Travelling with Nothing

We all imply the same sense in the word “tourism”. We think of people with colourful shirts running around New York or Paris with maps and cameras. Tourists to us are the people who plan a vacation a few months early and then simply take their kids to an organised trip that more often than not ends up being a nightmare.  So this type of family vacation is well-known to everyone and we try to escape from it. In truth we always come back to it because no other way of making a trip is really acceptable or even known to us.

Manchester at NightBut there is another way to travel. Very few people do it and they probably do it just to see if they could and not because the whole experience would be very enjoyable. We are talking about those guys that go somewhere without a clear plan. People with huge backpacks climbing mountain tops and staying God knows where. Others simply decide to take a huge trip without any conventional means of transportation. They decide they will venture around the world on a bike or just by hitch hiking, others simply decide to walk and see where the road takes them. To most people this is unthinkable. We as normal human beings rarely have answers to how this is done. To us it raises more questions and we aren’t afraid to ask. This article will mainly raise issues regarding travelling just with the shirt on your back. And it is not like they travel around densely populated areas and boroughs such as Rochdale and its areas – Milnrow, Newhey and Birch where friendly folks will always help you or give you directions. No, they walk across dangerous desolated places without much water or food. And if the weather goes bad, what do we do? We will ask questions – whoever wants to answer is welcome to do it.

So first of all how do people decide to climb a mountain (not a very big one) in Macedonia or Algeria for example? How do they plan the trip? We often see them at the bus station or the chamber of commerce asking for directions and such. This is all fine but they don’t look like they know where they will sleep tonight. It seems unclear what they will have for dinner. Besides, judging by their looks they aren’t very rich too. Now we have to give them credit for the good equipment that they carry but venturing without a clear daily plan is crazy. How does a normal person fly over the ocean just to end up in Eastern Europe, go up a hill and then move to the next country? It is unclear how much time these people spend away from home and furthermore we need to ask one simple but big question. What do they work? What is their job? How do they have enough money to support that trip and once they go home after spending everything what do they do to make money again? It is shocking for most of us to be absent for a month or two. We cannot afford it and we know that we are losing our job if we decide to simply go around the world on foot.

This brings us to the next type of wackos who do similar stuff. Actually what they do is on the next level. You’ve all heard about these strange people who attempt to do a roundtrip of the World without using a bus or a plane or anything like it. Some of them decide to cycle around, others say they will walk and then finally we have people who want to run around the Earth. Doesn’t that sound just a little too crazy? Well it sure does – and it raises even more questions. Don’t you have a family and a job to care about? Even if you accomplish this idiotic thing what do you do once you come home?

SalfordThere was a guy who circled around the world on a bike. So how does he manage to wash and eat cooked food? It’s unbelievable what will happen if he gets rained on while cycling on a highway at 1 PM. How do these people know where to stay? What happens if you are in the middle of nowhere and it is already dusk? They don’t sound like they have a clear plan at all. Visiting a few countries on a bike or running means that every night you must sleep at a different place. Well you need to know when you will reach this spot in question and furthermore how do you manage to pay for it? If you are out there for 5-6 months that’s about 180-200 nights. Now we understand you aren’t staying at 5 star hotels but you still have to pay, right?

There was this boy and his girlfriend who decided to walk all the way to Nepal and visit Tibet. They wanted to do that starting from the Balkans and then simply reach their destination in Eastern Asia by hitch hiking or walking. This is not as easy as simply making a trip around the Borough of Bolton in the Manchester area. Yes, visiting little towns such as Blackrod, Horwich and Kearsley is a great idea but try doing it on foot starting somewhere In Eastern Europe.

So regardless if you want to do it just to test yourself or for a cause walking tourism isn’t a usual thing. You either need a whole lot of money in order to be able to eat and sleep without ending up under a bridge. Or maybe you need to be a really sweet talker in order to convince people to hire you short term to wash clothes or dishes and be paid in food. That doesn’t sound like a very modernistic deal, does it? Fortunately nobody will force you to attempt such a trip so just enjoy your car or bus.