Guest Post - SpaceHitch Project
After years of roaming from Istanbul to Beijing to Varna and everything in between, the thing that’s always bothered me is how much I miss local items from each place I visit.
Local eatables, hot sauce, your favourite tooth floss, and of course, reasonably priced replacements for electronics and equipment. Nothing that will kill you, and if you really wanted, you could pay (MUCH) higher prices to buy the imports, although I was always suspicious if these were actually authentic. Plus you never knew how long they had been sitting on a cargo ship/warehouse and who touched them.
Like many of my traveling friends, I get bored staying in the same place for more than a few months and I don’t carry much when I go: clothes and a laptop, the essentials. It always bugged me there was no system in place to “Ask a Traveler to Help Bring Items”. Travelers are everywhere. If you could get in touch with all the people who come into your city, think about all the cool products you can request from around the world! Plus this would be without excessive import taxes, international shipping, or wondering who touched your goods along the way.
This year in 2014, my friends and I started a new project. It’s a website designed to make the lives of travelers a little easier and help locals everywhere connect with the globe. The project is called SpaceHitch and it helps travelers rent out their extra luggage space to people who need items from around the world. Maybe a product isn’t sold where you live, or it’s sold elsewhere cheaper, but if a traveler’s coming to your city, you can ask for help.
Think of it like hitchhiking, but instead of you hitchhiking in the extra seat of a car, the item you want is hitching a ride in the traveler’s extra bag space. Hitchhiking extra luggage space – SpaceHitch.
In exchange, local buyers can offer the traveler a service fee (like a tip) but we’ve found many travelers are kind enough to do it for free. They are often frequent travelers themselves and understand how hard needing something from abroad can be. Most people tend to ask for things like hot sauce or chocolate; small items from home that add a bit of flavour to ex-pat life.
The other aspect of our community is service exchange. Instead of a tip, the local buyer can offer to do something nice in return. This can range from a pick up from the airport, cooking a home made meal, taking the traveller out for drinks, anything really. You can even offer to host the traveler or if it’s just a layover, offer a place to deposit bags while they sightsee.
In this way, we build a community. People travel easier, and hopefully more, and on their trips, help locals connect with the world. Locals make the travelers’ trips a little easier, and travelers bring different pieces of the world to locals.
Thanks SpaceHitch guys for getting us involved in this great idea, we hope it takes off! We will definitely be signing up when the site launches fully :)
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!