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Trelograms #17 — A Time + Money Conservation Law?

Another question i often get is, “how do you manage to travel for so long with so little money”?

The short answer is, it’s a lot of work!

Thinking about this often brings me back to one of my “training” tours a couple of years ago between Copenhagen and Oslo, while i was still living and working in the former. The constrain in that short tour was to do it without any hospitality network requests (Couchsurfing, etc) or paid lodging.

The most natural path between Copenhagen and Oslo is to ride north along the Swedish West Coast. Having never done something like that before, i figured that would be the perfect stage for such an experiment — Sweden has one of the world’s most generous right of access culture and laws — you’re essentially allowed to camp for one night just about anywhere in the country, as long as it’s not a nature preserve, you’re far enough from developed land and leave no trace — this is literally referred to as ‘the every [man]’s right’ (allemansrätten).

I’d not yet discovered the amenity of a surgical water bottle bath (use your imagination), and i wanted my campsites to be near the water, so i could wash myself like we all should — with a skinny dip! It would often take me up to three hours from the moment i decided to stop riding for the day until i found myself sitting down to cook dinner at my campsite — this brought me to seriously consider whether i’d ever want to be on a cycle tour in those terms for longer than just a couple of weeks.

Upon coming back home to Copenhagen, i realized that i’d been, in a very tangible way, doing just that — working for about three hours a day to “find a comfortable place to sleep at night.” Indeed, rent for a bedroom (sharing a kitchen with five other tenants) cost me roughly one third of my salary as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Copenhagen — not to mention how insanely lucky i was to even find such a deal — those familiar with the surreal housing market in Copenhagen will certainly agree with that.

It got me thinking — and i still haven’t quite figured it out.


got no time or money to travel? — i beg to differ!

I am hard at work on a budget long-term traveling tutorial consolidating all i’ve learned over my past two years on the road — sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list, and be among the first to hear about it when it’s out!

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On the photo: “dinner table” view from a campsite in my Copenhagen–Oslo tour in Summer ’16 (May ’16)