Travel can be cheap, but it is never free. Couch-surfing is cheap -- but not free. Joining the Peace Corps will allow you to travel, but you have to give up years of your life. House-sitting at Aunt Jennifer's in Boca is cheap, but not free -- think of all those cats.
What I found so fascinating about Bhutan was that they have created 'Gross National Happiness' which means they determine the success of the country based on the happiness in their souls as opposed to the amounts of money in their pockets.
A few hours riding from the Taj Mahal is the city of Lucknow. It was here that I bumped into a man on his way to a rural village. I didn't have anywhere to stay and he offered me free gas when I got to his village. I was about to be in for quite a shock.
I had to find a way to get from Turkey to India without traveling overland. This left me with two options: by sea or by air. Unfortunately I couldn't find a workable sea option, but I had met a guy in Istanbul who seemed connected and also had put me up for the night...
As I continue to travel across the world relying on the kindness of strangers I have had the good fortune of spending time in some truly inspiring cities. My latest stop saw me arrive in the capital of Bosnia Herzegovina from Zagreb, Croatia.
A man who walks the walk and talks the talk is rare. A man who lives his dream is a man who touches lives. Money is not what buys you freedom; it is by living fully that we are connected to the inherent freedom we all possess within.
It is indeed a rare day that I am lost for words. Today was one of those days, a day that literally took my breath away. I was on the receiving end of an act of kindness that touched the deepest place in my heart. A simple, yet profound act.
As I write this I have completed my first day on a bike trip across the world relying entirely on the kindness of strangers. I have no money, no place to stay and no food. I also have no way to cross two oceans. All I have is my trusty bike and a firm belief in the generosity of the human spirit.
But what the hell is a travel writer? The cliched images likely come to mind: the zip-off pants-wearing, notepad-wielding, globetrotting do-gooder, or maybe the unshaven, whiskey-drinking, chain-smoking, ex-Peace Corps polyglot.