in meant we could skip breakfast.

After lunch we left his lovely “fairytale home” on our way to Silas. Silas is a CouchSurfing host who offered us “a last minute couch” to stay for a few nights. Pronunciation in Danish is pretty difficult. Understanding what people are saying is hard to do. We almost went to the wrong place, because I thought Silas was saying a different street name. Thanks to Silas, we came and got us at the bus stop, we did arrive.

In the afternoon we were busy arranging some workshops and updating our internet profiles. While doing that, I got in touch with Na, a Chinese girl I met at a networking party in The Netherlands. At the moment, she is working in IT in Denmark. Replying to my Facebook “Hello!” she invited us for dinner. And what kind of a dinner. At first we were planning on eating Thai food. Unfortunately that restaurant was closed. Chinese, became the restaurant of our choice.

Na ordered for us. Some seriously spicy food, she promised. Emma is having Indonesian roots, but I’m a true European girl. Not really used to serious spices. With some mango juice to at the side,  I was hoping to be able to eat the food. And the food was marvellous. Catonese duck, a wonderful spicy fish soup with peppers and bean sprouts and pak choi.

After today we’ve got three good leads for workshops. A workshop for “unemployed” inhabitants who have a drive to become entrepreneurs, at the outgames and at the company Na is working for.

After enough sleep, we did mainly labour. It does seem to be easier to get enough food, rest and sleep for free.

July 29, 2009 Posted by | HANQ, Travel4Free | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 4: Old friends & a steady place

Would you like to see what route we’ve traveled in the mean time, click here.

Mission:
Find a place where we can stay for a few nights, so we can earn some money back
Mission partially accomplished. We did find a place, but we’ll go there tomorrow. This night we spend at a friends place.

Consequences of lack of money

What if: You don't have any.

What if: You don't have any.

Not being able to spend any money, makes you value what you have got a lot more. Throw away anything (or accidentally lose something) is going to hurt a lot. Being “rich” you might overeat. Not spending any money, makes you question if you are hungry, how hungry you are, what your body needs most and how to get it. You’ll easily eat less then normal, because you know that you’ll like something the next day as well. If you don’t have any money to spend, you’ll also open up to other people a lot more. Everybody is open for a nice talk, but hardly anyone is initiating one. People are very willing to give you a place to stay, a breakfast and even a lunch for on the road. Hitchhiking seems to be a lot more difficult. Holding your thumb and a sign is very last century. If you ask people in person (eg at a gas station) it is more likely that you get a ride. Especially people who are making business trips (transport, sales managers, etc) are very likely to take you. Keeping in touch with the world is important: internet for free is usually at a library, municipal/city hall or at universities, in some countries bars and restaurants are offering free internet too.

Our day
After sleeping at the Children’s Culture Centre, Maria, our host invited us for lunch at her place. On the way we got lost. We missed going right womewhere and suddenly we were at a different area in Denmark. The shortest way from there was a very nice walk over the cemetary. We’ve passed a small supermarket on our way. They were throwing away tons of vegatables and fruits. Just because there was a small spot on them, they couldn’t be sold anymore. Reminded me on 2012 Recycled Food Dinner.

At Maria’s we found ourself: Homemade bread, biological meat (salami and liver pate), lovely cheese, vegatebles (carrots and paprika), apples in lemon and lemonwater. All of this on top of Maria’s inspiring story made this lunch absolutely perfect.

Afterwards we went to the library (free internet) to search for a place where we could spend a few nights. CouchSurfing host Silas was kind enough to reponse really fast within a matter of minutes. Telling us that we are very welcome to stay till Thursday. Unfortunately he had to go and be home by 22h00. We couln’t get in touch with him before that time. Old friend Morten moved from Rotterdam to Copenhagen and bought us a great dinner with beer.

wow a big beer for a small girl

As one of the members of the organization of Outgames 2009 Morten gave us also some t-shirts, a lovely candlelight and some paper to be able to smoke pot. I wonder, but not going to try, if that’s for real or one of his famous jokes. On top of that he offered us to stay for the night in his lovely home, so we could relax a bit more. Nicholas, another friend from back home, and also a friend of Morten invited us to join him at the Outgames. At the Outgames we also got some beer from a volunteer who was working there.

What to do next:
We got so much out of this trip so far, but we did spend some money in order to reach our destination. So, we are going to give workshops, to make up for that. People can value it at the end of the workshop. Several options for us to give workshops here in Denmark:

All our workshop enhances modern devices and social media. Laura Elsman of http://www.e-seevideo.com gave us some nice tips in Dutch, translation underneath.

