Hi All - Kimberly from VT here. We're working on a story about how trustworthy and helpful our VT members are, even those that may not have met the other member who is helping them. For example, we recently read in the forums about how one member in Hungary picked up train tickets at the station for another member and mailed them to his him in the US. VT Forum temporarily unavailable Has anything like this happened to you? We'd love to hear your stories! Thank you! Kimberly
Numerous stories. The first one are what we achieved in the forums. I remember a case of a familie where somebody died in Europe and we traced a relative somewhere in Australia (after 30 years being without contact with het family). Also all the help we gave to relatives after the big Tsunami on December 26. And the loss of Kinga. She was really amazing. Travelling at a zero budget and still bringing crayons for the children. Stuff for other members. Hansi is on the top of that list. Sending Dutch chocolat to that poor ex-Dutcman :). Even supplied him with a couch for the night. Hansi knitted a nice piece for me in return. I cannot thank a dozen or so members that got vinyl grammophone records to me. And all the goodies that are given away with meetings. I always will bring some Grolsh beer for Claus; a pity he cannot make it to the Bergamo meeting. Having a private driver at Toronto: "VT-Meeting June 14, 2007" - Toronto Travelogue by pieter_jan_v I have a long list of street addresses of VT-members; for a simple reason: either to send them something or send something in return. I should dig a bit in the VT fault. And the latest help I got at Vancouver by YVRDave. We went to a great Chinese restaurant (what in the meantime appeared to be demolished). Never mind we found another, haha. PJ
Bloody hell. where to start here. So many stories from over the years. When i was in Damascus working a few years ago vt member Fouads, whom i had never previously met, drove over 300 kilometers down from Aleppo to have tea with me and even brought me presents for my mother. Vt member Eichmond contacted the mayor of Carlsbad/California and got him to give me an official recognition stating that i am an american hero after i did a bit of volunteering at the San Diego forest fires a few years ago when i wa scycling through Calufornia. I love having that on paper with the mayors signature :).
This is a great start of what I know is going to be an awesome list. Hope to learn more of these stories in Bergamo. I may email some of you directly to get more details on the story(ies) you shared. Look forward to hearing more!
"Who do you think you are ?" - mamawinnie's Profile The above is a true story and a tear-jerker. Mamawinnie is one lucky gal. I cry every time I read her real life story of tracing her father's past. One good example of a total VT stranger helping another VTer.
Helpmark Will come back later but 'yes' VT members have helped me.
What about the time the girl got locked in the bathroom, and a member in another country, who she contacted via VT, was able to phone her flatmate and have them race home and rescue her :-) True International Rescue to her service da da !!
Too many to mention really - but a couple of recent typical examples :- emails from "strangers" with precise and local travel options, down to Bus/Tram Number and the name of the stop at which to board and alight. And from one an offer to transport us and act as a guide on the one day we had in his town - unfortunately it was not on his day off. Very precise information about a relatively remote location with local travel directions - and personal telephone numbers for contact if neeed - not for me but for one of my daughters, travelling alone with minimal command of the local language. These are the kind of untrumpeted encounters with other members as well as face to face meetings with members at or close to my home that make me value VT.
There are lots of us VTers with a beautiful scarf thanks to Hansi. I'd like to thank HunterV for his assistance in helping one of my (non-VT) friends reconnect with his uncle in Ukraine. Victor assisted with locating the phone number, and address, and then translating it into English. My friend's father was a relocated Ukraine who ended up in Australia after WW2, and had not talked to his brother in many many years. He is almost blind and deaf, but was able, thanks to Victor's help, to reconnect with family in Ukraine. I've never met Victor offline - but he was a wonderful friend by going out of his way to assist a fellow VTer, and more - helped some unknown strangers. PJ - I was glad to be your chauffeur!
Fugu (Keti) helped us in Belgrade with heaps of information before we arrived and even took 3 of us to the hairdresser (premeet 2011) MacedonianUK (Valentina) heaps of help for Euromeet 2011. Arranged accomodation,transport,and even sent me Macedonian money. John Gayton who travelled to a Meet for me in London...hours and hours each way. Margaret(Mustertal) who picked up Dara5 and me in Preston and drove us to Lytham Jo104 who arranged a meet for me then the next day 'found' me when I was lost looking for her in London Ricky52 and Sheila who stayed with me till my cousin showed up to collect me in Lancs Aussirose(Ann) who gave me heaps of encouragement to come to my first Meet at AirlieBeach then held up the bus looking for me not knowing the resort had sent a car for me Hansi(waalewiener) who came over to welcome zzeone(Tim) on his first VT excursion Irishfem and annemariebyrne who always help when we visit Dublin Tropicrd and Al2401 who always stick by me. ViajesdelMundo who sought us out in Paris and was my very first VT contact. Kiwi (Pam)who tirelessly answered questions about how VT works Gyurift(George) who offered so much help with trains and drove us through Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia Wow...so many....and more in other small ways
I need to elaborate: Dorrise (tropicrd) drove us around for one delightful day in Cairns and Zig(1+1) showed us special spots in Darwin
Thanks for the mention Marg :-) And I have another plug for Zig who organised and guided us on a real "Trip of a Lifetime" to a corner of the world very few go. Without VT and without Zig, I would never have gone there.
