As part of the Global Convoy – travelling around the world for a as cheap as possible – we got set the challenge of hitchhiking from Tokyo, Japan to Seoul, South Korea. Not an easy challenge when half the group have never hitched a “ride”, nonetheless we had a go and here is what my Team got up to.
So Team Muchantos a combination of myself and Andrè Correia a photo journalist from Portugal, started out on a very wet Saturday afternoon, not the best time to be hitchhiking. Our plan was to be in Osaka in few days time to met up with Team Highball and Team Sleepy Dragons.
We took the circular line around Tokyo called the Yamanote line, to Shiubya Station which was ideally located at the start of the Tomsei Expressway. From what we had read was one of the easiest roads to hitch on. As it is the major highway between Tokyo and the southern cities.
This started out well we where of high spirits having just eaten in the local Family Market and having wifi made time pass. Things quickly turned sour after an hour or so, as it turned out we were trying to hitch from outside of a very fancy 5 star hotel. After more research, we discovered that if we wanted to get a ride we needed to be in a services. Looking at the maps we saw that the closest services was several kilometres away, luckily for us though it was close Tocichiba train station, however, we still had a good 3kmto walk.
Camping in public…
We reached the services at 9 in the evening and having looked at the maps we knew that there was a large park close by, that we could hopefully camp in. On inspection it was rather fancy with toilets and running water. A quick tip on camping in Japan, if you can camp by a toilet you have electricity and drinking water both for free.
The park was more like a jungle to begin with with huge spiders everywhere. Having battled through got lost a few times we eventually found the opening on to a playing field with several rivers around. We pitched up our tent, had a swing of our whiskey and settled in for the night.
We were feeling very confident for the day ahead to get to Osaka.
A massive thanks to The Roverette for nominating me for the Blogger’s Liebster Award! She can be found over at the www.theroverette.com
What is the Liebster Award, I here you ask. The Liebster Award is, is an award that is given from bloggers, to bloggers, with the purpose of shining light on upcoming, new blogs that have potential to do well based on their posts, and is usually given to blogs with less than 200 followers. The concept of the award is very similar to that of a chain letter, although there are some who refuse to accept the award, therefore breaking the chain. It is not required of you to continue this chain, but by doing so, you miss out on the chance of getting your blog more views. Mahesh choose me, along with four other blogs that he believed are likely to do well in the future. In return, I will:
Link this post back to my nominator, in this case The Rouvette and her blog
Answer 11 questions about myself, that The Rouvette has asked.
Name 11 random facts about myself
Nominate 10 other blogs with less than 200 followers that I feel deserve the reward
Ask 11 new questions to the bloggers I nominate
Hear are the question that The Rouvette asked me:
Are you a morning bird or night owl?I am defiantly a morning bird, I regularly wake up between 06:30 – 07:00 every day.
What is your favourite food?Now this is a tough one, I enjoy so many different types food from so many places. Hmm I think that my favourite by a very small margin is a parsnip.
What is your favourite quote to live your life by?Determination: the will to succeed will overcome the greatest adversity!
Pick 3 words that describe you.Determined
Do you have an all time favourite classic old movie or song?My classic song for this would have to be The Police – King of pain.
What would you be doing if Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr didn’t
exist? Hmm, who knows is the real answer, although I would like to think that, even without those amazing tools I would still have travelled, but it would have been very hard if not impossible to keep in contact with all the amazing people I would have met.
What country would you always like to visit and why? Or to travel bloggers, what was your favourite country you have been to and why?There are so many countries and people that are amazing. My favourite country as it stands is Iran. The people are some of friendliest people I have ever met, the country has immense history and culture. You can I highly recommend Iran.
Would you rather travel to the past or future? How far would you go and why?I would like to head in to the past 500 years and be at the for front of exploration in 16th Century The Age of Discovery. Going on long dangerous voyages to discovery the Americas and other unknown lands across the world really was a impressive time in exploration.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?The ability to fly!
How do you pick your friends?I believe that everyone can be friends, no matter where they are and who they are. I keep my book open to let anyone be my friend. Most of the people I meet on my travels are of a similar mindset as well. We can all be friends!
You find a glass cube in the middle of the desert, that is meant just for you. How big is it? Your answer refers to how big your ego is. Do you think that is a good way of testing someone’s personality?Wow, this is a very thoughtful question! When I first read this I instantly had an idea in my head of a cud 1 foot square, not exactly huge. I don’t think that this can reflect someone’s personality, for example I think that my cube is small not due to a small ego. I would like to say now that I don’t think I have a massive ego. It being just for me makes me want to instantly share it with the world, I don’t want to take burden and take anyway some else’s cube. Thoughts?
11 random facts about me:
I could fly a motor glider solo before I could drive a car!
