Most people like to travel in comfort: they stay in fancy hotels, never leave tourist spots, and stay away from the locals. Michael Wigge isn’t like most people, though. After travelling the world without money for 150 days while writing How to Travel the World for Free, his next challenge: turn an apple into a house in Hawaii.
Wigge goes around fourteen countries and six continents exchanging goods for more valuable ones, and he meets an array of good-humored people who take his deals. Taking on his Barterman persona, he trades the apple for sixteen cigarettes in Germany; a couple of trades later in India, he fixes up a motorized rickshaw and trades it for silk; in Australia, a millionaire amuses himself by offering him an art piece for the silk if Wigge feeds a wild crocodile. Finally, he arrives in Hawaii armed with two bicycles, a surfboard, Portuguese porcelain, three solid-gold coins, a Porsche wristwatch, a record by musician Coati Mundi and accompanying contract for 25 percent of the proceeds from his next single, a voucher for a two-night stay in a mansion in L.A., and a piece of original artwork by painter Alex Stenzel—now he just has to find someone to give him a house in exchange.
On the 200-day journey around the world, Wigge makes forty-two trades and meets strange, kind, funny, friendly, eccentric, and good-natured people who help him in his quest. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss!
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About the Author
Michael Wigge is an author, filmmaker, and journalist. He began his career as an anchor on the German VIVA program London Calling, and the world has been his newsroom and playground ever since. From reporting for MTV from a prison, to entering the Buckingham Palace in England dressed as King Henry VIII, Wigge has always thrown himself into the most unusual situations, including riding a donkey for more than sixty hours in an effort to obtain a Guinness World Record. He has lived with the native Yanomami Indian tribe in the Amazon rainforest and fought sumo wrestlers in Japan. He is the author of How to Travel the world for Free. He lives in Berlin, Germany.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Hawaii, Here I Come! vii
1 Germany: Bitten by the Bug 1
2 Austria: My First No 17
3 Switzerland: Help, the Pleiadians Are Coming! 21
4 India: Sled Masala 27
5 Australia: Parasite Exchange 61
6 New Zealand: Help at the End of the World 75
7 Singapore: My First Billionaire Buddy 81
8 Thailand: The Great Trade-Out 85
9 Tanzania: Africa till You Drop 89
10 Kenya: A World-Class Runner among Peers 113
11 Germany: Home Sweet Home 121
12 Ukraine: Illusory Beauty 127
13 Portugal: Bartering by a Thread 141
14 Brazil: Lederhosen and Folk Music under the Palm Trees 145
15 USA: A Microcosm of the World 155
16 Hawaii: The Showdown 177