World Travellers

A walking tour around the world

Bulletin, announcing the start of the journey, 16 July 1911In 1911 the nineteen year old Abraham Mossel and his friends  Gerard Perfors and Frans van der Hoorn decided to start a ten years tour around the world.

Rejecting a middle-class bourgeois life, the three left the Netherlands. Broke, but full of ideals, they took off. All three convinced vegetarian, teetotaler, atheist, anti-capitalist and Esperantist.

During their journey they made a living by selling postcards showing their portraits as world travellers and journalists.

The trio travelled through Germany, the Alps, Italy, Austria-Hungary, the Balkans, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. In Vienna Marie Zwarts joined the trio, she was the fiancée of Gerard Perfors.

map of the journey

In 1913 the travellers arrived in Palestine where they lived and worked for one year. The First World War put an end to the adventure. In 1914 three of them went back to the Netherlands. Frans van der Hoorn remained in Palestine.

Of the trip is an impressive collection of letters, maps, photographs, diaries, stamp books and drawings preserved. This collection has been carefully preserved for decades and was donated in 2005 to the Jewish Historical Museum by the granddaughter of Gerard Perfors and Marie Zwarts.

postcard of the travelers

Now, one hundred years after the World Travellers journey,  this collection provides us with an intriguing and intimate picture of the lives of these young people, their concerns and everything  they encountered on their journey.

Master students in the program Creative Design for Digital Cultures of the Utrecht School of the Arts, developed in 2005 this virtual documentary. The English languague version has been realised in 2013.

Virtual documentary:   Abraham Travels:
Abraham Travels - documentary English

Read more about Abraham and his friends 

An impressive collection of letters, maps, photographs, diaries, stamp books and drawings was preserved:


Drawings Abraham Mossel made during this trip.

stamp book

Diaries and stamp books of Abraham and his friends

arab gendarmes

Photographs the travellers took during their trip.

Letters and postcards written by and sent to the travellers.


Articles published in Dutch and international newspapers and magazines

documents Other documents that have been saved from this journey.