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Travel BIT

It's very hard to establish when the globetrotter movement was founded in Poland.
It all began in the 70's in the student community when organising foreign travel became common. Soon they were called "trampings". They were organised by the students themselves without any guidance from travel agencies.
There were also more and more brave individual travellers an the trial using the official assigned foreign drafts (after a lot of trouble you could buy at the official rate five times lower than the unofficial one the equivalent of US$ 150) the motto "The world for US$ 150 became popular. With this magic amount Polish globetrotters began to wander all over the world.
In 1976 in Kraków, in the student travel agency "Almatur", one of the main organisers of tramping expeditions, Andrzej Urbanik ("Tourbanik") involved BIT (The Bank of Tramping Information). At the beginning it was just a note-book with travel raports done by him and his friends. The idea turned out to be excellent and soon BIT grown to the size of large archives. In 1994 Bit was converted into TravelBIT - travel centre which works in an uncomertial way and specialises in tramping information.
However, very often it turned out that during gathering information it was necessary to contact the people who had travelled in the places we wanted to go. Getting in contact with the proper people wasn't always easy, and very often didn't guarantied success. When Andrzej Urbanik ("Tourbanik") couldn't get any information about Indonesia and "friendly" informant advised him that he should learn by his own mistakes. Andrzej want to find out for himself about the difficulties. When he with his friend Krzysztof Kiec got to Indonesia, they had the idea of organising a meetings of globetrotters in Poland. It was in 1985 on Bali. After returning home they organised a "call to arms" and one November evening over 50 travellers came to Harbutowice near Kraków. The idea, again turned out to be excellent and from than on every year in November in different places in Poland Polish and foreign travellers meet at OSOTT (Polish Globetrotters Meetings) - the main travellers meeting. It's in the form of a symposium where people present slides and posters from all over the world and various problems connected with travelling are discussed. The most important OSOTT's session is "Geography of Travelling"
The sum up OSOTT is the forum for exchanging information and a place with a very special atmosphere for experienced travellers. In 1990 travellers who were a little less experienced proposed organising a course for globetrotters. In this Way The OPG (Meeting for Young Globetrotters) was formed. The formula of this meeting is as follows: more experienced travellers share their knowledge with those who want to set off on the trial. OPG has been organised a few times already and has made it easy to realise the dreams of travelling for many people who from that time have believed in themselves and set off their journeys. Recently OPG has also been called "The World for Everyone".
Publications have played very important role from the beginning of the globetrotter movement.
From 1987 to 1991 Polish journal "Swiatowid" presented some columns for travelling: "Vademecum Globtrotera" and "Klub Globtroterów" edited by Liliana Olchowik and Andrzej Urbanik ("Tourbanik"). They constituted the main forum for exchanging travel information . from 1989 BIT has released its own publications - "Globetrotter(r)" and "Travel(r)". The members of OSOTT became the authors of the first globetrotter guide-books in Poland. The most popular example is "Tramping Guide-book - Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia" by Andrzej Urbanik ("Tourbanik"), published in 1987. With this guide-book a few generations of wanderers have visited this beautiful region.
In 1996 the first book called „Przez Swiat” (ACROSS THE WORLD) were released to be a real blockbuster. Each volume contains a few raports of journeys to the most interesting parts of the world by Polish & European Globetrotters. The raports consist of mainly practical information which allow you start a journey (even if you are an absolute beginner). This books are an excellent supplement for tourist guides. They are designed for experienced travellers as well as for dreamers. They turn out to be very helpful in educating
people who take up tourism as a profession. In the next volumes of „Przez Swiat” you can also get some information about globetrotters’ meetings – „OSOTT” (Polish Globetrotters Meetings) and „Swiat dla Kazdego” (World for everybody). You can also find an enquiry information these meetings. This publication „Przez Swiat” turned out to be a real blockbuster!
Probably a lot of confusion was caused by the book by Edi Pyrek "Let the word think you are crazy - get India spending only US$ 30!". After reading it many uncertain dreamers set off for a journey....... [and died terrible deaths]*.

(c) Dariusz Wieczkowski & Patrycja Wójcik

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