  1. video maken: gebruik een statief! Of: hou je arm dicht tegen je aan om het beeld te stabiliseren.
  2. Bedenk goed wat je wilt opnemen voordat je op record drukt. Zo blijft je materiaal ‘schoon’ .
  3. Als je mensen interviewt voor camera, laat ze dan de vragen in de lens beantwoorden. Dat voorkomt lelijke kaders.
  4. Bij geinterviewden die te weinig zeggen: stel open vragen. Bij te veel: stel gesloten vraag. Of trek de mike weg!
  5. Film zo weinig mogelijk! Jij denkt dat het interessant is. Online video is kort en krachtig! Less is more!
  6. het geluid! altijd koptelefoon of oortjes gebruiken! check tijdens het opnemen of het ok is.
  7. Scherp stellen: stel in op manual focus (niet auto), zoom in op de ogen, stel scherp! Belangrijk!
  8. Varieer in schots: close (beeldvullend), medium (verder weg) en wide (totaalbeeld). Succes!
  1. Making a video: Stabalize your camera. If you don’t have a device, keep your arm close to your body.
  2. Think, before you record anything. Keep your material clean.
  3. If you interview people in front of a camera, make sure they look into the camera.
  4. If you interview someone: Closed questions for those who talk a lot. Open questions for those who hardly say anything.
  5. Less is more! I=Online video is short and powerful. Only you believe it is interesting.
  6. Sound: Use a headphone while recording, so you know while filming if it is ok.
  7. Don’t use auto focus, but use manual focus. zoom into the eyes and select this. Very important for “sharp” pictures.
  8. Vary the shots: close (covers the screen), medium (pulling of) en wide (complete image). Good luck!

More tips are coming. Feel free to ad anything.

July 29, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 3: Paradise in Germany

Mission of the day: Have some fun! Update all online networks. And get to Copenhagen, finally
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

When we woke up, clean towels were arranged for a lovely shower. Lennart prepared a lovely breakfast (all biological) and we got a map of the town. Rolls with homemade jelly are one of the best breakfasts you can imagine.

IMG_0160

If I’d ever have to live in Germany, Flensburg would definitely be the place: lovely people, clean air, beautiful environment and best of all, hardly any tourists.

What to do next? Hitchhiking to Copenhagen didn’t work out and due to an accident trains weren’t going. A bus driver did want to bring us to the Danish border. The train to Copenhagen was F***ing expensive. But we were in the middle of nowhere, so we took the ticket anyway. Danish public transport is horrible: Expensive, packed all together, confusion about where you can/cannot sit (even for Danish people not clear). But there is one huge “plus”: Danish people are great. Everybody is speaking English, very friendly, willing to help you and up for a nice chat.

Our place for the night

Our place for the night

Maria, the CouchSurfing host of the day, is nice enough to give us a place to stay at the children culture center, in the middle of Copenhagen. Tonight we  are sleeping in the (sports)gym.

Tomorrow we are going to get some work done: Due to today, we have to earn € 100,00.
Breakfast and Lunch are arranged as well as a meeting with friends and a request to The Hub Copenhagen to met up.

For now, blogging and Tweeting is what we do. Germany isn’t very wired. Over here we do have got Free Internet Hotspots (@ the library tonight)

Emma online with B-friend @

Emma online with B-friend @

July 27, 2009 Posted by | 1 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 2: Tips to travel4free or at low cost

If you’d like to travel 4 free it’s easiest to not have any plans at all or prepare very well. A few tips to travel4free if you want to go to a certain place:

If you are going to hitchhike:

  • Know some directions and common itineraries to your destination
  • Get yourself a confirmed hitch at hitchhikers.org
  • TNT (post delivery) is going almost every night to a lot of places all over Europe and they are allowed to take hitchhikers.
  • Flower trucks are decent guys and usually driving in the night o It is easier to hitchhike during workdays, business people and trucks are very willing to take you.
  • Look fresh and smile
  • In the weekend it is harder to find a ride, even in vacation season, cause most cars are stuffed with family and luggage.
  • People from your own country are most likely to take you.

Not free, but cheap is the train in Germany in the weekend.

