The World in Postcards

I have a hobby of collecting postcards. The way I see it is this: a postcard is the cheapest souvenir I can take with me, and when I can’t travel the next best thing is to receive a postcard from some faraway place (or not so far as the case may be). Now I’ve got postcards from many different cities and countries around the world. Some I bought myself, and some were sent to me by friends, acquaintances and even random strangers.

Yes, random strangers. Without explaining how I first discovered ‘Postcard Roulette’, I’ll at least explain briefly what it is. Essentially, once a month you agree to send your random ‘match’ a postcard, and you will receive a postcard in return. It doesn’t always work, as I’ve discovered, but wasn’t it just a lovely surprise when a postcard from Malaysia turned up at my doorstep?? I’ve heard of something very similar called ‘Post-crossing’, which I haven’t tried. But there you go. If you can not go to the world, let the world come to your mailbox.

'Postcard Roulette' all the way from Malaysia!

‘Postcard Roulette’ all the way from Malaysia!


My growing collection of postcards, three continents on one page.

Keveen Sends Love

Now entering into November, it has been about a month now since my interview with Keveen Gabet, “the man who creates love carpets”. He sent me a little “thank you” package in the mail and I was reminded all over again about his mission to spread love across the globe.

"The goldfish will never understand."

Although Keveen told me he would send something, I had little idea what to expect. So this package comes in the mail, addressed to “Ms Rachel Smith”, and the back flap had a drawing of the Korakor symbol.

The thank you package arrives in the mail!

Inside the envelope was a three page handwritten letter, Keveen’s business card, a mix cd, and a few Korakor stickers, all tied up with string. I felt very grateful, for even the last thank you note I wrote took me 3 minutes to write. It seems gratitude can be summed up in more than 2 sentences.

Particularly, Keveen drew a picture of two people, himself running to give me a hug, and I think that sums him up fairly well. I’ll keep his words and thoughts in mind and maybe they will inspire me.

Running for a hug. I look pretty darn excited.

“…Couchsurfing has recently published an article about SPREAD YOUR LOVE (thank you Rachel Smith) and it has brought many more people to the spirit (click here to read the article)
…We spend a lot of time spreading love in the streets, but it is oftentimes anonymous or very spontaneous, so although people are touched, moved and pleased, they tend to forget to keep the website in mind or to look at our stuff. However, once you manage to print it on paper, post it on your Facebook wall, have a radio show or Tweet it, it creates a more efficient wave.
Consequently, I can only invite you to be the Rachel Smiths, the Lilo Riveras, the Devi Kernems, the Thomas Perkos and help us spread the word to others…
…From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”
-Korakor October 2010 newsletter

Spread Your Love

CSer Spreads Love Across the Globe

by Rachel Smith

Meet Keveen Gabet, the man who creates love carpets

The face behind the love carpets

Keveen Gabet’s dad was hoping he’d become a lawyer someday. Instead, this 28-year old CouchSurfer from France became a teacher, a poet, a photographer, a filmmaker, a ukelele player, and a maker of love carpets, amongst other things.

No matter which occupation, his mission is to spread love, encourage others to do the same, and connect people worldwide. It can be summed up in one word — Korakor –, which he created in reference to the French expression corps à corps.

“In French, corps à corps means ‘body to body’. It is a connection with life, others, oneself and all that makes our world. It is traveling to the heart of people to embrace diversity. It is seeking to co-create, collaborate and share as much as possible.”

Love carpets on sidewalks

While traveling the world, Kaveen practices Korakor through two of his projects: Spread Your Love and It’skool.

My mother warns me against bees and snakes and my father wishes I were a lawyer.

The idea behind Spread Your Love is to get people thinking about, and expressing, love. Part of it involves what he likes to call “love carpets” — drawing hearts on the sidewalk and encouraging strangers and passers-by to join in.

The It’skool project is a free and mobile classroom offering alternative, interactive education in remote areas.

CouchSurfing is an essential part of both. Currently, there are 5 love carpet actions being organized through our website.  Instructors for the It’skool project are also being recruited from the CS community.

“I used to do these things alone, but now I share this experience with CouchSurfers. CS is a good way to find volunteers who are interested in integrating with the local population.”

Two girls help create a Love Carpet

Because it makes him happy
Keveen is currently going through the paperwork to make Korakor an official non-profit organization. It’s obvious, though, that he’d be spreading his love no matter what.

“Instead of getting a full time job, I’d rather do this. Because it makes me happy, and it’s my lifestyle.”

Want to find out more about Kaveen and Korakor?

Click here to see the making of a Love Carpet
Click here to visit the Korakor website

Like this article? Then you might like these CS groups, too:

Alternative Ways of Living and Consuming
Spread Your Love
Random Acts of Kindness