All about our trip
Our journey is based on a simple idea: exploring the world in an authentic and sincere way, without using any tourist infrastructure, any hotel, plane, bus nor other public transport. In order to fully live a nomadic experience filled with uncertainty and simplicity, we make adventure and challenge our first choice, we are keen to meet the unexpected and the unknown and always opt for encountering and sharing with local populations.
In May 2017, we left Slovakia with only an 11-kilo backpack, a minimalist budget, a little courage, and an immense faith in humanity. Our feet and our thumbs have become our only means of transport, we always stay with locals or sleep wherever our tent can be pitched, we make the choice of the non-route and enjoy the way more than the destination. By following this path, we hope to live a true adventure centered on the human sharing and we gladly let locals, anonymous, strangers and foreigners become our trip. They are our trip.
What is our daily budget? Is it about "Traveling with no money"?
We try not to limit our adventure to an accounting goal. In general, we use as little as possible the easy solution of money because we tend to experience a return to simplicity while confronting ourselves to a difficult and uncertain adventure. We believe that any travel becomes more authentic, spontaneous and risky when it is not secured by financial transactions or paid services. We have a great admiration for those who embark on a journey "without money”, and although it does not meet exactly this goal, our trip is based on a similar philosophy of “sharing instead of buying”.
However, we do not want to put ourselves in danger or take advantage of the generosity of local populations. There comes a time on the road when it is necessary to feed ourselves, to provide help to those who come to help us, or to contribute to the daily life of those who offer us hospitality. Although we always prefer other means of exchange, more human and social, we also wish to respect certain ethical principles. That's the main reason why we have taken with us a little budget.
Before we left: most of our budget was used to pay for travel insurance, vaccinations*, maintenance of the website, and to renew some of our old equipment.
During the trip: our budget is used to buy food that we cannot find otherwise, to contribute to the life of our hosts, by offering them a meal, a beer or something else, and to help financially our poorest encounters . Generally, we spend about fifteen or twenty euros a week on both of us, sometimes more, sometimes less.
* Traveling within risky areas without being previously vaccinated is irresponsible and selfish because it endangers not only one's own life but also that of others.
Where do we usually spend our nights?
Generally, we manage to stay with locals by asking them if we can pitch our tent next to their house in exchange of some services or a hand. That can be gardening, cooking for them or just keeping them company and telling them about our adventures. In this way, we can spend a moment, an evening or even several days with locals, while respecting their personal space. It regularly happens that we are offered to spend the night in a dry place, in a room, a caravan, a shed, a container, a stable or any other unusual place, and it is always with pleasure that we do accept.
However, we always make sure that our hosts have some free time for a chat and exchange with us. The purpose is not to be hosted for free or to take advantage of the generosity of people but to fully share and live a moment in their company.
When we do not find anyone (which is quite rare) or we get alone in the middle of nowhere, with no house around, we spend the night in bivouac, taking care to respect the place and not to attract the friendly company of bears, snakes, wolves and other jackals.
What means of transport do we use?
Hitchhiking is our main way of getting around. We enjoy using our thumbs mostly for the adventures, discoveries and encounters that such a practice offers. It is, in our opinion, an art of traveling, social and alternative, which provides much more than free transport.
Besides our thumb, our feet are our other best carriage. Walking is the basic activity of any nomad, and even if it is not the fastest way of travel or the least relaxing, it is undoubtedly the one that offers the best feeling of freedom and independence while exploring the world.
We also hitchhike sailing boats and use many other means of transport, such as bikes, horses, camels, rowing dinghies, swimming, sea doo, kayak, horse-cart… or anything else that offers us the opportunity to live a great adventure!
And what about food?
This is the most difficult aspect of our adventure. Although it is rather easy to find a place to sleep and to move around for free, we cannot decently rely on the generosity of locals to get food. Most of the time, we rely on our own resourcefulness to pick wild fruits, collect unsold food, fish etc. Regarding water, we can find some everywhere and, in countries at risk, filter it with a specific straw. Naturally, we appreciate sharing a meal with our hosts, but we make sure it will not leave them with financial difficulties.
