Cycling 15,000 miles across Europe+Asia to document real people, real stories, and real food. (Two small bikes!)
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*UPDATE* We've reached our funding goal! Thank you to all of our backers! Any additional pledges will be used to reach more countries. More countries means more stories...
Amie Thảo + Olli Tumelius are cycling 15,000 miles across the world’s largest landmass, Europe+Asia, to document real people, real stories, and real food.
Our aim is to build connections between people using the space of shared meals by recording diverse stories on internationalsupperclub.org.
This project grew out of a solo cycling trip that I (Amie) took in 2011.
My love of food and cooking led me to spend a lot of time in kitchens. I shared meals with people in 15 countries, from the Netherlands to Italy.
Here are some of the people I met:
- Didem from Turkey survived a terrorist attack in Istanbul. "With the force of the explosion I, together with the window behind me, flew towards the manager who was shaking my hand to say hello. The rest is a blur."
- Kathi from Austria became a mother at age 17. "My mother made her friends guess which of her kids were going to have a baby. People assumed it was one of older brothers. They were shocked to find out that it was me."
- Marco from Italy received a kidney transplant twenty years ago. "I, like all of my friends that are organ recipients, think about our donors and their families daily. We live because of their generous act."
After 5,000 miles, I was inspired to create a project that collected stories in an intentional way and share them with a wider audience.
Besides being delicious, food serves as a catalyst for storytelling and grounds the story in a tangible way.
For example, here are six different breakfasts:
Just from these images, you might be able to guess a few things about the people, culture, and places.
The International Supper Club seeks to explore and investigate some of the reasons behind the food and share our discoveries with you.
And, for those who are curious, these meals (from top to bottom) were shared with a teacher in Denmark, a retired Jewish-American professor in the Netherlands, a Ukrainian graduate student in Slovenia, a mother in Finland, Vietnamese immigrants in Germany, and an environmental conservationist in Poland.
Human-powered, environmentally-friendly, cost-effective and fun. On bikes we are fast enough to cross deserts without going insane and slow enough to say hello to everybody along the way.
We are cycling from the west coast of continental Europe to the east coast of Asia. Our route is flexible and subject to weather and politics.
The majority of our project is self-funded. We are stretching our budget by wild camping, eating (mostly) vegetarian food, and working en route.
What we need help with is scale: our vision is larger than our budget.
Here are some of areas where funding would make a huge difference:
- COMMUNITY We are creating a crowdsourced art project that invites the internet community to document food-related assignments. Soon, you will be able to browse through a wide range of approaches to storytelling on our website.
- TECHNOLOGY We would like to bring our stories to life with audio and video. With your help, we can cover the costs of additional recording equipment.
- WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT Faster servers, web services, design, new features, and community building. Help us create an interactive site with a good user experience.
- CONTENT GENERATION Conducting interviews, collecting imagery, processing media, researching, writing... we need time.
- VISAS The price of visas limits the scope of our project. For example, to cycle along the Silk Road, the cost for visas for just five countries (Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and China) is over $500 per person. Simply put, more funds means more countries; more countries means more stories.
Any overflow will be used towards these areas first and then to offset our other costs such as food, accommodation, bicycle maintenance and repairs.
With your help, we can cross Europe+Asia uninterrupted and focus on reaching people in the most remote corners of the world and telling their stories.
Check out our rewards in the right-hand column. We have a lot of goodies, including digital souvenirs made just for you!
All backers who pledge $25 or more will get rewards #1 to #3! Most tiers include some rewards from previous tiers, so be sure the check the "PLUS #".
Please note that most rewards will be delivered well before the drop-dead date of June 2013.
Start reading stories, join our community, and find out more about more about our project at internationalsupperclub.org
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
#1. THANK YOU - Your name and URL on a special section of our website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
#2. VIDEO HUG - Kiitos, gracias, спасибо, شكرا, 谢谢, cảm ơn! We will send you a video shout-out from somewhere en route. (PLUS #1)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
#3. DIGITAL SOUVENIR - Pledge over $24.99 and we will draw your name (or the name of your sweetie) with materials sourced from the region of your choice and turn it into a set of swanky wallpapers. We'll package it up with GPS coordinates, info about the materials, and how to say "delicious!" in the local language. Customize your smartphone and/or iPad and/or computer with a special International Supper Club souvenir. (PLUS #1 + 2)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
#4. PAIR O' RECIPES - Not your average recipes! We will send you two glossy double-sided illustrated recipe cards with stories and photos. Designed by us with love. (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $45 or moreYou selected
#5. TEA PARTY - Let's hang out! We want you to be a part of our project. Join us for a video chat over a drink of your choice. Tell us your favorite story or ask us questions about cycle touring. Your story will be featured on a special section of our website. (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $55 or moreYou selected
#6. RECIPE CARD QUARTET - Receive a pack of four glossy double-sided illustrated recipe cards. Throw a dinner party every week for a month! (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $65 or moreYou selected
#7. TLC - We'll send you a real postcard from the road, join you for a tea party (#5), and feature your story on our website. (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
#8. RECIPE CLUB - Receive a six-pack of illustrated recipe cards! (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $85 or moreYou selected
#9. WEST2EAST - We'll send you two postcards from opposite sides of the supercontinent–one from Europe, one from Asia. You also get a quartet of recipe cards (#6) to keep you busy while we cycle. (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $95 or moreYou selected
#10. HOMEMADE - We will send you a one-of-a-kind hand-drawn, hand-painted card from somewhere on the road, join you for a tea party (#5), and feature your story on our site. (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $105 or moreYou selected
#11. SOFTIE - We will think of you often and send you a couple postcards to prove it! You will also receive everything in HOMEMADE (#10). (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $115 or moreYou selected
#12. CLUB CARD - A six-pack of recipe cards (#8) and two postcards from the road? Okay! (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
#13. DINNER AND A MOVIE - Can't decide whether you want recipe cards or a date with us? How about both? Get a six-pack of recipe cards (#8) and join us for a tea party (#5)! We'll also send you a postcard from the road to thank you for your company. (PLUS #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
#14. FOODIE - Receive a pack of six illustrated recipe cards and a hand-picked selection of unusual snacks from the region of your choice. (Plus #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
#16. SUPPER CLUB TV - We will make a fun how-to cooking video just for you. You will also receive everything FOODIE (#14). (Plus #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)
#15. CO-PILOT - Come up with an assignment for our community art project*. You will also receive everything SOFTIE (#11). (Plus #1, 2, 3) *In the unlikely event that we can't work with you to come up with an appropriate assignment, you will get SUPPER CLUB TV (#16).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
#17. BUFFET - You will receive everything SOFTIE (#11) and SUPPER CLUB TV (#16). (Plus #1, 2, 3)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
#18. FATTIE - WOW! You will receive ALL THE REWARDS listed on this page and extra postcards with personal updates from (most) countries we visit. When we complete the project, you will receive a limited edition, signed book of stories, photos, recipes, and artwork from the journey.Estimated delivery:
- (41 days)