Travel Without Money – To start a new adventure

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This interview is part of the series of people who travel without money. Let them inspire you! The first interview is with Mattias. Originally from Sweden, but currently living life on the road.

Hi Mattias! Can you start by telling us something about your lifestyle and when you started to travel without money?

Sure, I started to travel without money on the Turkish border in October 2013. It was my plan from the beginning of the trip. The border would be my starting point with no money and a new adventure. Since then I’ve been volunteering and hitchhiking around from place to place.

interview travel without money

‘I cared for two wolfs in turkey, the male wolf loved chewing my clothes’

Why did you decided to start from the border of Turkey? Any particular reason?

Kind of. I knew the money I had before going would finish pretty quick because there wasn’t much. I have always dreamt if doing some crazy adventure and I came up with this plan of spending the little I had on my way from Holland to Turkey overland. Then start this crazy adventure. I decided to do this trip on the 11th of October 2013, I left from Holland the day after on the 12th of October.

That’s a quick decision! How did it go from the moment you went into Turkey? 

It was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. The first night I slept in a suburb of Istanbul. The Second night I managed to score a bed in a hostel through a friend, but then on the third day everything just clicked and it has been doing every day since.

I bought a hammock before I left and when I am on the road I sleep in that. Regarding food, in general I’ve been give plenty of food by people who have picked me up. I also volunteer for food and accommodation. Most times I have a destination to go to, in the beginning I didn’t. Sometimes people have given me money too. I have stayed with people who picked me up on the road. I had a job for some time. The money I made from that job I spent on a camera.

adventure travel without money

‘Having dinner with the Turkish coast guard’

Cool! So how does your life look now?

Right now I’m building bars and kitchens for hostels in Albania. I have one more bar to do for a hostel in North Albania. I’m going there next week. After that I have a bunch of options. I’m trying to find a job that will give me enough money so I can pass through to India after the summer. After India I don’t need any visas anymore, because of my swedish passport. I am still deciding what to do.

So besides needing money for visas, did you stumble upon anything else during your travels where you really needed to use money for?

I broke my bank card in four pieces before I left on this trip (on purpose). I used the money I earned on the road to buy a camera and I’m working on getting a laptop sorted as well, and some clothes and shoes. Apart from that, nothing.

11072516_10152662752836408_1365253164_n‘Slept next to a motorway’

How do you perceive the experience till so far?

It’s the best thing I ever done in my life, and the most fun I ever had before. The experiences and memories I have gained are something money can’t buy. Of course it’s different then any traveling I’ve done before. I mean you just put yourself out there, sometimes with having no idea of what will happen the next day or hour. A lot of things have changed of course, but more on a personal level.

Good to hear! Can you share one of your experiences, to give an example?

I always took the easy way out before and often being lazy. From the Turkish border there was no easy way out anymore. I used to be very shy and not very sociable. Hitchhiking changed all that, because you just have to talk with people.

Are there also things that you don’t like or like less about this lifestyle?

I can honestly say that I have almost loved every moment of it. I had two bad workaway experiences in Cyprus, but apart from that everything has been awesome.

Travel Without Money adventure

‘Slept in a prayer room in turkey next to a petrol station’

How do you see your life in the future? Do you think you will always – or at least for the coming years – be living this way?

The bad thing is that I have to use some money to get to India, after that I will continue to what I’m doing now for some time. I have a feeling that this trip will last for a few more years at least. In the end, the goal is to find a place to run a small guest house with an organic farm and maybe a small rescue centre for wild life. This place will be somewhere warm. Life will never be about money. I will earn some to run a place like this, but I will never ever do so to become rich.

That sounds awesome. Is there anything you want to add about your lifestyle or do you have some advise for us?

Well, life like this isn’t suitable for everyone of course. Do some research about the whole thing before you go. My only other advise is to never give up no matter how hard it gets and always believe in what you are doing.

Thank you Mattias for sharing your story!

If you also want to share your experiences of traveling without money, send me an email at travelwithoutmoney@gmail.com.

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