How do you travel the world for free?
If you are on this keyword-packed page about how to travel the world for free, then you are probably expecting to find out how it’s done. It can’t be done. Those who travel the world for free mean to say that they began traveling the world without money. Along the way, everyone uses money. You’re given money, you find that restaurants in a given area do not have leftover food, or that they will not give a menial job for a meal. You’re going to have money eventually one way or the other. This may sound strange coming from someone who travels the world hitchhiking, but you should not want to be a freeloader for the sake of not spending money. You should want to be a freeloader for the sake of understanding the world.
Most of the bullshit I’ve found on the internet about traveling the world for free seems one-sided, selfish, and exploitative. We all seem to come from the “developed world”, those of us who say we want to travel the world for free. Economists and unmoving hard-working give-what-you-takers will tell you that one way or another you are a burden on those who help you. That you choose to continue to travel the world for free means that you’ve come to terms with this reality and that you have found a way to justify it in your mind. The way some people have made do with “traveling the world for free”, like this fucking guy, has been to market themselves as a product, and to sell their experience and complete their personal egoistic challenge.
I should make myself clear on something. I do not mean to thwart the good karma of the people who have helped freeloaders, especially since I for one should count myself among them. I do not mean to say that the commercial success of these advertised “free travelers” diminishes their experiences with other humans off-camera; their experience is no less important than my own. What I’m attacking, despite my belief in live and let live, is how these people who champion “travel the world for free” have affected the world. Here they are, successfully marketed to the world, showing up on talk shows and in advertisements, and they have ridiculous amounts of incoming traffic to their websites, but instead of using such attention to find a way to better the world or our understanding of it, they simply gloat and try to get you to buy their book or their video about how they did it. They make you jealous, and you want to do it too. And you can travel the world for “free”, but you’ll likely do it selfishly and arrogantly and I will scorn you for not making the experience impactful in art or some other form of meaningful media.
Dig Deeper, it’s not about “Free”
The idea of travelling the world for free or without money should not end at the surface value of an experience. The only positive effect these free-ers have on the world is that their publicity makes people think about a world without money, and that is good and I concede that positive aspect. But it’s superficial after all; that a person has accomplished their singular goal of circumnavigating the world for free does not in and of itself make him or anyone else better for it. If somehow that person made me think about the way the world functions, made me interested in their story beyond the practicalities of their budget, if they made me curious of their knowledge gained, then they have truly impacted me in a better way.
So if you came to this article hoping for practical information on how to travel the world without money, I am sorry to disappoint. But I hope that you have read these words and that, after you have learned what you need to learn in order to travel without so much money, that you will think hard about what you can create to affect the world in some way beyond the bland and bigoted obvious. It may not be much, but if it’s true and unselfish and unique, then it is a worthwhile endeavor.
So that you do not waste more time trying to find out how to travel around the world for free, here are the basics: couchsurfing.org, camping, urban camping, hitchhiking, walking, volunteering, working for food, picking up the scraps, dumpster diving, (you could hustle), busking, selling artwork in the street, sneaking into tourist attractions, crewing boats across oceans and asking for donations from internet readership.
If you want to know who the hell I am, you can peruse this website to find out. Please excuse my cynical tone; I use it to make you question things, or to get mad at me, either way it gets you passionate and that’s important. In my wanderings I affect the world by writing meaningful narrative travel stories… it’s not much, but it’s truthful.