I’ve just finished reading the German book “Mit 50 Euro um die Welt” (Around the world with 50 euros) and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s probably not a literary masterpiece, but it fits 100% into my life – into what inspires, captivates and magically attracts me: Travel and discover the world! In this book, the German Christopher Schacht tells the story of his four-year trip completely once west around the globe! He starts from home (somewhere near Hamburg) with only 50 Euro and never uses an airplane.
Christopher hitchhikes through Western Europe to Gibraltar, where he hires on various sailing ships. This way he crosses the Atlantic and lands in Central America. From there he travels south to Argentina and then back to the northwest in order to board another sailing ship in Panama. With this he reaches then, along the many Pacific islands, up to Asia. There he visits various countries before finally returning to Europe via India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
During his journey, Christopher takes on a variety of jobs to finance the most necessary expenses. He usually spends the night in his tent or is invited by hospitable people. On the sailing ships he helps with all the work that has to be done and on land he hitchhikes or travels by bus and train. His journey takes 1512 days, he travels 45 countries and covers about 100,000 kilometres.
Sometimes Christophers thoughts and actions seem a little naive to me. He fundamentally trusts the people he meets and is also taken for a ride here and there. But there is also a lesson of the book hidden here: If you expect something positive, then you usually get something positive! And the negative exceptions make the whole thing somewhat more interesting and give the impulse to outgrow oneself.
Meet other people
Another thing I like: The journey stimulates many thoughts in Christopher. He thinks a lot about himself, about his fellow men and about life itself. You don’t always have to share his thoughts and views and that’s not the point. Travelling broadens the horizon and is one of the greatest enrichments life has to offer. The prerequisite for this, however, is that you really meet people from other cultures openly and that you are interested in their stories.
Make new friends
One of the most important insights of the protagonist is in my opinion: Helping others is beautiful and gives meaning to life. One could say that this is the “fuel” of the whole journey: all over the world Christopher meets people who enjoy helping him. And whenever he finds a way to do so, he tries to help others as well. And this is the most valuable thing of the whole trip – besides the wonderful places, landscapes, exotic food and adventures: friendships!
English article about Christophers trip: The Sun.