Aris, so long

"I am really happy to leave this terrible weather and go far away." -- Aris in the offline guestbook, 22nd of November.

Aris in QuiberonAris in Quiberon

Aris. We can still see her sitting on the back-porch, smiling, overwhelming everyone with her smile. Full of joy and perception. She understood the art of perceiving, of traveling; the art of hitchhiking and the art of balancing. Aris was a wonderful young girl with an amazing potential. She was very remarkable with a great sense of direction, depth, and dedication.

Aris left Casa Robino on the 22th of November 2008. A day later she wrote us: "It is gonna be a hard winter and Aris is going to the South to deal with French keyboards which she hates so much." She hitched out of Amsterdam to meet the skillsurfers and joined them the next day in a French community, to take part in the skills-tour.

Aris was passionately dreaming about creating a different world, a world where we share ideas, visions, and dreams. Aris had the power to move something, to make a difference.

Aris was incredibly enthusiastic about the Skillsurfers. She spotted a flyer here in the house, found out more about the project online and was enchanted. She joined then to add her youthful but effective organizing energy. Shortly after she joined skillsurfers in France they arrived in Barcelona and under her gentle guidance, they were already more together.

Aris was traveling with a filmcamera and she wanted to join the tour to document it, and to take part in it. Before leaving, she left the casa several beautiful hand-written leaflets and flyers about the skillsharing and left wonderful notes in the offline guest-book that inspired fellow visitors and hosts of the house.

Aris wrote us several times, while on tour. She wrote us when she was in Barcelona, giving us an eye-witness account of an student occupation of the Barcelona University, and later on she joined another project, Migrobirdo, a group of young people, which is travelling from Germany to other countries, cultures and societies with a sailing-boat to promote sustainable change. (Migrobirdo means migrating bird in Esperanto).

Aris: Crew of Migrobirdo, a group of young people, which is travelling from Germany to other countries, cultures and societies with a sailing-boat.Aris: Crew of Migrobirdo, a group of young people, which is travelling from Germany to other countries, cultures and societies with a sailing-boat.

Aris was on this boat when it capsized in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Morocco (interactive map). The boat had already crossed the Mediterranean and was now heading South. "Salam. We got in a night trip to larance an waiting for good wind to go direction Rabat", was the last news we heard from the crew.

Aris, our thoughts and empathy are with you, with the crew, the friends and family of the members and everyone who is affected.

Aris might still be alive - even after a 3 day search. We never know. But one thing is for sure: Aris will always be with us.

  • Aris posts and quotes at CasaRobino
  • Aris messages on the online guestbook
  • Aris profile at CouchSurfing
  • About our friends and partner-project Migrobirdo
  • Comments

    Charlie's picture

    a message in a bottle

    I've never met Aris, but I feel her residue in the walls. I sense her presence in the ether. She's made a mark on this house, which is so molded by those who participate here. She was so beneficial in the growth of people around her, and so elevating for those who come after. I am one of those who came after her, and I've felt the energy she left in her wake, so I wanted to leave my perspective with you.

    I've never met Aris, but I knew the sea intimately, and have myself plans to cross the Mediterranean Sea in a sailing boat. I'm at a high risk of being discouraged by the loss of such a vibrant person, and cannot ignore the fact that "this could happen to me". Yet somehow I am not discouraged. Instead, I am inspired by Aris; I find my wanderlust infused, my compassion justified, and my determination tempered.

    Though the sea is vast and powerful, we must not let any fear of oceans decide our voyages; though there are risks, we must raise our sails to the wind, and live life as fully as we can. We owe it to Aris, we owe it to each other, and we owe it to ourselves.

    * * *

    We journeyed to the sea today, to send her a message.

    It was written on a postcard, the one from the Casa that chose itself the day we heard the news. It was addressed to her next destination with warm wishes and love.

    It was sealed in a bottle of pear juice that we drank at the Casa, and carried softly on a cycle rack, until the North Sea yawned open before us at IJmuiden.

    Beneath the lighthouse there, at the furthest tip of the breakwater, surrounded by water, we climbed down onto the rocks and sent it on its way. It was a ceremony of spirit, laden with sentimental silence, soft, candid words, and a distance-in-the-eyes, settling sense of peace. And of course there were hugs.

    And as we watched the bottle drift out to sea, a gentle rain began to fall.

    Her passion still endures.

    Thank you Aris. I won't let you down!

    Hugs! OOO

    Dezatron's picture

    Dear Aris

    It's hard to believe the sea could swallow you up so easily. I thought your fearless spirit and warm, fluffy jacket would keep you afloat through any storm. I'm grateful I had a chance to share your life and stories you were so generous with, and I hate to think there will be no more. I know everyone will miss you. You lived what you believed, which is more most people achieve in a life time, and for that, and the inspiration you gave me and all of us, I thank you. Thanks for staying a little longer and for all the hugs, tokes, the help on dumpster missions (your video documentary was so cool) and letting me squat your jacket. Goodbye.

