When traveling without money I hear a few basic questions every day and one of them is, “where do you sleep?” Traveling without money is certainly not for everyone but this blog is simply a guide on how you can travel your country or the world without spending a penny on lodging. Or if not to that extreme than at least drastically reducing the amount of money you spend on lodging. All of my suggestions in this blog come from a fair amount of experience. I’ve embarked on four long distance adventures without a penny and traveled on a shoestring budget over the last decade through six continents and 35 countries. Some of these suggestions may be for you, others may not, so my advice is to take what you’d like from this guide and turn it into action, whether it be in your own city or in a far off land.
I’m absolutely elated to announce that I’m embarking on an epic new journey with Discovery International! In a new show called Free Ride, filmmaker James Levelle and I are trekking across South America with no money relying on our ingenuity and the kindness of strangers. Here’s the words from Discovery International:
This is a story of my 27th year on earth. Everything here took place between August 28th, 2013 and August 27th, 2014 and are in chronological order. I must say I’m a little blown away by what I managed to accomplish in just one year. The cool thing is that I’m no more special than anybody else. I’m no more capable than anyone else. Not that long ago I was a binge drinking college student spending many of my nights around the keg and my days at the library flirting with the girls. So if I can follow my truest of dreams and desires so can you. For me it was simply a matter of choice and then getting off my butt and doing it.
Here’s the happenings of my 27th year… (You can click on each photo to see more of that part of the story).
I am happy, healthy, and free.
This is how I often feel when I’m riding my bike, especially on cross country trips like this. The Goodfluence Tour is an adventure in simple living, serving others, and in general just being a good influence on the world around me.
I’ve been planting wild flowers across the nation and I’m helping people to start their own gardens and grow food. Check out the freestyle gardening page to learn more and get involved. I’m also inspiring people of all ages to live happier and healthier by teaching them how to live more sustainably and wrote this lead-by-example guide to help you too.
This blog is a recap of all my Facebook posts from the first month of the journey. Some of it is journals of the adventure itself while other entries reflect my perspectives and thoughts inspired by life on the bike. From my home in San Diego to Far East Texas. I’ve loved every minute of it and I hope you’ll gain something from this experience as well.
*Update 04/20/2015- Today is my 2 year no-shower anniversary! Enjoy the story I wrote a year ago today:
As of today it has been one year since my last shower. Yes, I know that sounds crazy and a year ago I would have agreed with you. I was a regular showering guy for the first 26 years of my life. Well, maybe not every single day, but just about.
So how does a regular showering guy end up going 365 days and counting without taking a shower? It started with a long bike ride across America to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living. I set a bunch of rules for myself to follow to lead by example. The rule for water was that I could only harvest it from natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and rain or from wasted sources such as leaky faucets. And I kept track of exactly how much I used too, with an aim of showing just how little we need to get by.
Here is a long detailed journal of my last few days on the streets. Sending love!
12/25 Day 1
I left the house at around 4:00 with just a few hours left in the day. I had meant to leave much earlier to give myself time to adjust before night fell but I was late as usual. I wandered through my neighborhood on my way out and passed multiple friends along the way. It was nice to be with friends and I found myself wondering why I was heading outside my comfort zone when I could be having a joyous time amongst my friends who love me. I continued on anyway and, as the sun set on the ocean horizon, I turned my back to the west and strolled east along the San Diego river. With the sun went the heat and the night grew cold quickly. I walked for a few miles along the river checking out a few possible sleeping spots along the way. I met a man named Jay who was just setting up his sleeping bag under a bridge. He told me he stays there because it is close to the Home Depot where he goes every morning to look for work. He said he’s known around here because he sells cigarettes. He used to have a bike but he lost it when he went to jail.
I made it through the first 24 hours. It hasn’t been easy but I am well and happy. I’m not used to carrying a backpack full of stuff, but I need to if I want to sleep through the cold nights. Last night was one of the longest nights ever. I was in my sleeping bag for 13 hours and I slept for a good amount of that time, but I was also awake dozens of times fighting off the cold. 50 degrees doesn’t seem that bad but I guess it is just half my body temp. At one point in the night, I thought it was nearly morning and it turned out to only be 12:30. I almost gave up.
For the next week I’ll be living on the streets of San Diego. I won’t actually be homeless because I have a home. I won’t get a true street living experience because I’ll know I have resources to fall back on. I won’t be in complete despair because my friends and family will be there for me if needed.
But by living on the streets with no money, I hope to see life from a new perspective. I hope to gain a deeper appreciation for what I have and to stop judging books by their covers. I hope to become a more compassionate, understanding, and loving human being. And I hope to learn some killer techniques to get by on less and be more resourceful.
In early November, I told myself that I’d run my first marathon (26.2 miles) by the end of the month. My longest run in 2013 was 3.5 miles, my longest ever was 13.1 miles in 2008, and I had run no more than 50-100 miles total in 2013.