Want to travel the world without leaving home? There’s an app for that.

Ed Hewitt was travelling from Bangkok to Birmingham on an overland journey along the Silk Road when he wondered: Why do we need to be thousands of miles from home to feel a sense of adventure? Why can’t we bring the thrill of travel into our everyday lives?

Ed Gillespie was on a flight-free voyage around the world when he had the same thought. After a chance meeting back in the UK, the two Eds joined forces to develop the idea they’d both been mulling independently. Now, World In, an app to help people travel the world in their own city, is crowdfunding for its London launch.

world in london

World In London will curate experiences from around the world in the British capital, encouraging Londoners to make the most of the multicultural opportunities in their own city. And we’re not just talking restaurants. Think Turkish hammams in East London, Brazilian parties by the Thames, sushi-making classes, and Greek food and philosophy nights.

Designed to look like a passport, the app will reward users with ‘country’ stamps as they ‘travel’ the world. Collecting stamps will get you free experiences, special offers and invitations to exclusive events.

No passport needed

If a weekend trip from London to Barcelona or from L.A. to Vegas is a mini-break, then World In offers a micro-break. Ed and Ed want to help us enjoy our own cities more. They think we don’t have to wait until our vacation to have a vacation, and that cutting carbon emissions from travel doesn’t have to mean cutting out cultural experiences too. It’s an idea that could easily spread as cities become more and more multicultural.

And that could have more than just an environmental impact. Take the World In London experience in which an Iranian teacher takes you and your friends to a mosque to watch evening prayers, followed by traditional tea and sweets in a local shop and a three-course Iranian meal, topped off with a chat over apple-scented shisha. What if enjoying other cultures close to home led to greater understanding and community cohesion?

With less than a week to go before the crowdfunding campaign ends on the December 18th, World In is almost half way to meeting its £15,000 funding goal. If you’re into shopping locally and eating locally, and you want to pioneer travelling locally, you can help push it over the line here.

As the old adage goes, the joy of travel is often more about the journey than the destination. With World In, we’ll get to see what happens when the journey is the destination.


Photo credit (header): Jillian C. York