    Ruth V.'s picture

    Para siempre

    Pequeña Aris:
    Ser de luz que entretenía las horas tejiendo bufandas kilométricas. Ser calmo de aire inteligente que apareció así como solamente aparecen los ángeles para crear un huequecito en la monotonía estresante de la universidad.
    Mujer de viento antiguo.
    Dama silente y atenta.
    Madre de los nonatos.
    Nieta de la alegría.

    No me lo puedo creer... Beatiful Aris. Where are you now? Espero que andes abrigando estrellas y anémonas.

    Qué ingrata es la vida cuando te aplasta la muerte.

    Gracias por haberte cruzado conmigo, amiga de las needles.

    Trajiste la felicidad en las comisuras de tus labios. La sapiencia aferrada a los nudillos y destellos en cada mirada lejana y profunda.

    Mierda. Shit.

    I'll always love you, querida muchacha de cristal irrompible.
    Siempre con nosotros, siempre contigo.

    Andrew Gubb's picture


    I thought that this was just a "good bye Aris, see you later" post until I read the last lines. No way! She can't be dead! No! No!

    Somebody tell me, how SURE are you? Percentage chance? I can't accept that Aris is dead!


    Edit: sorry for writing this dumb comment... I guess we all start off by denying things, right? I... just can't believe it.

    I'll write something for her later.

    Jaap's picture

    Dear Aris,

    your name, nor your picture rang a bell with me. but Robino insisted that I'd met you. then I mentioned I met this girl who made awesome pancakes one day in the Casa. I cannot describe how good those were! and... Robino told me you are the girl who made those... I guess I was very pre-occupied with the pancakes :)
    you have been remembered for a great many things already, but I will remember you as my pancake-girl.

    hugs, Jaap

    tipota's picture


    Goodbye dear Aris.. It feels very strange now to realize that you stayed in my house and filled my little room with your special vibes.. Your great smile, unsettling yet inspiring thoughts, great hugs..

    Got no words now.. Just some tears.. Be in peace Aris..

    narnua's picture

    fearless smile

    I missed Aris' second visit at the casa. And then one day some weeks later we received not one but two very tired Slovenian girls. I remember Aris recounting their story of non-stop 2-day hitch, where whatever else happens, you'd better keep that smile on your face to catch the next ride onwards (and I'm sure she did!). I just remember thinking "what a fearless girl!".

    Then, stories shared in the zula and on the balcony, of distant tribes calling her for a visit and shared dreams, inspirations on how to make a better world. Lost notebooks magical pens, squatted jackets, bicycle wanderings, late departures with extended hugs and all that. When Urshka's return got a bit complex, I can never forget the care Aris took of her friend, we all can only hope to have friends like this.

    No excuse left for being afraid of life. Thank you Aris.

    stove's picture

    Hope and Joyous reflection

    The enjoyment one has in life should be echoed in the remembrance of their passing. Mourn not for the loss of such a beautiful and unique soul, but rather remember the joyous occasions spent in her company.

    Missed ya from the moment I left, now sadly extended into eternity. Good times, remembered.

    amylin's picture

    very recently the tide

    very recently the tide shifts here
    and the winds change
    storms arise
    to kill our bodies
    but not our spirits

    how strange,
    (we tell ourselves)
    how strange:
    how many people whose bodies live
    but whose spirits have already died

    and in this manner,
    the currents change, and yet again

    we are reborn
    into new worlds
    we live to create
    all that we can, and
    we love because
    we are not afraid to

    this is also the reason
    why we live
    in the ways that we do --
    because we are life,
    and we are not afraid
    to be who we are.

    dennis collective's picture

    this is


    realitygaps's picture

    miss you aris

    A wonderful & unique person whom I shared many hours and experiences with.

    I'll miss you aris and I'm sure i'm not the only one, so long and thanks for all the dimensions

    dante's picture

    nomad soul

    I continue living life with the same nomadic spirit,
    With the same search for meaning I shared with you.

    You sailed to another dimension.

    I know your soul is alive.

    We did not meet physically, yet I know we met, even before you wrote me.

    I wish to meet you, to continue sharing.

    Big Hugs Aris


    Nomads chose to be nomads because they want to be free. Free to go their ways. It is this freedom that the sedentary man lost. The sedentary is free to own land, nomads have the whole world.

    When freedom is achieved -and is it never completely achieved- it becomes a strength. Freedom generates identity and creativity. Freedom is firstly the freedom of inventing oneself.

    Nomads want to be free to explore the multidimensionality of reality. They will fight until death not to be imprisoned in a unidirectional structure where movements are predetermined.

    Paxus's picture

    tears for Aris

    Part of my job, if finding gifted young people and offering them tools. Aris was an easy find at even at Casa Robino. Amongst all the charming and attractive people who storm thru this adventure in radical hospitality, she stood out. We spoke on the back porch for some hours, about skillsurfers about what she wanted to do with this group and these people. This eloquent, multilingual 19 year old spoke of land in Slovenia that she controlled that she wanted to do collective things with. We spoke of hitching and of how she transended her fear.

    Aris has passed. A boat capsized in a storm and took her from us. Were there ever anyone i would like on a rough journey, it would be fearless Aris. My eyes bleed for this loss.

    dennis collective's picture

    everytime I hit refresh.

    the text doesn't change.
    and I keep hoping it will.