My second toe is longer than my big toe
Slept in crypt for 4 years (bedroom was painted in the style of an Egyptian crypt).
I am currently trying to learn Russian and Spanish. It’s somewhat of a struggle at the minute.
My favourite colour is Orange.
For my work experience at school I worked at The Royal International Air Tattoo.
I prefer to sleep; on the floor, under the stars, in a hammock, in a car, standing up rather than sleeping in a bed.
I have completed my Gold duke of Edinburgh.
I love just randomly walking with no particular direction or reason and just see what happens.
I live in the outdoors world, climbing, hiking and camping.
I have a huge appetite usually eating in 6 main meals plus snacks a day.
I have now nominated the following 5 blogs, take some time to check them out!
Barranco Beach, situated in the Algarve close to the town of Sagres. This is an amazing place to visit for many reasons; one being that there is a semi permanent hippie community on the beach. Who are a very friendly and welcoming people, sharing there stories fire and beer with us on our escapade.
The beach is amazing just like many of the beaches in the Algarve, although like others this one has not been touched by tourism or anything of that matter. As such there are no facilities at all apart a compost toilet, there isn’t even a road!
Having said that this is not what this beach is about, it’s about coming back to nature have a hand a fishing in the sea, camp on the beach and generally have a good time enjoying this picturesque beach.
an act or incident involving excitement, daring, or adventure.
“he told of their escapade with a ‘borrowed’ truck”
The planning stage – What’s this?
Well this one is easy, we didn’t plan anything, the ferry, the route absolutely nothing! Well that’s not strictly true the plan was to help a friend from the Mongol Rally move house from Lisbon to Amsterdam. Apart from this nothing was planned not even a ferry crossing, where we would be staying, nothing!
This trip was in fact so spontaneous that I called my ‘boss’ up Saturday morning and told him I would not be in next week and got some people to cover me for most of the week. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the whole week off and as such had to fly home on the following Friday.
Our road trip car (Later to be named Mother Theresa)
I brought the 2000 1.8l Ford Focus Estate for £350 for the upcoming Global Convoy, she needed a lot of work on her, to begin with she needed a new clutch and some sort of air hose of some kind. Apparently she also needs an idle control valve whatever one of those is, all I know is that it can make driving super hard.
I had the above fixed up before we left the UK, and replaced the air filter, checked the oil and that was it. Probably should have given her full service as you are about to find out.
Keeping costs down
We used the app Bla Bla Car to help reduce our costs and get people around Europe we had some really fantastic offers from people and meet some truly amazing people, from various backgrounds.
We also didn’t pay for any accommodation, if we couldn’t stay somewhere we camped out in the tent.
Other ways we kept costs down was trying to avoid toll roads and instead of using costly mobile data in Europe we is through large chain restaurants such as Mcdonalds, Burger kind, KFC and many others no matter where they they have free Wifi, whether it works or not is a different story.
Keeping food prices down is more difficult, especially when we are covering massive distances in such a short period of time. Super markets and cooking is by far one of the cheapest ways or another way is to go dumpster diving as taught to us by one of our hitchhikers.
There so many things that we could have done to make this trip cheaper, but that wasn’t the point of this trip. The point is you don’t need to have months do a road trip and you don’t need to spend months planning it out. However if you what to have a much cheaper road trip doing some planning is definitely advantageous.
Tomorrow everything kicks off with the A to Z Challenge. A to Z Challenge is a blogging challenge. I will be posting every day (apart from Sundays for the Challenge) about place in the world that is more hidden or off the beaten track, saying this there is no set theme so all the posts will be following the line of rest of this website and could be on absolutely anything travel or adventure related. I have to say some of the places we are going to be visiting just make me what to grab my bag and catch the next flight!
Anyway, look out tomorrow for A which is going to be on… well now that would be telling wouldn’t it. Come back tomorrow and find out!
I have decided to take on the A to Z challenge in April 2016. During April I, along with over a thousand plus other bloggers will be posting to our blogs with a post that begins with every letter of the alphabet.
I will of course be posting on mainly travel and adventure topics as always but I am going to through a few spanners in as well. I hope you enjoy all the posts throughout April. However in the mean time have a look around the website.
Accommodation, transport and visas, are some of the most expensive costs when travelling, as travellers we are always counting money to try and get the cheapest deals on all of the above. In this section we are looking in to cheap accommodation around Europe in particular but generally at ways of finding cheap places to stay where ever in the world you may be travelling.
Camping is by far one of the cheapest accommodation options as it’s usually FREE if you are wild camping or there may be a small charge which can differ depending where you are. Wild camping in Europe in particular is a grey area as in many countries there is no set law as to where you can wild camp.