  • You pay € 40,00 for an entire day in the weekend with 5 people. You can go anywhere you’d like with metronome lines. Transport to a night of going out in Berlin a return ticket would be € 18,00 a person…

For a bachelor party in Germany it is very common that the Junggeselle has to sell drinks /schnapps to the public. They have the Bachelor party the weekend before the wedding. We met a few groups on our way to Hamburg. They are very generous in case you cannot pay and 2 schnapps and some candy later we were quit happy from the Feigling.

Raises the big question: What do we do? Travel to Denmark today or go out in Hamburg with our Bachelors? Rough question. According to the bachelors, nothing came free in Germany. They were willing to pay so we could join them. But the bachelors didn’t dare to ask friends in Hamburg if we could place our luggage there. This was our turning point: a little sightseeing in Hamburg would do. The closest we could get to Copenhagen, the better. However, we couldn’t get there, so on our way, we had to find a sleeping place.

We sat ourselves next to Lennart, a Linguistic expert. After an hour we felt like going to make nice conversations in the train, to find ourselves a couch. We were just telling him what we wanted to do and before we knew it, we found ourselves in a very interesting conversation. 30 minutes before arrival he said he could maybe help us. He was spending the night in his mother’s house in Flensburg and we were welcome to crash for the night. After a real cup of tea, Emma and I got his room (cause there were two beds in it) and he took the guest room.

our couchsurfing host for the night 'linguist' lennart with chantal

Lennart offered us a home, instead of just a couch. Another peaceful and lovely house at a true home: A great place to live

July 26, 2009 Posted by | HANQ, Travel4Free | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 1: Everything is new

En daar gingen we dan. Net even later dan gepland. Lees voor het Nederlandse verhaal van Emma hier

On the road. A little bit later than planned. 2 Hitchhike virgins.

Target: Copenhagen in one day: Mission unaccomplished.
But the experience is unforgettable. Meeting inspiring and helpful people everywhere. This is our story.

So far we hitchhiked with 6 different people. A true challenging experience.
The hardest part was to get out of Rotterdam from “Blijdorp”. Nobody seemed to go east. Even god (a priest for that matter) wouldn’t take us.

Walking to the Zoo, we started calling experienced hikers for some tips & tricks. Here are a few op them:
1.    Keep your sign upside down
2.    Make sure a car can make a stop
3.    Be specific on your sign

At a gas station we found our first hike. Just a few kilometers, but our host was convinced that it would be easier to find a ride to the north/east at another gas station at the A15. Father of a daughter of two and married proposed to meet after our trip: “Why don’t you want to cheat on your partner”. So far, our first official hitchhike experience.

View from Jan's truck

View from Jan's truck

However, he was right. It took us just seconds to find a ride to Tiel . Rob, a first class sales manager had a lot to tell, cheap travel experience himself, and was a superman in community building to achieve that. At van der Valk Tiel he dropped us off and after a toilet stop, we found a short ride with Melissa to the next big gas station. And there we found Jan de Haas. Owner of a transport company he took us to the German border. For the first time in my life I found myself in a truck (a huge one).  A bit illegal, since Emma and I both hiked, it got excited when the police drove by. Hiding behind the curtain & listening to Jan’s great stories made this trip unique. Jan suggested we hitchhiked with a flower transport directly to Denmark. Unfortunately no such truck stopped at Elten.

Find service and very nice people here

Find service and very nice people here

So we were captured at the Shell at the border. After an hour we found ourselves a  hike to the restaurant Elten West 500 m further down the road.  Our press card got us a warm cup of tea and coffee. Now we are challenged to find ourselves a place to sleep tonight. Christine, the woman from the coffee is arranging a place and a ride. If we cannot find ourselves a ride to Hamburg/Copenhagen at 22h we can stay in this area.

And we didn’t. Unfortunately the place where we were supposed to sleep was closed, due to vacation. At a hotel nobody was empowered to make a decision to let us stay for free. But there he was: Rob, our guardian angel. Walked us though Alten trying to find a place and when that seemed to be impossible he offered a place at his home. His wive came to pick us up from Alten Germany and we drove back to The Netherlands for a great egg sandwich, drinks, hot shower and comfortable “couch”.

Conclusion Day 1:
Pretty successful. We spend € 0,00. No hungry or thirsty feelings.
It was kind of weird to ask for our first ride. Making a sign, holding your thumb up.  After the first day I was exhausted.

On the road
Reflection of Emma in Dutch in between rides

July 25, 2009 Posted by | HANQ, Travel4Free | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment