I recently signed up for this website: Trevolta, and I’m still waiting in the queue to get access to my account. You’re probably wondering what Trevolta is and if it’s related to John Travolta. “Tell me more! Tell me more!”
Trevolta is a global crowdfunding travel website. Travelers who sign up create expeditions and submit to the site for fundraising. These expeditions can not only be sponsored by interested and generous individuals but also companies and other people looking for marketing opportunities to increase their brand awareness, which I think is a pretty cool proposition. I mentioned in my presentation about Humans of New York this week that companies should aim to tell a story. What better way to tell a story than by funding a trip for an “everyday individual” to promote one’s brand? Each story would be personal and genuine. The trips will be posted on Trevolta’s blog along with photos and videos, and Trevolta wants its members to submit adventure plans that are impactful and unique, so plans for a trip to Las Vegas for a 21st birthday probably wouldn’t cut it.
Right now, access is private and is given in batches according to their website. Batch 1 is already signed up and planning trips so they can raise funds. I was too late for Batch 1, but hopefully, I’m in Batch 2 because I’m ready to jet set to Zimbabwe and volunteer at an orphanage for a week or two, or sunbathe on the tropical beaches of Tahiti, or pet baby sloths at the sanctuary in Costa Rica, or meditate with Buddhist monks on the peaks of Nepal, or ride elephants in a sari in the humidity of India. Or…DO THEM ALL ON ONE BIG TRIP AROUND THE WORLD.
We normally think of crowdfunding for creators (artists, musicians, inventors) or charities (like the Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser by HONY and Tumblr), but people have started to use crowdfunding to satiate their wanderlust. For most campaigns, a promise of a reward for the contributor will increase the likelihood that they will donate. For travels, that could be a copy of your travelling journal, a souvenir, a postcard, etc. 28-year-old Sam Wineman, an aspiring Californian filmmaker, created a Kickstarter to fund a trip through the Western U.S. He ended up raising over $3500. However Kickstarter does have the restriction that the money raised has to go towards a tangible creative project, so Wineman decided to use the money to film a series of blind dates along the way for webisodes. He had just broken up with his boyfriend, whom he thought he was going to spend the rest of his life with, so he thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to embark on a journey. He traveled through 12 cities with a film crew and uploaded videos of his travels and love adventures on YouTube. His videos are fun and he has an endearing personality that makes you support his endeavors and want him to succeed in his love life. Check out his first video below posted in October.
We always talk about our desires to travel the world, to try new things. Crowdfunding is making this more possible for those who don’t quite have the financial disposition on their own.
Ahh, that classic Tolkien quote. Even reading it makes me want to pack a knapsack, hop on a boat, and sail off to uncharted waters…I feel inspired to start a travel campaign of my own. I am looking for an eat, pray, love adventure in a foreign land, and maybe, I can use my adventures to fuel my novel writing (it’s in the works; I just keep getting writer’s block).
What do you think though? Is this the new way to travel? Would you ever start a campaign to fulfill your travelling desires…or do you feel uncomfortable “begging” for a fun time? Would you ever donate to someone else’s adventure plan?
If you want, sign up for Trevolta here: https://www.trevolta.com/invite/374ML147855 and begin your first crowdfunded adventure.