The Grand Tour was a learning journey across the continent for young, wealthy Europeans which was popular from about 1660 to 1840. The purpose of this trip was to cultivate young people, by giving them new experiences in several countries. The diverse cultures, languages and traditions that the travellers encountered on these trips was thought to prepare them for the multi-disciplinary conversations and politics of the salons at home.
Today, the grand tour has been replaced by study abroad programs for students or foreign placement for work. Long holidays abroad, military overseas stationing or university exchange doctorates are some equivalents in today’s global society. The difference between these modern examples and the Grand Tour, is however that today’s exchanges mostly give the travelling student or overseas worker the opportunity to visit one new country instead of several.
Energetic people have taken this in their own hands and travel as backpackers during a gap year (or several) to get to see as many parts of the world as possible.
We think that these nomadic periods in life are very important for humanity and the planet as a whole – and would like as many people as possible to experience as many places as possible.
The Internet with its freedom and ubiquitous information has surely given more people this opportunity, but we believe that a real journey cannot be replaced by a “journey” on Google Earth and Wikipedia. There are many things which are lost in virtual travel; so far you can only experience the visual and audio aspect of a faraway land online. What you smell, taste and touch is lost. Not to mention the feelings, intuitions and all other ways of experiencing life which scientists haven’t discovered yet.
It is amazing to travel to new countries – most people agree on this.
We at Superhero Spaces in collaboration with The Creative Space Explorer are currently working on year-long modern-day Grand Tour. Travellers can pick their own itinerary and choose different options for funding their trip. The online platform, where each traveller hosts his or her own site, allows family, friends and supporters to follow their journey with options for crowdfunding and micropatronage for projects along the way. The journey will stop in various superhero spaces across the planet, where the traveller spends between one and three months, working on a local project with local people.
At times, the traveller will connect with other travellers to form teams to tackle difficult challenges. These multi-disciplinary teams are co-ordinated on the superhero travel platform.
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