- By Ashuta Kaur
A Londoner is attempting to travel home from Hong Kong without any money in an attempt to show the humanity of the world
Former film PR director, Rhinal Patel, 34, started the challenge without a single penny and has already travelled from Victoria City to Oslo by hitchhicking, scavenging food out of bins and couchsurfing.
Patel has only spent money on a $16 USD ferry ride from Hong Kong to Macau and two flights, which she paid for by accepting donations, working and being allowed to empty fountains of coins at a Buddhist temple.
The Oslo flight cost approximately £106 following pain staking deal hunting. Although saying she some times felt terrified Patel said she is “Happier and more free than ever before”.
“Happier and more free than ever before”
Patel added: “Through doing this month long experiment I want to open people’s minds and show, in an extreme way, that that truly living your life, being free and having experiences are more important than earning lots of money or owning a house – those things do not make you happy.”
Patel says she has become a much happier person after leaving London to travel the world alone three years ago, when her employer went into liquidation and she broke up with her boyfriend of seven years.
“Once everything went wrong I knew I needed time and space to find my own identity”
Over the next three years Patel lived at home in Shepherd’s Bush and worked for six months at a time, before leaving to explore again on a small budget, travelling South America and Asia. Then she decided to prove it was possible to travel with no money at all.
Patel acknowledges it has only been possible with the kindness of friends and strangers and has accepted donations from people as well as carrying out some work for which she has been paid, in order to pay for transport.
“You can travel very easily on no money. People open their minds and hearts to you when you ask for help, it’s a beautiful thing. I survive through asking for left over food at restaurant doors and by going dumpster diving. It isn’t as bad as you think as if you know where to go you can find supermarket food still in it’s plastic wrapping. There is so much waste both in London and abroad.
When things have got desperate I have gone to McDonald’s to find spare chips. I managed to get a toothbrush and shampoo going to hotels and asking for complimentary packs.”
Patel has made it to Norway in three weeks. She is looking to raise £1 for each of the 6’100 miles she will have to travelled in the month for GOA outreach children’s charity in India.
To donate to Rhinal Patel visit her page: totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/freeworld
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