If you have not yet heard of P2P, don’t worry, I believe 2014 will mark its official mainstream debut. I am so grateful and privileged to have been a recipient of its wondrous gifts, that I am now one of its most impassioned supporters.
So what is P2P? It’s short for Peer to Peer, which is also short, in my opinion, for peers trusting their peers in order to share amazing gifts and experiences with one another!
You may be familiar with the line in the Jurassic Park movie where scientist Ian Malcolm says
“Life will find a way”
and then theme park originator, John Hammond, says
“Creation is an act of sheer will”
well fervent travelers have found a way. Tough economic times, all over the world, could have put a stop to culturally enriching travel, but instead it only served to inspire creative, open-minded, and open-hearted travelers to find ways to continue to connect with one another.
If you are still uncertain what P2P is, here are a few of the things being offered and shared by trusting peers: homes, cars, hospitality, car rides, authentic home cooked meals, custom tour guide services, a couch or bedroom in a home, room and board/work exchange, to name just a few. It could be anything that will satisfy a travelers desire for more authentic cultural experiences.
The best of P2P however are those things that are being shared for free or for great value.
At the core of P2P, is still the best of P2P, and that is International Home Exchange; which isn’t new at all, having been around since the 1950s. In an international home exchange, peers all around the world get to know one another and trust one another (remotely) and then give one another the gift of their own home, for free, for weeks at a time. Each party gets to live like a temporary local in that home. Both peers provide all sorts of information and resources to make each others stay as culturally enriching and enjoyable as possible. It really is quite amazing.
All of the new up and coming P2P services will go a long way to provide travelers an even greater, more exciting, array of cultural opportunities to choose from. It is really quite extraordinary what is going on.
In a time when we are all directly or indirectly being taught, by this scary story or those disturbing images, to be fearful and distrusting, there is a whole new marketplace and movement where embracing our fellow human beings and trusting them is blossoming. I think it’s remarkable and wonderful and I am just happy to talk about it with you. I could have provided you a bunch of links to all the P2P travel services that I prefer, but I chose not to.
The purpose of my post and what I hope to accomplish, is simply to share with as many people as I can this wonderful new phenomenon, built on trust. It may force you out of your comfort zone, but once you try it you may never want to go back.
With that said, I wish you all a happy and healthy, New Year! I hope you give P2P a try.