One Social Europe: an extraordinary journey of discovery (part 1)

Road trip through Europe in search of social projects
Discovery of Europe and its people through social projects (copyright by Viktoria Hautkappe & Felix Junker)

Having finished their studies, Viktoria and Felix decided to start an adventure: In a 6-month trip they wanted to visit all 26 navigable countries of the European Union with their van. During this period, they presented different social or charitable projects on their website and via their facebook page. Spotlight Europe is happy to present an exclusive interview with Viktoria and Felix about their project ‘One Social Europe’, and congratulates them on their adventurous and social spirit.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves please.
Felix: Hi, I’m Felix. I’m 26 and for the past years I’ve been living in Cologne. I studied Eventmanagement and I am working on different projects round the world.
Viktoria: I’m Viktoria, 25, and I came to Cologne for my studies, as well. I’m a freelance cultural educator and last year, Felix and me both finished our studies . We decided not to start working directly, but to do a big trip through Europe. We started the project “one social europe” and are very proud to present it to Spotlight Europe today!

Can you briefly describe your project One Social Europe?
Felix: The idea was quite easy: in a 6-month trip, we wanted to visit all 26 navigable countries of the European Union. During these 6 months, we wanted to present different social and charitable projects all around europe.
Viktoria: We wrote a blog on our website and got in contact with our followers via Facebook, as well. In the end, not everything turned out, as we planned it, but still we are happy how the project developed.

One Social Europe brought Viktoria and Felix from the seaside to the Alps (copyright by Viktoria Hautkappe and Felix Junker)
‘One Social Europe’ took Viktoria and Felix from the seaside to the Alps (copyright by Viktoria Hautkappe and Felix Junker)

How was the idea of One Social Europe born?
Viktoria: The very first idea was to have a time-out after our studies. But soon we realized that we wished to have some more value in this time. We did not only want to travel, but get in contact with the locals.
Felix: As the idea of Europe was inspiring us, we mixed this inspiration with our joy for travelling and our long-term social commitment in a Catholic Youth Organization: and one social europe was born.
Viktoria: Our goal was to inform, how Europeans are involved in several social projects. We wanted to find out, what motivates them and what kind of projects are spread throughout europe to form one social continent, which means to form one social europe.

What was your motivation to drive through Europe in a van?
Felix: Freedom and being indepent.
Viktoria: Yes, and to be able to get as close to the locals as possible.
Felix: The van we used, was often the first thing we talked about with other people, because most people connect these old cars with freedom – and we did so, too.

How much preparation did you need in advance?
Felix: Not much.
Viktoria: In fact we didn’t have the time for a long-term preparation. We decided around February to do the trip and started at the 2nd of August. And Felix went to Brasil for three months in this time.
Felix: So we needed a good schedule and a lot of help from friends and family.What about logistics?

Was your trip prearranged or rather spontaneous?
Viktoria: Rather spontaneous!
Felix: We had an idea about the route and we prebooked some ferrys. But we had to change these bookings after the first problems with the van.
Viktoria: And in the end, we didn’t take any of the pre-booked ferrys.
Felix: Even the route changed. For example we didn’t make it to Greece and some other countries.

Thanks for the interview, Viktoria and Felix! We will present one of your projects in more details next week, and the interview will be continued as well! If you cannot wait, you can already have a look at their website:

About the interview partners:

IMG_3725 Viktoria (25) and Felix (26) are inspired by the idea of Europe: peaceful coexistence of different countries and cultures, the cooperation of the European countries, the freedom to travel – to experience Europe as a social continent.

With the project ‘One Social Europe’, their goal was to inform how Europeans are involved in social or non-profit projects and how they bring their country, their society or Europe further – on the way to become one social europe.