Most of us have a desire to travel around the world but there’s always one thing holding us back – money. Or, rather, a complete lack of it.
However, one homeless guy has demonstrated how it’s completely possible to visit pretty much every major capital city in Europe, without spending a single penny.
Kris Mole, 24, travelled the whopping 9,763 miles to visit 23 cities in just under six months and raised a heck of a lot of money for Cancer Research along the way.
According to the Mail Online, Kris’ crazy adventure all began when he found himself on the streets in Brighton, East Sussex, after developing drinking and gambling problems. He decided to make a change in his life after his aunt, Susan Proto, was diagnosed with cancer.
In 2007, Kris embarked on his charity challenge, hitch-hiking across Europe, risking arrest by travelling on trains without tickets, and sleeping rough – although he was shocked by the kindness of strangers who would often offer him their sofa for him to crash on.
He started his journey by flying one-way to Stockholm, Sweden (which his dad paid for), swearing he wouldn’t return to the UK until his task was completed.
Speaking to Vice and explaining his motivation behind the trip, Kris said:
Basically because I wanted to travel and didn’t have any money. It was also kind of that English tradition of doing something crazy for sponsorship. One night I drunkenly told a friend I was going to do it, and a week later I had a plane ticket to Sweden, where I started the journey. I didn’t plan it anywhere near as much as I should have.
Besides the struggles of getting from city to city, there were also the issues of not being able to buy any food, as he couldn’t use any cash as part of ‘The Great Euro Freebie Challenge’.
Despite those worries, he said his “fear of losing my pride kept me going”, as everyone expected him to fail and he was determined to prove them wrong.
Kris had eight rules during his epic trip – no money will be spent, no credit cards, visit every EU capital on the physical continent (ie. no islands), say yes to everything, accept every donation which isn’t cash, update his blog, begin the challenge in a foreign country and he was not to allow women to compromise the challenge.
The countries he managed to visit were Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden – which is quite the list!
Along the way, Kris gave an impromptu motivational speech for AIESEC in Slovakia, walked through a blizzard in Poland, ate some free pasta while a man masturbated next to him, and generally took the idea of backpacking to a whole new level.
So, basically, if you’re willing to starve, see some weird sexual sights and risk your life in the pursuit of adventure, you too can travel round Europe for free! Simple really…
Kris has written a book about his experience, Gatecrashing Europe, which you can buy here to check out more about his incredible experience.