Say Hello To The Broke Backpacker!
Recently we got the chance to talk to the awesome Will Hatton, otherwise known as The Broke Backpacker! He is currently in Colombia living the life we are just about to start.. So lets get an insight into what life on the road is like when you are a broke backpacker..
* So Broke Backpacker, how broke are you really?
I stick to my budget of $100 a week wherever possible but I do have some money saved up from my various jobs over the last few years; I tend to only dip into it when I need to buy flights. Wherever possible I aim to save money simply because I feel it makes for more of an adventure! People are incredibly generous but I don’t like to have others pay my way so its important to get the balance right; I like hitch-hiking for example but I wouldn’t let people pay for my meals unless they insisted, I would rather dumpster-dive or eat cheap and delicious street food!
* How does you financial situation affect your style of travelling?
Because I don’t have much money I aim to make everything count by going away for very long periods of time; the flights after all are the most expensive part of any trip so you may as well go for at least 6 months on every trip. When actually on the road I hitch, camp, sleep rough, couchsurf and busk for crusts of bread (not really, I suck at everything musical). I find travelling on an extreme budget means you meet really cool people and tend to see a side of a country many other traveller may miss out on. I have been invited in for tea by locals who have picked me up hitching more times than I can count!
* When you set out to go travelling, what was your plan, and when did you start?
I didn’t really have a plan, I just wanted to get out of Europe and do something different to what everyone else was doing, i.e. I didn’t want to get a soul-crushing job. I first travelled to Africa when I was 18 but my earliest real adventure was when I was around twenty and I wandered around South East Asia for a few months. Later, I spent 14 months exploring India and then headed to Nepal and eventually back into South East Asia. I’m not exactly sure how many countries I’ve been too although I had to replace my passport (sadly) very recently, despite the fact that it had seven years left on it, as it was full.
* What was the changing point in your life that made you realise travel was the way forward?
When I’m travelling, I can be who I want to be, I don’t have anyone telling me what to do and, besides good manners, I don’t owe anybody anything. I like working for myself online and I like getting to grips with a new culture by speaking to the local people! I suppose, for me, travel represents ultimate freedom. If I like somewhere, I stick around. If I like the people I am with, I stay with them; If not, I leave - no worries, everyone is happy!
* What are your plans for the future? Do you have any, or do you prefer to live in the moment completely?
Currently I am in Colombia but I am just about to cross into Venezuela overland (despite literally everybody I do and don’t know telling me not to) for a month long trip exploring this very rarely visited part of the world. I do love to live in the moment but since the cheapest plane tickets are often booked way in advance, I do tend to have a six month plan in the works most of the time. I’m heading to the Philippines in April and I intend on being in Bangkok for the TBEX conference in October (and to hopefully catch the Chiang Mai lantern festival!), besides that - who knows where the road (and my blog!) shall take me. Right now, I’m doing pretty well online so I feel like I should keep channelling my energy and time into that; it’s hard getting the balance right, travel writing and the actual travelling! I certainly have had some amazing adventures over the years, and I have many planned for the next couple of years… When I run out of countries to explore, which is unlikely, I intend on building a boat and taking to the sea…
Writer and photographer. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will is an avid hitch-hiker, couch-surfer and bargain-seeker. He is a devout follower of the High Temple of Backpackistan and the proud inventor of the man-hug. Will blogs over at www.thebrokebackpacker.com about his adventures around the world, you can follow him on Facebook and on twitter or, if your really friendly, hunt him down on the road for a cheeky pint.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at NomaderHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!