In 2008 Tomislav Perko had it all. A successful stockbroking career in his home town of Zagreb, Croatia saw him eating in fine restaurants, wearing fine suits and living the good life. It was perfect – until the financial crisis saw him lose his and his families investments and left him deeply in debt.
He had been offering couchsurfing space to travelers including Josh Cahill and their inspiring stories of traveling for little or no cost got him thinking – could he travel the world with no money?
Eventually he took the plunge heading off on a 5 year odyssey which included sailing the Indian Ocean and surviving on an average of $10 per day. His adventures gained him attention including the opportunity to Ted Talk, and he has now gone onto to sharing his stories with audiences around Europe.
You can find out more about Tomislav at his blog www.tomislavperko.com
What I learned from Tom:
- There are really only 3 travel costs you need to control; transport, accommodation and food. Tom was able to reduce his transport by hitchhiking, and his accommodation by couchsurfing leaving only the third as an issue. Sometimes he could reduce his food costs to nothing by dumpster diving behind supermarkets or grabbing food off diners plates after they left.
- Volunteering is a great way to live for free. Tom would either pre-arrange a volunteer stint through an organization like WWoof, Helpx and Workaway or look to help out locally when he arrived at a venue. In these cases he was able to cover his food and accommodation in return for a few hours work.
- It was interesting to hear his experience after 5 years of wanting to start settling down. Much like Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll who set up their Berlin base after too many years on the road many travelers do reach a point where constant travel becomes hard to sustain and the need to find a base for shorter journeys is strong.
- Hitchhiking is always perceived as dangerous but Tom only had one incident of theft during the 5 years – as we say the world is safer than the media portray.