Today, I take you to meet Benjamin, a fighter who has always aimed to travel without money for many reasons. Interesting story, and, most importantly, advice to (ap) take urgently
In January 2010, we traveled from the Netherlands to three, a German, an Italian and myself to try to reach Mexico without a penny. Initially, it was only an ecological bet, we wanted to demonstrate that traveling by minimizing its carbon footprint was possible. So, we bought solar backpacks, a foldable solar panel, a very powerful water filter, we took some clothes, a sleeping bag each, no tent and we set off with the firm intention of not Not use a penny. Only exceptions, Visas or medical emergencies. We had a bank card hidden in my bag.
From the beginning of our journey, we realized that traveling without money went well beyond the ecological bet. As time went by, this epic turned into a true initiatory journey … an adventure to discover the world with another look, to learn to receive, and thus to give, to let go and to accept reality as it appeared to us In the present moment. I will give you some tips and tricks so that you can also embark on such an adventure.
1. First condition to travel without money: the will!
Traveling without a penny is not that difficult, but morale is strained . You have to walk often, sometimes wait for hours on the roadside, sleep outside (and yes, hospitality is a rare commodity these days) and also, on certain days, settle for bread the day before.
Other moments are epic, you can be invited in an ecological farm, sleep in a three-star hotel, eat fruit, discover typical dishes made houses, cross the sea on a sailboat, etc …
Many ups and downs And therefore, the need to be strong enough in his head, to want to experience this experience to enjoy it fully.
2. It also takes time …
No need to set a deadline. We originally wanted to arrive in Mexico in late March and return in July. We left in January. We arrived in December and returned 3 years later! Time is needed not to stress, to relish moments of waiting that are rich of teachings. We waited once 5 days at a petrol station and another time 1 month and a half before finding a boat on the island of Las Palmas.
Almost the simplest part. Hitchhiking is widely practiced and it is quite easy to get caught in a stop. In Europe, only Spain and Italy are somewhat more difficult to navigate, but they do it anyway, often thanks to foreigners. We had crossed Spain thanks to two Romanians, one Ukrainian, one French and one Argentine! Some tips to consider:
– Do not stop at night … it tires and it is more risky. So much to rest and start all fresh the next morning.
– Prepare food before leaving to avoid being hungry and therefore in a bad mood. 🙂
– Do not hesitate to walk to the outskirts of cities to limit waiting times.
– Follow his instinct, If you feel this guy there or another is not cool, refuse! If you are a girl, extra vigilance is preferable. Pretend that you promised your mother to go up only with women for example.
– Trust, there is always someone who will stop and if you smile, it will go faster.
4. Food: The hardest is not to find it, but to ask for it.
In our ultra-individualist societies, we have forgotten to ask and, above all, we do not like to receive or beg. It is all a deconditioning and a new learning that must be done. In the beginning, to overcome the embarrassment, it is useful to prepare a small speech, to specify that you make a life experience without money and that is why you ask for the unsold ones … then it helps enormously to discover that ” There are actually kilos and kilos of foods that throw themselves every moment, everywhere. There are supermarket containers, bakeries … real gold mines that are unfortunately not always accessible. The safest is to ask the bosses or managers. Privilege non-franchised establishments, artisanal bakeries, restaurants.
Ask the boss or manager.
Asking is more tiring than what one can imagine. It is necessary to save saliva especially if the refusals are numerous, the “no” are still very common (more in Europe than in Latin America or Africa). Do not go into the explanation of your “quest” at all-going at the risk of having to repeat it to the employee, the sub-manager and the manager before he tells you that the boss is not there and That it is he who makes the decisions.
– Tell your story, show that you are not just a pretending beggar, but that you have a project, that you have an ideology behind your step. It helps.
– Smile … of course. As with the stop, do not get upset if the boss refuses, it’s his right. At worst, wait for the closure and check the container.
– Check the closing times and agree with the boss to come back for the remains. It is preferable to tour the shops before the rush around 11 am or 6 pm and then return for the remains. If you arrive too late at night, the boss is often gone.
For supermarkets, find out the time of the garbage outlet and be on the lookout.
Generally speaking, it is important to understand that there is a lot of waste and that there is some waste for you and that it is legitimate to ask for it.
Offering services is an option, but you should consider staying for a few days. Small breaks during the trip are advised. View with hostels, small restaurants or farms.
We left without a tent, but the tent can be very useful. Without, one must add to the daily demands of food, housing demands. Hotels and hostels can sometimes accommodate in exchange for a service or not. Again, avoid franchises. In the tourist spots, the hotels have buffets and we have been able to use at the end and, as a bonus, to sleep in the courtyard of the hotel (sheltered therefore).
In general, it is simpler and more convenient to just sleep outside. Less tiring than trying to find a place. When it rains, it is more complicated, there are the corridors in the cities, the stairwells (you have to go back late and get up early), or the bridges in the country.
Again, the hardest thing is to ask. There are many generous and hospitable people, but they are afraid … After a first contact, once they have understood that we are not delinquents or vagrants, they tend to relax and the doors open