I'd like to mention VT member Zin. When I visited Rangoon / Yangon in Burma / Myanmar a few years ago she insisted on giving me a wonderful guided tour of the city, took me to the best "local" restaurants and even introduced me to her delightful family at their home. Despite being an accredited tour guide and a very good one at that, she absolutely refused any sort of payment and had given up her day off to do this. Here is a link. "My best tip for Myanmar." - Rangoon Things to Do Tip by planxty Keti and Valentina's superb hospitality in their respective countries at last year's Euromeet and associated events is also worthy of mention although I am not sure it is quite what you are looking for here.
Oh my goodness,so many fabulous and trustworthy members..a special mention to Marg (wise23girl & David (wisedancer) who sent flowers when they found out my husband was terminally ill and the special xmas gift to me and for the dinners we had together.Suet (Sue) who sends me cards and helps me to laugh away my problems on misc forum,also Kshezz(Kirsty)who also has a great sense of humour this is very helpful for me.All the postcards signed by members at vt meets and sent.The kind hearted members who send me messages on my HP,emails and skype calls not only during this sad time but to share interesting and good news with me..you know who you are and you are all so very special. Hansi yep!!I have one of his scarves and I treasure it also LoriPori their support has been wonderful over the years. Aussierose (Ann) & Stephanie (VT mum) for the warm welcome at Airlie Beach meet and the friendship that followed. ray_d for encouraging me to paint again. Canuck68 (Diane) her buddy support regarding my lung disease has helped me very much. Ricky52,he helps members all the time even if he or his wife Sheila are unwell. al2401 (Alison) who is always willing to help,Daarth(David) helps me by starting the Friday VT pub and Odinthor (Erik) who helps by being a great source of information and a good chap to boot. Last but certainly not least is 'G' our VT manager,he always gets back when I have needed to know something. I don't get to travel much these days but love to welcome vt members to my town and help members with information as much as I can. If I have missed out on anyone please forgive me. Much love and respect to all. Dorrise xx
Oops!!!!of course I need to name Kiwi (Pam) gosh she is always so helpful.
Aussirose and her lovely Husband who drove out of thier way on thier massive European trip to come to my house (out in the country) and pick me up and drive me to a VT meet in Lier..without them I could not have made it.... Dorisse...I bl@@dy love you I do !!! :-) (who else would mention me?)
When I came to London for the first time, Colin (Britania2) wrote a perfect description on how to get from St Pancras to my hostel - complete with all information, how to buy the ticket, where to go, what to look for, even where to put my ticket into the slot :-) I don't think I could have coped that easily with the tube after such a long train ride from Germany to London, and all my luggage. It really was a huge help and made things so much easier. Another kind of help was some kind of psychological support - when I came home from my long trip to Australia and quarreled with my surroundings and how people reacted to me, and another time when I had general issues about how to organise my life and travelling. Talking to VTers about this was really helpful and many people wrote to me, showing me that I was not alone and that there were others who had the same problems and issues. I especially need to mention Ingrid (Trekki), but there were many people helping me.
I just came across: VT Forum temporarily unavailable PJ
I lived in Denver and a VT member, Ursa9, who lives in Slovenia connected me with a group of painters in Slovenia who have a week long meeting at a winery on the Jerusalem road in Slovenia. They invited me to come and paint, enjoy the food and get to know them. It was a wonderful experience and they did many things to honor me. They knew I was a retired band instructor in California and so they brought in a musical group that performed one evening, they also brought for entertainment an accordion player on another afternoon and evening. They brought some Americans who translated for me, etc. This week was one to remember and it all started through VT. I also had another VT member, Oriettait, set up two exhibitions for me in Italy, where I brought my paintings over and exhibited them, while giving several classes in watercolors, making so many nice friends along the way. Now I live in Italy and... this VT friend is my fidanzata, so you see this has all worked out great! Dave
Well, Kimberly, you did ask! Bearing in mind that this particular post has only been up a relatively short time and the answers you have already have, I think it is amply demonstrated how VT works and it does, believe me. Please forgive me if I am in error here but I believe you are one of the newer members of staff on VT. I am sure you have already done it, but if not may I rspectfully suggest you canvass some of the longer serving staffers there. There are many stories of VTer's just, well, doing what VT should be about as far as I am concerned. From relatively small things like meeting a member in a strange town and showing them to their hotel to full-blown meets, acts of kidness and support during bereavement, illness and a hundred other things, it is all here. I said in a recent forum reply something along the lines of, "Is it any wonder I love this place" and I can do no better than re-iterate that here. Good luck with the piece and can you please point us in it's direction if it is taken up or syndicated? Thanks.
