Traveling WITHOUT money? How I paid for my trips.
ow do you finance this bike trip?
Many people ask this question and I can understand this. I mean, let´s be honest: seeing somebody like me traveling around the world since 2011, that is something that brings up the question:
"How does this dude pays his bills?"
First thing: I do not have many bills.
I am a perpetual traveler.
What is that?
(Google): a perpetual traveler is someone who has no home base. It is a person, who doesn't spend more than 183 days in one country.
My monthly expenses are:
- 5-20 Dollar, clouds, domains, hosting costs & spotify
- 250 Dollar, health insurance
- 500-1000 Dollar, housing / hotels / hostels / airbnb´s
- 500-700 Dollar, food & nutrition, from dinner to lunch, nuts, fruits.
Basically everything that makes me happy.
- 100-150 Dollar, supplements & protein bars for the bike trip
Total: Around 1500-2500 Dollar per month.
That sums up at around 20 to max 30k per year.
BIG UP`S & DOWN´S BRO !
You see that I am going very volatile with the numbers, almost like in Crypto ;)
Why? Because it depends on the country I am traveling in and the way I live at those times.
Let´s picture my daily life... I love to eat in the best places for days, the week later I love to cook in my hostel or airbnb, the week later I drink more protein shakes and eat a lot of fruits - chilling on my travels from the massive miles I did. The only thing apart from eating simple food, is chatting with my like-minded people in Discord. I call that, my nerd-time, I love it, it is my biggest enjoyment to be surrounded by people sharing same values and having similar visions about life and how to make the world a better place.
Cheap life, best life?! (yeah, sometimes).
But of course you need after those times, to get up your ass and perform, otherwise you are not going to enjoy this hyper-chilled life on the long run. And your body does not either. Keep the balance, my friends.
READY TO DESTROY THE ASPHALT
After chilling way too much, it is time to rock. So the week after chilling so much, I am constantly - for 7-10 days in a row, on my bike and eating what I get on the streets. I am pushing my bike, to make the miles and in the free time I arrange some wifi to tell my (discord) family that I am fine and sharing good vibes, straight from the streets or from the hotel/hostel room in the evening.
My eyes are falling down, while I try to brush my teeth. Those are the hard days, I am super exhausted and pushing a minute before I sleep magnesium into my mouth - to support the recovering of my "destroyed" muscles.
Moving to KING Status.
Mostly after a hard weeks like this, I book a better place, taking good rest. It is important. I had to learn this, as I overestimated the recovery time in the first years and had several issues with my body - knees, muscles, etc. I was competing against myself, totally stupid. So during the rest time, yes: I eat each day like a king.
So you see, you need some balance in your life.
No matter if physical activities or mental soul food.
Balance is key. Always.
YouTube Video: Some entertainment from India, in 2013, when I was traveling by bike to Bangladesh and Nepal. Took me 1,5 years. Others would do it in a few months, but I do not wear a Rolex on my hand, I enjoy having that free time. It´s my personal luxury, having time.
SUMMARY: I KNOW THE GAME
From more than 10 years of traveling, I know that I can live with 5 Dollars a day for food and 5-10 dollars per day for shelter. Easily. I did for years. I have been living like this in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and many other countries, like Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Greece or Bulgaria. The key is to live a simple life. It is not that easy if you grew up in western world and the system is pushing you to consume and consume and consume and consume and consume... it takes balls to cut this behaviour and become something, that I consider very healthy: aware of would you really need. I guess I figured that out pretty well the last years and I am proud of this super skill.
3 STEPS - FROM EXTREME TRAVELER TO FANCY SPEEDO GIGOLO
I give you 3 examples, how it is to live with different budgets, while traveling.
a) having only 2-5 Dollar per day for food. It´s hard, but I can manage. Sometimes I even love it. It makes me feel alive. You turn into your own MacGyver Version and you are going to experience how creative you can become, when things are not that easy in terms of financial freedom. Try it for a few weeks, it is fun - for sure.
b) having 10-20 Dollar for food and the same amount for your a room to take rest. Amazing. Better than sleeping in your tent. Ok, tents have something charming, but not anymore... (no, I do not use tents anymore. Why? I did for years and I am getting older. I know down to Patagonia that I will need to use tents again, so I will try to avoid as long as I can, haha). Please: Do not get me wrong, I loved them, but it does not suit me anymore - my lifestyle changed, I admit that I love having more comfort nowadays.
c) Living like a king. Yeah, King Size beds comes only after hard days of pushing the bike. Weeks of hard work, then only I feel that I deserve the premium level. I need to earn the king status, which costs 50-100 Dollar/day on the road with amazing food (good restaurants), some great cocktails for the weekend and an upper class room in the center of bigger cities. (Let us be aware: that is more than some people earn per month, in the countries we are going to travel those years down to Patagonia).
