have a bad sense of direction, hardly any savings and zero busking skills. But I could not ignore the urge to travel and it seemed rather exciting to hitchhike and wander around without any money. I told myself to survive in Europe for three to six months before returning home from Istanbul, Turkey. I had US$200 on me and just enough cash in my bank for a flight back home. Having never done this before, I was nervous for sure — yet exhilarated at the same time. I kept hearing warnings of ‘Please don’t get yourself killed!’ and ‘Please don’t be so stupid!’.
At first, I hitchhiked with a friend or other fellow travellers. But problems arose when we didn’t get along or when they made advances on me. I decided then that I’d much rather be on my own! The longer I travelled, the more I learnt how to be thick-skinned and disregard the stares. I dug through trash for food, pounced on leftover meals at eateries or asked markets for old produce or fruit that have outlived their shelf life.
Basically I lived in the concrete jungle as a hobo would, I even slept at petrol stations, next to highways, parks and car parks, using only cardboard pieces as a mattress. Sometimes I would knock on a stranger’s door to ask if they would let me sleep in their garden. My money ran out after three months because when I got tired of waiting for hours for a car to pick me up, I’d hop on a bus or when my dumpster diving was unsuccessful, I’d go into a grocery store.
Often times, I’d travel without a plan. I had no money and therefore nothing