Hostels are a great place to meet people and explore the city. The advantage of having a bed, either in a dorm, whether it’s mixed or same sex, or in many hostels there is an option to have a private room if you are willing to pay a little extra. It really does depend on what you are looking for in Hostel. There are hostels such as the The Tent in Munich, where you are given a foam mat, blankets and a bit of floor space costing around 8 Euros a night. At the other end of the scale a stay in the Generator Hostel Hamburg you would be looking at 36.80 Euros per night (both in June for 1 person), however you also have access to every kind of facilities like, wifi, a bar, travel shop and food available throughout the day.
Another option for those who want to get to know the locals and sleep very cheaply, is couchsurfing. This is a platform where hosts offer up there, couch, settees, spare rooms or whatever they have really this is usually free although is varies and if there is a charge its usually nominal. The great thing about couch surfing is staying with locals they know all the ‘cool’ spots to hang out and see in there town or city.
The end is nigh for 2015, however 2016 is now here! Looking back at pictures, postcards and bits of film, it has been an interesting year to say the least. There have been many adventures, some big changes and I have met some amazing people. It has been a year of enlightenment, a year I would like to call the light bulb year! I have personally found that thing that makes me really itch and what to get up and go. Yes you might have guessed this blog is very much involved in that idea.
Well the Mongol Rally to start probably the biggest thing that happened this year. What an adventure it was driving for 2 months in a 1l Micra to Mongolia and back. This was the start, of what is to become the start of many more adventures in the near future. Some big, some small and out right mad!
He is just a quick list of some of the adventures that I am undertaking in 2016, I am sure that there will be many more spontaneous adventures;
Taking on the world and writing a documentary on how to get on the road, read more about the Biking Adventure.
Changing the two wheels for four and taking the world in Storm with the Global Convoy.
A different kind of adventure: a mental and organisational nightmare – like the Global Convoy isn’t. Organising the first Dartmoor Walking Festival which despite being at the end of August already has a full programme.
Stay tuned for many more adventures in 2016. What adventures do you have planned in 2016?
So I found this interesting article on mental health whilst searching in the bottomless pit that is the internet. This article was found and written on Getupandgo’s blog, an Adventure Travel company based in India. Most of the things that mention in this post I know can relate to especially on the Mongol Rally.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND
It doesn’t happen when you start packing, or when you stay up half the night before your trip trying to answer emails and take out the trash. But once you board the plane, train or get in your car, you breathe a little more deeply as the daily grind gets smaller and smaller and then disappears in the rear view mirror.
POSSIBILITIES FOR NEW INSIGHTS
When you encounter new sites, something opens up in your mind and heart and you can have new insights about old problems. A change of scene can make things back home look very different.
THE ZEN STATE
To be really well, one has to be in the moment, the now. When you travel, there is so much new stimulation that it forces you to respond in the present. You slip effortlessly into the zone.
EXERCISE AND MENTAL HEALTH
When you hit the road, there are infinite options for active engagement with your environment. You can walk, bike, hike, climb, paddle, skate, ski, dance. When you are at home, it’s sometimes hard to get motivated for physical exercise. When you are away, it all seems so much more appealing. And you certainly know that an RX for depression and anxiety is move your muscles.
If there is a certain ennui associated with the same people and the same stories back home, then the remedy is meeting people on the road. Haven’t you made friends in faraway places when you travelled? If you haven’t, it’s time to start. They can be part of your travel group, or people you connect to who live in your chosen destination.
An antidote to self-medicating can be self-soothing. When you go for adventure tour, you do things you love, you buy treasured souvenirs, you pamper yourself with small pleasures. These actions make you feel good about yourself. They don’t rile you up. They don’t perturb or upset you. You replace a desire to escape with a real escape that is much better for you.
PRIDE IN SELF
Maybe you’ve had a rough spell at work or with relationships. You feel a little worthless or useless. When you travel, you exercise your high school Spanish or French, you successfully navigate your way around an unknown environment, you excel at hiking tours or cooking or yoga. You do things that make you feel proud of yourself and that help to build back your selfesteem.
There are different kinds of pain: physical, emotional, psychic or spiritual. They are all quite real. Somehow, by some mysterious alchemy, travel can alleviate pain. You just feel better. The sprained ankle carries you up a mountain. The wrecked love affair seems more remote and you can foresee a life beyond it. Your relationship to the Divine is renewed through nature.
Worry and the blues can sometimes be attributed to habits of thinking. You get in a mental loop you can’t get out of. You fret about the past and are anxious about the present. It is hard to change your thoughts, but adventure holidays facilitates that change. You literally walk new paths, eat different foods, speak to different people, hear exotic languages. These changes can help to yank you out of habitual patterns that sap energy from your life.
A good yuk can go a long way towards brightening a day. Have you noticed how much you laugh when you are travelling? You see a funny sign, an odd translation, a street performer, you meet a friend from junior high school on top of a mountain. And you let it rip with a belly laugh. Aaaah