Last weekend 95 Spotters came from 49 cities (from Toronto & Montreal to Moscow and between…) to enjoy each other’s company in the birth country of Spotted by Locals: The Netherlands.
It was the 4th Spotters Weekend, but it feels unreal again it really did happen. Most of the people who came did not know each other at all, and quite a few were so new to the community they knew no-one. It is so amazing to see how these people from all ages (23 to 54) and from such different places connect. This Spotters gene that we all share is special. It should be investigated by a scientist, but I’m sure characteristics include pure curiosity, openness and love of life!
As co-founder Sanne put it “you can put these people together in a boring post office waiting room, and they’ll make history.” But just in case we did organize some activities!
On Friday night, all Spotters brought some snacks from their home country. This made an amazing dinner! There was a silent disco both nights, which was very funny.
On Saturday, we did a walk through the beautiful woods of De Veluwe and played some games, led by a group of students from Amsterdam. In the afternoon, some Spotters organized some fun workshops: atlas origami, creative writing and a beer tasting with local craft beer from De Veluwsche Schavuyt.
Co-founder Sanne and trained chef (and Antwerp Spotter) Britt made a great pasta dish for everybody at night, that was even appreciated by the Italians ;). At night we had a bonfire with a Caribbean “shaman” (Berlin Spotter Rafa), readings by Marcel (Cologne) and Cinthya (Rotterdam) and songs performed by Reuven (Tel Aviv) and Miha (Ljubljana).
On Sunday, the hangover was great. Not only alcohol induced… It was sad to leave. Thousands of hugs were exchanged before we left the beautiful premises of the country house we had rented (Het Woldhuis) by vintage bus!
Some quotes from Spotters who can put the magic that was made into words much better than I can:
Marcel (Cologne): “An amazing and inspiring weekend with old and new friends, and a reminder that travel truly is fatal to prejudice and bigotry when done with an open mind and the will to accept other ways of living.”
Sabrina (Vienna): “Just spent the most badass weekend with 90ish people from allover (again!), hostel boating, party training, silent discoing, autumn leave chasing, origamiing, campfire chatting – can I just say how blessed I am?! #spottersweekend2018 #showingoff #bearwithme”
Elena (Saint Petersburg, Russia): “I’ve never met a crowd so diverse in age and origin and professions and experiences and travels working at the common goal of making the world more hospitable and clear and friendly. It makes me happy to belong to these people. […] Spotters help me see some kind of nomadism and citizenship of the world is possible. I see that it’s possible to ‘be you and explore the worlds of others’, not ‘be someone who gets validation from others’. I also see that we, people, are so similar, no matter the countries and experiences. We’re somewhat the same at the core, at heart. At least Spotters are.”
Here’s a video Djordje (Belgrade) shot that gives an excellent impression!
Tiago (Porto): “Once again, an amazing week(end) with some of my favourite people in the world! Reading news and watching the new waves of intolerance that are intoxicating our societies, it makes me smile and feel hopeful that maybe, just maybe some people can make a real difference in the world. Don’t let all this love we share amongst ourselves be left on the weekend: let’s try and franchise it, practice kindness every minute of your life and share your drive and happiness with those who might need it. […] Back in my office, I’m once again trapped in that famous happiness hangover, that only great love affairs bring to our heart.”
Scott (Glasgow): “Once again I was blown away on a Spotters weekend! So many wonderful smiles, laughs, hugs, cheer, food, drink and dancing!! I feel privileged to of been welcomed into this community and I am addicted to its warmth. You are all truly beautiful!!❤️”
Dieter (Ghent): “Even for a newbie this #spottersweekend2018 felt like coming home. I arrived in freezing Dutch temperatures, but left with heartwarming international feelings. Thanks Sanne and Bart for colouring the world with your charming enthusiasm, creative spirit and unconditional belief in every single one of us. Thanks to all Spotters for becoming family. Love y’all ❤”
We feel so blessed being part of this amazing community.#spottedbylocalsforever
Want to join? Check spottedbylocals.com/become-a-spotter/