Finally, as explained above, we take with us a small budget, a kind of survival fund, that is intended to cover the rest of the food costs or to invite our host in return for a meal or a drink.
How do we manage to get in contact and stay with locals?
Actually, and contrary to what it first looks like, that is rather easy. The only thing we need to do is to open ourselves to others, talk with strangers and be available for the unexpected. Hitchhiking is then an excellent way to create a first contact with local people and to address any type of subject. Sometimes, spontaneously, we are invited for a coffee or a tea, or even to spend the night in a dry place. In other cases, we just explain the spirit of our trip and our desire to exchange. Most people are delighted to experience such an unexpecting moment of sharing and want to learn more about our adventures, our lives or our original cultures. It even happened that we had to choose between the different invitations. A funny and awkward situation…
How do we manage with the language barrier?
The language barrier may be a real obstacle when embarking on such a trip. However, there is always a multitude of ways to communicate and be understood without speaking the same language. We have written a long article on this subject (in French though), in which we detail some of the tips and techniques we daily use.
What do we bring with us in our backpacks?
With 10-11 kilos, our backpacks contain everything we need to undertake such a journey and stay independent for several days. A tent, a mountain sleeping bag, a mattress, rain clothes, a stove and other camping equipment constitute the biggest and most useful part of it. For the rest, we try to limit the superfluous and the useless: the lightest equipment we take with us is our resourcefulness and ingenuity.
What about lack of comfort?
Since we started to travel this way, we have gradually learned how to be satisfied with the essential and have accepted the requirements of a nomadic life made of simplicity and dematerialization. Comfort is no longer something we look for, even though we greatly appreciate the smallest ounce of convenience. We always prefer the warmth of a beautiful encounter to the ephemeral happiness of a good shower. We have also learned how to cope with the little we have, to get rid of the useless and better take advantage of our environment. Now we do not feel any “lack” or dissatisfaction. On the contrary, we fully enjoy our ability to live soberly and marvel each time we are offered a mere piece of comfort.
What countries do we want to visit? What is our route?
“Visiting" a country is a big word when we actually stay there at most a few weeks. We can at best show on a map the roads and paths we have followed in Europe, Asia and soon, we hope, in South America, with all the great adventures we have lived on the way.
Since we left, we have made the choice of never planning anything, except some very broad lines of the trip. The idea has been to keep ourselves fully available to the unexpected and to any opportunities that might come up along the way. We usually follow the recommendations and advice of locals, as they know more than any travel guide the good places to explore. We are also very keen to experience great moments with the locals, even if it seems at first very risky or too adventurous. In short, we enjoy the way more than the destination.
How long are we planning to live on the roads?
That's a good question.
Why the blog « Be My Trip » ?
Originally, the idea of creating a blog came at the same time as the desire to share with our families and friends the adventures we were living on the road. It has also turned out very useful to keep in touch with locals we have met along the way. Progressively, more people have started to follow our trip and pushed us to invest more time and effort to publish varied content, such as tips and reports on the cultural discoveries we experience or some advice to help them live the same kind of adventures.
We try to keep a certain distance with the blog though as we do not want it to take precedence over our journey itself. Becoming a so-called “digital nomad” is clearly not our goal. Becoming a simple nomad is.
You will then find on this website some articles, videos and photo albums about our adventures. We are naturally very open to all your suggestions to improve it, and we will answer with great pleasure (and probably a bit of late...) to all your messages.
Why the name « Be My Trip » ?
When Chris came up with the idea of the blog, he searched a name that was easily understandable to everyone and naturally opted for the English language. The name should embody the concept of a journey that is defined by locals and people met along the way and should also make sense on a board while hitchhiking. "Be My Trip" was finally chosen after a terrible brainstorming.