So you see, the balance is the point that creates the magic in your life.
I love to have a healthy balance in the money thing. Apart from all, whatever I do not use for my own life, I share it with others. I love to share money with people. It makes happy, try it - you will feel it. I share constantly stories about the way you can create impact with doing little things.
For example, during this trip I set up a donation page, which I call LIVE DONATION.
I work from time to time remotely as an expert in brand building. I consider myself an authentic professional in the e-commerce business, especially when it comes to digital storytelling. After more than 10 years experience in the digital nomad scene, it comes naturally to me, that I can support small and midsize brands.
So I give workshops with and for Hansen World in Germany - a well established full service agency. Together with their clients, we create real stories that have a sustainable impact. During this 2-3 days workshops, I explain the importance of authenticity and how it is attracting the right target groups. Of course my own life, my personality and my travel adventures are the best example. Example for what? That living an authentic life leads you to the right people.
I mean: how did you end up here? I guess you like the realness I express. This calls, being authentic. Girls say, it is hot. I say, it is the easiest way to live your life, as being yourself does not need any extra effort - just be yourself and the flow comes into your life.
Sharing my money,
that makes me happy.
When I get paid, I give most of the money away. As I stay in some places for longer, I usually live closer with those people. I see how they are running their small businesses, mostly food places or something in the service industry. Both areas that I am highly experienced in. If I see that I can make an impact, I go and pick up money, helping them directly to rebuild something in the place or elevate their business, with investing in new tools or little things. (Investment goes from 50 to 150/200 Dollars). Of course during the time together, I also offer them free consultation about the right marketing tools for their businesses, so they can benefit from it longterm.
The happiness in their faces is worth way more than any pay check, that I will ever get in my life.
Wanna join the ride?
You can be part of this,
see the image below and follow the link.
In the general section of concave (discord) I am posting regularly about those situations, where I share money with others and highlighting the emotional part of those encounters. My regens (not degens, regens) telling me, that I inspire others with those stories and I am sure if you ever try this - inviting strangers for a lunch for example - you will understand, why I love this sensation and why I continue to do this on my travels.
How did you live the first 5 years of your bike trip?
I can give you a few examples, with what I financed my life from 2011. To keep it short: I did everything to be on the road.
Here is a list:
- cleaning toilets in Ljubljana, Slovenia to get food and some drinks
- washing dishes in Italy, to get free Pizza and a place to stay for a few nights
- selling apples from trees around the city, driving to the center and offering them
- sending postcards to people who followed my trip, for a donation
- giving massage to woman that I anyway liked and asked for a place to sleep (no, I did not end up with them in bed, we are not in Hollywood here)
- having presentations about my bike trip in small places and getting free food and shelter
- working as a model for photographers around the world, so I can finance flights or new equipment
- writing several articles about "how is it to live without sex in India" or "what kind of drugs to experience during a world trip"
- giving key-note talks and connecting the right people in different business areas, getting a donation for the connect or paid for the key-note
- offering my writing skills in German (my main language) to get paid on an hourly base - calls freelance copywriter
- working on a sailing boat from a French Skipper or helping on Lagoon 350 to support the crew - getting food and shelter in return
- walking dogs, working on farms or on a construction side to get paid for my physical work
- being in a TV spot for RC Cola Bangladesh, as a Deejay and then from there getting another model job
- selling hot dogs in Perth, Australia and almost not getting paid, because the owners were fucked up.
Trust me: It is easier to tell you, what job I did NOT work in my life, rather than telling you what jobs I had. Freedom is my highest value, I would do all for it. And I did. (but never sold my ass or some shit like that).
And how do I live today?
ALMOST the same way I did in the first years of my bike trip. The only difference is, that I have a bit more comfort, as I am getting older and I am taking more rest days, more time for myself - less action, more quality time. Which means: I slowed down the last years and I try to be more in the here and now. Living the moment, adapting to my age, being aware of the fact, that the live I created - it is a massive privilege. I am highly and deeply thankful for each moment. Even sometimes it is not all sunny, funny and harmonic - life the way I live can suck from time to time. Not avoiding this truth.
