Share My Way Home
Mainstream media often portrays the world as a dangerous and violent place. Because of this, many people live in fear of both their neighbors in their community and their global neighbors around the world.
I believe that the media drastically over-represents the negative sides of humanity and that the world is actually full of good people. I wanted to show another narrative, one that instills a deeper faith in humanity and trust in our fellow global citizens. One that represents the true majority of the world.
I did this by flying one way to a far off place with just the clothes on my back and a passport. No money, no cellphone, not even a toothbrush. (In order to be allowed to cross borders I also carried fake proof of funds, a canceled credit card, and a fake onward flight). I landed in Panama City, Panama 4,000 miles and seven countries from my home in San Diego, California.
Besides creating a positive story to instigate and inspire change, the purpose of this journey was to immerse in humanity in the rawest form. By traveling with no money I would end up in places that I would never otherwise have gone and meet people who I would never otherwise meet. Without money for transport and accommodation I would be forced to immerse in humanity and to meet every day, genuine human beings on the streets and in their homes.
This was also part of my quest to learn to live without money and to reduce my dependency on the monetary system, which is at the center of so much of the destruction that is currently taking place on earth. By landing in a far away place with no money, I would be forced to learn how to get by without money. It would be a test of my skills and a chance to develop my skills further. Resourcefulness, problem solving and critical thinking are key skills to self-sufficiency and sustainable living and traveling with no money creates the perfect scenario to practice these skills. I also desire to live simply and this journey provided the grounds to practice simple living and to embrace it deeply. I believe that we grow most when we are outside of our comfort zones. Sitting at home with everything I need allows for complacency and stagnation. It is when I am outside of my comfort zone and pushing my limits that I am able to develop into the human that I want to be and make great leaps forward.
It was also for the sake of adventure and exploration, something that gives me a deep reason to live and a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose. I was on a quest for knowledge and experiences that would better myself, to help me become more understanding and compassionate, and help me to better the world too. I truly feel that in order to be good at giving to others, it helps to know what it feels like to be in need. I experienced despair and need on this trip and it fostered my compassion and care for others.
Although I was traveling with no money and I was depending on the kindness of others, my goal was to give back more than I received and be of service where I went. I also wanted to show that by working with others, we can meet our basic needs and take care of each other, without the need for giving our money to global corporations and governments.
I wanted to try to do the whole trip without earning a penny, but instead I worked a few odd jobs to earn money for border crossings, travel and food. To start off I collected cans and sold stuff I found in garbage cans in Panama to earn about $10 USD. I worked on organic farms in exchange for food and a bed to sleep in. I ate food that was going to waste and being thrown out and shared meals with the generous people that he met along the way.
I stayed with people I met through sharing websites like couchsurfing and WWOOF and stayed with complete strangers that I met traveling and via social media. I hitchhiked and took buses and walked a very tiny portion of the way. Dozens of people picked me up on the road side and enjoyed taking part in the adventure. Generous and kind souls gave me food, places to sleep and usually insisted strongly on getting nothing in return. But I always tried to give more than I received, and I could do this through many other means besides money.
One common theme I’ve seen through my travels is that we need a lot less to be happy and healthy than we think. The happiest people I meet are rarely the financially wealthiest. People gain great happiness from giving to others, and I found that by allowing others to help me, it gave them a sense of meaning and purpose. I’ve also seen that the most fulfilled people are often those who live in service of others. My most joyous moments on the journey were those when I could help others that I met and know that our time together improved their quality of life.
I arrived back in San Diego after 37 days with just 10 cents in my pocket. In the last hundred miles and as I walked into my home, the words that just kept coming into my mind is that PEOPLE ARE GOOD!
With no camera, phone or computer with me, I set myself the challenge of sharing my story to inspire positive change in an alternative manner. I created a crowd-sourced short film using the cameras of the people I met along the way. 28 different people used their cameras and emailed me the footage.
Here is the film that we made: