Minimalist travel with minimal money.
I got a random email from a stranger telling me that they were selling everything they owned and were going to leave their job and home to travel and live free. They asked me advice from my personal experience. Here is what I wrote:
Trust in the universe. I spent a year homeless and moneyless and it was amazing. The universe is supporting you but you have to be aware of the opportunities and stay smart. If you can let yourself relax into your environment and let go of the stress and fear of relearning what it is to be a wild animal, you can start to move into a flow of opportunities. This is what I came to believe after so many good things happened to me over and over again.
There is a dumpster full of free food behind every grocery store, every dunkin doughnuts, every bakery, etc. Timing is crucial but it’s so easy to eat decently for free. It’s a bit harder in a city like Chicago, but every college town is an all you can eat buffet if you can override the cultural programming about jumping in a dumpster.
Get a Bivy sack. It’s the perfect thing for urban sleeping. Get a long one and you can put your backpack in it below your feet. Waterproof and light and you dont need to set it up like a tent.
Craigslist ride share is THE BEST and cheapest way to get around. It’s really personal and really flexible so there are more opportunities to meet interesting people and be open for the strange synchronicities that come with this lifestyle. Watch out for the weirdo’s that want sexual favors or seem shady. Always trust your intuition. I have never had a bad experience from hitchhiking or ride shares but some do.
Here is all you need to survive (for a boy I guess): Backpack, 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, warm hat, gloves, 2 pairs of underwear (one to wear and one to wash), 4 seasons sleeping bag, foam sleeping pad, long water proof bivy sack, dr bronners soap for skin/hair/teeth, toothbrush, inflatable pillow, jacket, wallet/money/id/passport. My preference for shirts and sweaters and socks is merino wool because it’s warm and light and doesn’t absorb smell. Chaco sandals are awesome because they can get wet and dry easy plus you don’t need a bunch of socks with you. They last a long time too. An iPhone is the most useful thing that has ever been invented for a traveller. This little thing replaces a computer, phone, camera, music player and journal. Even if you don’t have the phone plan you can make calls and texts over the internet for free. Thank you Apple.
Besides all this we have couchsurfing.com which makes it EASY! Though it’s also fun to sleep outside and meet people and go along with opportunities that get presented to you in other ways!
Along the way, you might need more money and the ETC section in craigslist jobs usually has some pretty interesting stuff; research studies, focus groups, etc.
Don’t make decisions out of fear and don’t fear your decisions. There is an overwhelming amount of belief and programming and friends and family that think that what you are about to do is stupid and backwards and self-sabotaging. You have to push past all that and just jump in like a cold swimming pool. Once you get used to it, it feels great and all those people standing on the edge of the water wish they were you. People are scared for you or they fight you because they wish they could be as brave and do something as daring.
The truth is that our culture kinda sucks for most people. Those people are making the best of a crappy social system. When they see someone breaking the chains of the cultural prison, it activates all kinds of crazy stuff inside. Some people will adore what you are doing and some will hate it. It’s all good.
We must follow our dreams. We have such a short amount of time in the grand scheme to do amazing things and it’s super easy to get caught in the day to day routine of working and eating and dating and paying bills. It feels good sometimes. Other times it feels like a trap that everyone has collectively fallen in.
I want out and I assume you do to. At least for a while. I need to wake up in the morning and know that my life is what I have made it and I am in control of my moment to moment experience (in cooperation with the divine flow and my personal destiny). I need to know that I can move freely with any opportunity that comes my way.
Be Safe. Trust in the Universe. Trust in your Intuition. Trust in fellow humans. The world is not as scary as the news makes it out to be. Even when it is, it’s ok. Try not to get killed but sometimes people die. Stay positive. Try not to be shy. Call your parents and friends when you need support. Make friends along the way. Your experience is the only thing that matters when you’re laying on your death bed, so max it out. This is the best way to find the truth, so seek!
Books that have helped me make these decisions:
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo
Evasion from Crimethinc.com
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Tao Te Ching
Also, the first 4 issues of Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles comic speak a lot about the magickal nature of cities and how to survive in them from the perspective of a homeless mystic.