How much money would you need to save up to travel the world? If you’re Timotei Rad, all it takes is €70 ($80) to get started on a three year, round-the-world expedition across much of Europe, Asia, South America and the US.
That’s right, Timotei left his home country of Romania three years ago with just €70 in his back pocket, travelling the world by hitchhiking. In fact, he only took two flights during that time, one from Madrid to Rio, and the other from Guyana to London.
Granted, once his blog had built up some momentum, he accepted donations from his followers to help fund his travels, reportedly receiving an average of around €220 per month, which is how he paid for those flights. Nevertheless, it’s impressive that he’s been able to travel over 200,000 kilometres and 80 countries on such a small budget, and bravery for leaving home with so little cash!
Having said that, his experience is not for everyone. With that kind of budget, you’re sure to make compromises, and if you’re partial to your creature comforts, then this sort of expedition probably isn’t for you.
He encountered a fair deal of trouble along the way, including meeting a card-carrying Taliban member while in Afghanistan, snapping this awesome photo in the process.
Speaking to MailOnline, Timotei said:
I was excited and happy to be having such a crazy photo but I didn’t know if the gun was loaded. I took the AK47 carefully, and tried not to get close to the trigger.
While walking towards him I thought and expected that he may kill me but he wasn’t mean, he was like a father. He was a warm hearted man. We then took a photo together and I was very relaxed around him.
His travels in Venezuela were similarly hair-raising, when he decided to hitchhike at night, against the advice of the locals. Things went well until the fifth night, when he was ambushed by two guys on a motorbike, armed with a gun, but fortunately, Timotei had a lucky escape!
He tried to take my backpack but I grabbed it and told him I have only my clothes, tent and sleeping bag. At this point he said he would kill me.
I tried twice to calm him down, then I lost my mind. I swore in Romanian and at the same time cars were finally coming down the road. The men drove away.
So what’s Timotei’s secret to ultra-low cost travel? Not only does he hitchhike to save cash, he also looks for ways to cut the cost of accommodation. For example, he’ll either camp in a tent or sleep on someone’s couch.
On top of that, he was prepared to jettison anything that would help him get to his next destination, even if it seemed a little counter intuitive. At one point, he had to trade his camera to get a lift, which must have been a tough call to make given he was reliant on his blog to secure donations, though he was left with little choice. To keep his followers updated, he asked strangers to take photos of him and email them across!
He also found that by simply telling people about himself and his travel plans, he’d get some unexpected surprises to help him on his way. For example when he was in Iraq, he asked the police for some directions, told them his story, and left with some free food and a free ride! It just goes to show, people will be willing to help you if they like you!
So where is Timotei heading next? Right now, he’s off to Budapest, and hopes to move on to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.
Keep up with his progress on his Facebook page, and if you’re feeling inspired, you can watch his talk at TEDx here (provided you understand Romanian!)
Photo Credits: Timotei Rad