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YHA Big Blog Exchange draws to a close but the journey continues
    05/12/2014 12:49

Big Blog Exchange draws to a close but the journey continues

5th December 2014

As the Big Blog Exchange (BBE) 2014 comes to an end, it is clear for all involved that the competition has opened minds, changed perceptions and seen the growth of inter-cultural friendships all over the world. 16 culturally diverse bloggers offered us beautiful exchanges in real life this year: Vincent from Malaysia with Belen from Argentina, Purujeet from India with Logan from Canada, Stephanie from Ireland with Ainoha from Brazil and Roy from South Africa with Manuel from Spain, to name just a few. Read more about the project and all the exchanges on www.bigblogexchange.org.

23rd July marked the beginning of the competition phase. A few weeks later and after 128,248 votes, the 16 winners and their exchanges were announced to the world. This period saw the birth of an incredibly supportive blogging community, one that is still going strong. The 32 winners and thousands of bloggers are proof of the project’s evolution since it began in 2013 and an incredible 173 countries were reached this year alone.

The power of social media has also been a significant contributor to the BBE’s success with a Twitter audience of over 25 million people, where the majority of conversation surrounding the project has been generated using the #bigblogX. This, along with Instagram, has allowed audiences to follow the individual bloggers’ journeys live every day.

However, it is the people involved who have made the BBE such a success. Some bloggers have taken their cultural and educational experience one step further by meeting each other’s families whilst in their exchange countries. Belen and Vincent both had the opportunity to meet each other’s families in Argentina and Malaysia, enabling them to share a cultural understanding whilst creating a sense of family and community.

Vincent commented on his stay saying, “Good is an understatement. It changed my perception and to an extent, it changed me.”

Tessa who represented the Philippines when she travelled to Italy said, “This is a period of my life that I will continue to visit and re-visit for years to come. It has changed me in the way I view things. I never thought I would travel alone for 10 days by myself, if not for the BBE!”

The journeys the bloggers have been on have created long-lasting memories, which our guests create every day in the hostels of the HI network. The bloggers have shared their memories in an epilogue video reflecting on the experiences during their exchange which you can enjoy on our www.bigblogexchange.org.

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