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global freeloading

i have issued myself a challenge - to travel from istanbul to prague and stay in prague for seven months without paying to sleep and get by on less than $15 per day (not counting insurance, textbooks or tuition related costs) - all within the confines of one backpack. I did Peru for almost three weeks with only one book size backpack, so I am not worried about the light travel part. Here is the bag:


i really miss the pack i had before katrina. there are some other goodies i can't find anymore that were among my travel favorties. i had a travel coffee maker and a currency convertor that magellan's no longer carries.
so i am hanging out a lot on Global Freeloaders.

don't tell my mom, she will swear i will stay with an axe murderer!

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Nov. 18th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
The Omniverse Provides
Woah - 7 months without shelling out for a place to crash is a significant challange... I've stept in hostles throughout C. America for about .25 cents - they usually weren't too pretty! lol... Fun place to meet fellow vagabonds though...
I'm sure that invisible hands will help, the world will open doors, and you'll meet people who can help you out - even if only for a few days or weeks at a time... Especially once you're in school... I often see jobs that involve taking care of elderly people that include free rent...
I'm an ultralight backpacker and have a pretty good system down; $15/day sounds do-able! Let me know if you'd like a contact in Romania...
melissamuse
Nov. 19th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
Sure! i will be in bucharest, brasov, cluj and oradea. not sure when yet, but will map things out soon.
oh, i love hostels too. great place to meet great people - and give you a couch when you travel later!
i won't be able to lock myself into a job for visa purposes and weekend travel. i am not planning on getting a visa, so will have to hop out of the country to renew my stay every 90 days.
my son made me watch the movie Hostel.........not a good idea before traveling!
(Anonymous)
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:10 am (UTC)
'without paying to sleep'? - how is it possible, especially for 7 months? do share your secret, please (as somebody who has travelled quite a lot, I find this aspect to be one of the most challenging when you are on a budget)
melissamuse
Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:25 am (UTC)
globalfreeloaders.com
couchsurfing.com

there are others :)
there are also places you can volunteer (for free) that will give you a room. it is really great to have both - volunteer and sleep! i have a eurail pass and plan on taking evening trains to sleep as well, or busses. not the most comfy but free, unless you get a train that is night only and they make you pay for a sleeping car.
i haven't tried it for seven months....but love a challenge. the Czech government also offers housing scholarships, in the dorms, to some students that take language courses.
slave_driver
Nov. 24th, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
I saw this post a few days ago. I think this is great! I did a lot of hiking in the mountains while we were up in Seattle and I very much want to get into backpacking next year. Ever since the storm I've been thinking a lot about possessions and I've decided I don't want to own many any more. I used to feel envious when I walked into the houses of friends of mine, who are roughly the same age as I am. I used to think that I too could have something like they have if I'd have had my shit together when I was younger. But the storm changed all of that. At one point, when I didn't know if I had anything to come back to or not, I suddenly realised that I was much freer then than I had ever been at any point in my life. It occured to me that some of those people might have had nice houses, but I'll bet many of them are so over extended that what they have to do to keep their beautiful homes probably causes them so much stress they don't really get a chance to enjoy what they have as much. Since then I have decided not to own very many possessions. I want to be free to travel when I like, where I like, for however long I like. And I know this won't be possible if I have a whole shitload of possessions to lug around. I even use something you said (I think you posted it to your journal) once as a guide when I consider buying something. You said when you buy something now you ask yourself if you'd be devastated if you lost it, and if the answer is yes you don't buy it. I have taken to doing this too, but I also ask myself another question: do I want to have to lug it all over the country (and hopefully someday the world)? If the answer is no, I don't buy it.

I became a fan of back packs this summer. I'm really trying to figure out exactly how many, or more like how few, things I really need to have to survive in life. I'm constantly looking to reduce the number of things I would consider to be essential. When we went to Seattle I had to pack what I thought I would need to be gone for four months. I managed to pretty much fill my car to the brim. But when it came time to come back home to New Orleans and I was packing up to leave, I realised that I hadn't even used half of the shit I thought I was going to need.

Please post more about this. I'd like to know how you do on your challenge to live on $15.00 or less and not have to pay to sleep. I want to learn how you do this.
melissamuse
Nov. 25th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
i plan on posting here as i travel along, so i will be happy to share along the way. i will get a stipend for subsidized dorm, so technically, if i choose to use it for that, i am not sleeping for free in Prague, though it totals about 117 USD per month, which is about $4 per day. few international students stay in the dorm that they assign us because they are about the size of a closet and have a shared bathroom. i think staying there adds to the challenge though. the real challenge will be the trip to prague from istanbul and the many weekends i plan to spend traveling out of prague.
i think it is a positive that the storm taught us to simplify our lives. i learned a lot the first time i traveled when i didn't use many of the things i brought with me. also throwing things into my pack i "think" i will use doesn't make sense either. i wish i could ship ahead some of the things i know i will need for school, but i don't want to take a chance on not getting it. otherwise, i would have a much smaller pack for the trip to prague. lugging even a couple of textbooks for the classes i am taking remotely will be a pain in the ass. the fact that the weather will be cold and i have to layer a lot also adds to the pack.
i like your idea of not getting something if you don't want to lug it around. turtles have the best way of life ;)
non attachment. i don't know if i have mentioned it in my journal, but the only thing left to be salvaged from my home after the storm was a little buddha statue. that really said something to me.
i found two websites that were really interesting, one guy who travels with everything he needs on him - in his shoes, pants, jacket, etc... and another who travels with even less than the previous, but the same idea. i will find them again and link them here. it is pretty cool. :))
slave_driver
Nov. 25th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
i don't know if i have mentioned it in my journal, but the only thing left to be salvaged from my home after the storm was a little buddha statue.

I think you did post something about this to your journal, but I think I also recall that you did find one other thing from your house, your toilet brush! I'm pretty sure you did say that because it's the type of thing one doesn't forget. A buddha statue anda toilet brush, what else does one really need in life?

I'd like to see those web sites you mentioned. Please send them when you have the chance. I envy your travels, but you're inspiring me, you're making me realise I don't have to have a lot of money to see the places I want to see. It would be nice if we could travel together sometime, there is a lot I can learn from you.
melissamuse
Nov. 25th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
well, the toilet brush wasn't exactly salvagable...ewwwwww ;)

i found the sites. this time i am bookmarking them. this one is Crazy Eric and he made the guiness book of world records for having the most items on one person, or something like that.
and this guy, Anders Ansar travels with practically nothing.
i suppose i can aspire :)
i could probably do it for a couple week trip to a warm climate. :::shrug::::
i've started on my packing list...i lost my old one. i used to keep it in my backpack so when it was time to go, i just knew what to toss in. it will take me some packing and repacking pre-trip to get things just right. i've never gone for this long when i needed to bring clothes. in india, it was easy to take off using just a small pack because i knew i would be living there a while and clothes are very cheap there. i just bought what i needed. no so for europe.
leona_roja
Nov. 26th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
Wow. I'd love to be able to do something like that one day.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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