8 Sept 2011

Damon Meredith's interview with me in The Southern Courier

The Social Traveler aka Bjorn Troch
I'm a Belgian guy putting social in travel since Jan 2010. I travel around the world without any guides.I completely rely on what people tell me online or offline. People guide & invite me to their countries, friends, homes & lives. They also challenge me to do the most amazing things around the world. This way I learn more about myself and other cultures and countries. Life truly starts at the border of your comfortzoneUltimate goal: Travel & experience the entire world via social media. Don't be shy, come say hi. Be Social. G+ | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr |

Journalist: Damon Meredith
Newspaper: The Southern Courier

Full interview below

The launch of Google+ on June 29 is rapidly expanding the role of social media as a communicative medium in the 21st century. Within three weeks of launching, the new social networking site had over 20 million unique users worldwide.

This type of social networking allows complete strangers to meet and engage with ease.

Bjorn Troch (32) is one of the world’s first ‘Social Travellers’; someone who travels the world meeting people and going places using only social networks.

Mr Troch said: “I never know what tomorrow’s gonna bring; that’s the cool part about it.”

He never puts out press releases; he simply makes public posts on social networking sites like Google+, Twitter and Facebook and sees who responds. His motto is that “life truly starts at the border of your comfort zone.”

Last year Australians spent an average of six and a half hours on Facebook per week, according to the Nielson Company study (Feb 2010). As of January 2011, one in twelve people used Facebook worldwide. 50 per cent logged on every day.

Mr Troch believes that the future of social media is only just emerging. “I’ve been testing all different platforms . . . now Google+ [is the best] for sure.”

However etiquette teacher Miss June Dally-Watkins (84) thinks that technology is taking over our lives and because of this people are becoming less considerate.

She said: “If we don’t have connection with other human beings we will lose that kindness and consideration with other people.”

Mr Troch agrees that sitting behind a computer screen isn’t beneficial. But he said “I’ve never met as many people in my entire life as now. I think it is the most social medium ever; like TV is the most antisocial.”

That is what Miss Dally-Watkins is afraid of; people “talking to a machine instead of speaking to people face to face.”

Because of this, Mr Troch said “I always put myself out there.” He encourages members of the public to ‘challenge’ him face to face.

His most recent challenge was running the City2Surf in Sydney. The first challenge he was ever set was to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain; 900km and 30 days walking.

Before he embarked on his trip Mr Troch worked in social media as a business developer and then as a consultant.

“During my travels I saw all the networks adapting, changing, adding things . . . We come from a generation where everything is one way; TV, radio, all that. And now it’s turning more and more into a conversation.”

Mr Troch recommends everyone to be more social and to constantly “put yourself out there.”

“Race, culture, profession, whatever; it doesn’t matter. We’re all just people with a story.”

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