When it comes to accommodation, most of the time I use CouchSurfing. Because I had a lot of experience, I had a lot of these positive. references on the website and so on. And what I like about CouchSurfing the most is not only because it’s free, it allows you to have a different perspective of the destination. You’re not destined to stay in your hotel room or take the tours. You just hang out with your host. He takes you in places that you would probably never visit by yourself.
But also there are some other alternatives. One of them is camping. You have your tents, you can sleep almost anywhere you want. In the big cities I usually slept in parks, just have my sleeping bag and my mattress. And the last one when it comes to accommodation is volunteering. There are a lot of opportunities all around the world that offer you to work in exchange for accommodation, sometimes even food. So you get to sleep in beautiful rooms like this.
When it comes to all the other expenses, one of them is food. In rich cities, in rich countries I usually buy food in supermarkets which is the cheapest way and just eat on the street. You can also cook with your host which can be pretty, pretty unique experience to say the least. These are Germans actually. Sorry. But it was pretty delicious to say the least and one of the cheapest.
Another thing is dumpster diving. Maybe over 40% to 50% of the food that is being produced is being thrown away and a lot of people have a problem with that, so they go to supermarket bins after the closing hours and just take all the food that is not going to be sold day after.
And when it comes to drinks, booze, the usual try to avoid bars and restaurants and drink in parks. This is how you can travel really really cheap.
But one other thing when it comes to traveling is that you can earn money while you’re traveling. How to do that? I did a couple of times. One of them is busking, playing the guitar on the street. I’m not a musician. I know like probably four or five chords and four songs. So it’s like repeat all, you know like, people are passing by, so they’re like they don’t really know. But the most important thing is to have a story. I always had my small cartoon board which I wrote — actually somebody else wrote in a local language, where I’m from and what I’m doing there, what’s my story. And I think that’s what people donate a little bit of money, some sandwiches, sodas and so on. You won’t earn a lot of money by doing this but it can get you through the day.
One other way is to write. You can write a blog. Open up a Facebook page. After a while you can maybe write a book and so on. But what brought me largest amount of money is actually going to Australia. This is a job I worked in Australia. I call it professional traffic diverter. It’s a very hard job. As you can see, you tell people please go this way, not this way. I mean, if they’re blind. So for this I was getting paid $20 an hour. I’m sorry, I know you hate me and all that. Oh, well, plus I had food and accommodation included.
And actually one information this was on my round the world trip. It took me 13 days of working at this job to pay off eight months of traveling from Croatia through the entire Asia reaching Australia, 13 days of work in exchange for eight months of traveling.
So what have I learned on all these trips? Have I found the meaning of life and so on? That’s what my mom asked me, like oh, you know, we were really scared for all these years. But was it worth it? And my answer is always definitely yes. I have learned a lot of things. Most of them are just like some personal nature things, so I won’t be talking about that. But I also learned some general truths so to speak.
I learned not to trust media and all their horror stories. I learned that we should preserve our earth like it’s the only one we have and the only one with chocolate right? I learned to tear down my prejudices. That was probably one of the most important things. I’ve learned that all the people around the world, no matter how much we try to point out the differences between the cultures, races, religions and so on, we’re all actually basically the same.
I have a small story, short story, about these prejudices that I encountered while I was traveling. When I was leaving Croatia and heading on my round the world trip, everybody was telling me, be careful. It’s very dangerous, you need to hitchhike, going to sleep in other peoples’ homes and stuff like that. In Croatia, it’s still okay to travel you know but as soon as you cross the border, enter into Serbia. You know what Serbians are like and be very very careful, somebody might kill you.
And I’m like okay, thank you for the warning and I cross the border, enter into Serbia amazing adventures, amazing people I met, people picking me up, taking me out, sleeping in their homes, really really amazing experiences. And I was leaving Serbia, heading to Bulgaria, I was driving with one driver and telling him that story like how Christians were warning me about Serbians. And he is like brother and that’s complete nonsense. Croatians and Serbians, we’re all brothers. But Bulgarians, when you cross the border, enter into Bulgaria, you know what Bulgarians are like, lot of gypsies, man, you know. Be very careful, somebody might kill you.