Road Trip Project
The Road Trip Project is above all a human adventure! In 2018 and in 2019 altogether 16 young travellers embarked on a van for a journey across Europe. On the road, they met locals and explored a variety of EU-supported projects and activities. They shared their experiences through videos, photos and blog posts on social media platforms, exchanging tips on the road and triggering a Europe-wide conversation among their peers.
In 2020, the Road Trip Project became the Green Trip. The campaign aims to raise young Europeans’ awareness of the climate urgency, connect them with the EU's environment and climate action, and engage them to explore more sustainable lifestyles. From September to December local influencers in five target countries – Belgium, Germany, Greece, Lithuania and Portugal – embarked on a discovery journey, exploring by themselves a variety of green projects and initiatives enabled by the EU in their respective regions. Sharing their stories with their communities on social media, in their local language, influencers and followers challenged each other to adopt environmentally friendly habits, thus doing their bit to protect our planet.
The travellers’ Road Trip stories provide a wealth of inspiring information about Europe and what it has to offer. Following their journeys is an invitation to hit the road and discover the regions that make Europe unique. Read more about their journeys below – by clicking on the links, you can watch the videos the travellers created on the way.
2020/21 – Europe is GREEN!
In October 2020, 15 young influencers set off on their Green Trips across Belgium, Germany, Greece, Lithuania and Portugal. They visited stunning national parks, met inspiring business owners and gave a helping hand to local sustainability initiatives. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many trips shifted to a digital alternative, but this did not stop our influencers from having lively discussions and eye-opening encounters. Altogether, their journeys included stops at more than 70 EU enabled projects and initiatives that showcase existing green solutions and promote a climate friendly lifestyle. The influencers and their followers learnt that it is high time to fight climate change, clean up our oceans and consume more responsibly in our everyday life. But they also experienced that change is under way: From urban farms to upcycling start-ups, from eco-tourism services to foodsaving initiatives – the green movement in Europe is diverse and growing. We can all play a role in it, partnering up with the efforts of the European Union to make our continent carbon-neutral and environmentally-friendly. To underline the part that each of us can play in promoting a greener Europe, the Green Trip campaign supported the launch of the Climate Pact, an EU-wide initiative to engage the public in climate action.
The influencer journeys have now come to an end, but the campaign itself continues until June 2021. Highlights in the upcoming months include new social media content touching upon five key sustainability issues and partnerships with schools to bring green ideas into Europe’s classrooms. To deliver on its potential, the campaign needs your engagement! You can follow the campaign activities on the dedicated website and on social media, join or invent new green challenges and – if you are an educator – use our school toolkit to raise awareness of sustainability issues.
2019 – What’s up, Europe?
Hitting the road on Aland Island, Dayana, Elliot, Vanessa and Rares, the travellers of team Travelbugs, found themselves in Canary Islands after a short month. What has happened in between? For starters a broken plane and a delay. From there things moved fast forward: Exploring archipelago from the sea to truly capture need for small ports, taking part in the Pride, learning about social innovation and getting hands-on with students for future of vocational skills. In the Danish island of Samsø, which draws 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, the travellers were challenged to think of innovative ways to make our lifestyles more sustainable. Halfway through, in a small town called Schengen, the team learned about an agreement that made their smooth travel across national borders possible!
From Schengen the Travelbugs continued towards South France, along Via Rhona, and eventually made it to Spain. On the way, they hiked up the mountains to research the impact of climate change, woke up early in the morning to get a glimpse of the Siberian lynx and finally took off to the Canary Islands where they met the rescue helicopter pilots who fought against forest fires.
Panos, Olga, Selina and Wijnand – aka Team Calma - travelled from Ireland to Cyprus. Their journey started with a party in a serious sense: the team learned about the secrets of success while making gin and about the ways in which festivals can lessen their environmental impact at Ireland’s biggest festival. On the way through Germany, Czech, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and finally to Cyprus the team dove into history and immersed in nature, worked as miners and, as one can imagine, things sometimes got a bit jammy! In Opole, Poland the team visited the back stage of Hollywood, whereas in Baia Mare, Romania, they had to opportunity to gaze at real stars.
In Spissky Hrvov, Slovakia, the team were inspired by the work done for the integration of Roma community, and in Prague they enjoyed a cup of coffee at Mezi Řádky café that gives work opportunities to disabled people.
2018 – The first Road Trip Project
The journey took Luisa and Louis, Yldau and Fabio, Susann and Kenneth, and Luna and Achilleas on four different routes through different European regions.
Countries on the Mediterranean have been home to some of the most forward-thinking civilisations in our history. The Mediterranean route is a multi-sensory journey through European roots. Luisa and Louis travelled through time and space, starting on the Acropolis, one of the most iconic cradles of our civilisation. Along the route from Greece to the Western Balkans, they experienced wildlife, re-discovered old recipes and ingredients, and explored the mosaic of people, cultures and traditions. Louis was touched meeting the people at the sunny workshop, where as Luisa felt empowered on a solar boat. Luisa and Louis got active as they swap four wheels for two in Slovenia, or walk across borders on old trails. They took care of fragile nature of the Mediterranean coast inhaled the extraordinary scenery. The first route ends in the caves of Lascaux where one of the oldest tangible expressions of history are found.
The Atlantic route was about exploring the highs, lows, cliffs and mountains of Europe’s Atlantic coast – Europe’s gateway to the wider world. The Atlantic coast holds up a mirror to the “old continent” of Europe. What does the future hold for the regions working with and earning a living from the sea? Follow Yldau and Fabian from the most Western point of mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca near Lisbon, Portugal, all the way to Europe’s biggest port, Rotterdam, Netherlands, as they experience the power of waves, learn the craft of seafood production, explore great ports, and even fight fires. Heart felt moments were experienced at Seafarers’ workshop and on D-Day, when the Yldau and Fabian had the honour to meet Joe a British veteran of the Second World War, who fought for Europe’s freedom.
Sometimes called “the Amazon of Europe” because of its majestic delta on the Black Sea, the Danube is certainly a river of superlatives. 2.730 kilometres long, the Danube is the most international waterway on the planet, flowing across more borders than any other river in the world, through ten countries, seven of which were on the road of our travellers Susann and Kenneth. Starting from the source of Danube they celebrate the EU, learn about the importance of second chance, be proud tourists in a medieval fortified town, before they reach the Danube’s basin, which is the most biodiverse on our continent (ever heard of the “Danube Dinosaur”?). Susann and Kenneth did not only travel by van, cycles or boats but also flew – twice! By flying they could discover the most recent methods to study archaeology and the bridge connecting two countries divided by the Danube.
The last route of the first edition invites you to jump on a journey around the only exclusively European sea, the Baltic Sea! A journey through time and space, where East meets West and history is never far away. Our final duo, Luna and Achilleas started their journey through time and space in the Arctic circle where they’ll got to meet Santa (!), before heading south (or less North, let’s say). Along the way they crafted the first ever Road Trip beer, went fishing, horse riding and… midsummer skiing; they became spies in the secret soviet bunker, lifeguards on a rescue station and medieval bishops in Lidzbark Warmiński. They learned about the fight against corruption, solidarity movement and power of art, before ending the journey in the great city of Berlin, a true symbol of peace and unity (speaking of unity, check out the last surprise!).