My best story was about finding my auntie's father's grave. He was Jew by origin, and he immigrated from USSR to Israel in 70ies and they lost contact. Later on my aunties also moved to USa and she started looking for that grave to visit. For a couple of years she was unsuccessful. I asked my VT friend frpm Israel if he could help. apparently the cemetery was not far from the place he lives. He found the grave and later when my auntie came to Israel, he drove her to the cemetery. For me, I pais visits to some VT friends, and was twice hosted of 1 of them. Thank you so much (you know who you are:) )
Just remmeber now that vt member marielexoteria brought a Stieg Larsson novel to China for vt member greencargirl as it was not for sale there yet and they had never previously met.
Good point made by fergy. I think the old, now extinct, Community News Page used to show us the kind of activity, personal exchanges and encounters behind this question. Fist that page ceased to be updated, then became an Archive. Regarding meetings. BIG Meets get all the razzmatazz but dozens, perhaps hundreds, of face to face meetings between members take place all the time without announcement or fanfare.Just as do exchanges of personal emails and telephone calls. And those, for me, are the important ones.
>>Regarding meetings. BIG Meets get all the razzmatazz but dozens, perhaps hundreds, of face to face meetings between members take place all the time without announcement or fanfare.Just as do exchanges of personal emails and telephone calls. And those, for me, are the important ones. Wonderfully said, Barbara! :-)
I don't know if it is just me, and I am most definitely NOT angling for compliments here but I genuinely enjoy showing members round my adopted hometown of London especially the less visited East End. A couple of years ago, I was priveleged to assist member Jo104 with the London Treasure Hunt round the East End which everyone seemed to enjoy. Last year, lack of numbers meant the Treasure Hunt was changed, by consensus, into a bit of a guided walk which I loved as well, having scoped out the route and researched it. If I had the necessary qualifications, I would love to be a Blue Badge Guide (official tour guides in London for which you effectively need a history degree) but that is not going to happen so I just love showing visiting members round in my own amateur way. I suspect there are many members like this all over the world, people who are happy to showcase the place they live. I fully appreciate that personal meetings are not the prime function of VT, the sharing of "insider knowledge" as I believe it used to be called here, is the core business but surely personal meets, whether one on one or one of the excellent large meets are a very valid way of sharing that "insider knowledge" and helping people to see new places. For example, how many members would have thought of visiting Bergamo were it not for the imminent Eurmeet? In each one of these personal interactions, a VT member is "helping" another VT member. Again, I am probably straying from the point and it is probably not what you are looking for in the way of copy, but I believe it is worth saying.
We'd love to give a big "thubs up" for Chiara (pollon) who has assisted in communicating with the restaurants for EurMeet - it's been great having a local to have the occasional conversation with the restaurant because Italian isn't our first language (or second, or third!) - big thanks!!!
Well - that is great - specially for all of you who really enjoy Big Meets. And can afford the travel time and the cost of being there outside any other personal and family travel commitments/wishes. My partner has never been a big party fan but has really enjoyed meeting my VT friends - either in our home or at local hostelries - or both. The "VT Community" takes many forms - and for me it is the personal contacts -whether through travel pages, forums, personal comments and emails or face to face meetings that matter most.
I really would like to add VT member Martin_S,I have just received (today) 16 who dunnit books from him from Israel to Cairns Australia for my terminally ill husband to have a read.This gift is so wonderful and helpful as they will be a distraction even though (Rex) can't read that well any longer,I can read them to him.
Kimberley, Have you ever looked at the VT archives? See: Community News Archive PJ
There are literally hundreds of posts on VT that relate kindnesses done by VT members. Back in June 2010 I posted a VT act of kindness on the miscellaneous forum. For this question, I did a VT search for "unexpected kindness" and found it and a seemingly interminable list included 18 other reports that had been posted in response to my question alone. Reading these reports does make one think that people who are active in VT are special.
KImberly - I think that the responses already made here, together with a thorough perusal of the Archives should provide sufficient evidence to show that many members of VT offer help, advice and support not only in travel related acivities but often during times of personal crisis. The latter may be of a kind when open discussion is not just inappropriate but would be in breach of confidentially shared experiences. Surely you now have enough evidence to say members help and support each other in a myriad of ways but I, for one, will not be breaching the confidences entrusted to me by other members. I do hope we will be allowed to know if, when and how this information will be taken further.