Still: 3 things that I still do and never change.
FIRST) I live very minimalistic.
I get only the things I really really really need in my life. Housing, Food, Equipment for the bike trip and a health insurance (which I did not had the first 5 years). Keep it simple, put quality over quantity. Ask yourself, how much you really need in life.
SECOND) I try to help wherever I can in exchange for something I need in my life.
That means, that I work day and night, as as an e-commerce consulting dude, to get a new macbook air or something I need for my bike trip or for traveling. Or I help a start-up how to use digital storytelling in the best way and ask them, instead of paying me, to book me a good hotel for a week. Some pay with crypto, that I stake/invest or swap into stables and spending them with my monolith credit card.
THIRD) I connect people with each other.
Connecting people is my life. I do this, so the ones I connect can benefit from the connection. I believe knowing the right people is a true asset in life. If I feel I can connect the right people, I do it directly.
How do I benefit from it? If the connection leads to some successful business thanks to me, the people involved usually donate/pay some money. Money, which I will use later on the trip. If the money is too much, I will share it with people around me. So simple.
So, why this article?
1) That you see, that I am not a male escort.
I never get paid for sex, I only pay / paid :-)
2) That traveling is not expensive.
I made it around the world with almost no money the first five years, so whoever tells me that he can not travel the world because of financial reasons: get out and jump into cold water. You will learn the lessons of your life, for your life and therefore the lessons in your life.
3) I am a big fan of different income sources:
connecting people, storytelling, donations, physical work, consulting, supporting, trading, helping, volunteering, call it whatever you want, but please be aware of one thing: if you are creative and living out of your heart, you will always end up with some food and some shelter.
May it will be a room with cold water only and the food in the morning is not some fancy fruit plate and fresh coffee, rather it might be some oats with water. But hey, from THOSE moments you will start to appreciate the day, when you check into an amazing place and having a king size bed and the door knocks and the voice says:
"Your delicious Snack, Mister Tsachouridis.
Enjoy and thanks for staying with us."
Give a good and fair tip, smile as honest as you can because you know how it is to get tips. You know it, because you live this life. I love to give tip, because I know how it is to get paid for telling stories. I know the sensation that comes with "being a good person", to be the person who loves what she/he is doing in life - so I love to share. I share good moments, because I am aware of the fact, that each moment is only here and now, right now.
Wanna feel like a king?
Act like one.
No matter if you sleep in a tent or at Hilton Suite.
No matter if you eat the simple oats with water or at Restaurants rated MICHELIN.
If you want to be a king,
you gonna be thankful for what you got in life. And I mean: for everything.
The bad times, the shitty times, the nice times, the fancy times, the hard times, the intense times - all the times.
I am thankful for the all the times in my life. For each country I traveled, since 2011. And for everything that happened to me, since I am alive.
I am thankful every day on my travels. Each day I wake up, I am thankful that I am waking up again. As: who gives me the promise, that I will wake up tomorrow? Right, nobody - so be thankful that you woke up today.
I am thankful for each day, no matter where I wake up. No matter if I start my day in the cheap hostels or starting days with a flat tire, rain all day long and wind in my face. I see each moment as a gift in my life. Call it naive, call it dump, call it whatever you want. I know for sure, that each time I am able to breath again, that moment is a damn present to me.
All the days in this life, are good days.
Yes, even the days when the heat is grilling you alive, or the days with so much danger and challenges on the road. Challenges that you think are not capable of being solved. But you managed to find the solution and that makes you a better person. That gives you this confident smile in your face, that you have when you tip people in a restaurant or when you share your money from the bottom of your heart with others. The smile, that makes you aware of who you really are. I have this smile right now, while writing this article.
It´s the smile, that is covering my face, when I sleep in fresh sheets and the rays of the sun are hitting my face.
The smile, because I know one thing for sure:
The magic happens right now.
Here and now, this is magic, my fren.
Your life is magic, my fren.
And it all happens, because you are the best version of yourself.
LET ME END THIS ARTICLE WITH A SERIOUS QUESTION.
"When do you start to be the best version of yourself?"
L.O.V.E to you.
Really thanks for your time.
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