You Don’t Need to be Rich to Travel

Don’t listen to the all-money all-corporate entity that is, the tourism industry. Their very existence depends on you, the consumerist, to buy their all-inclusive packages, buy-one-get-one-free tours and commercialised cruises. You DO need to be wealthy (and gullible) to buy into these, but the concept of travel is something that stretches far above and beyond expensive spas and soft towels – it’s something accessible to everyone and anyone at anytime, and it has been for many years. Here’s how!

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1. Don’t spend money on vending machines or other crap

Annual revenues for the vending machine industry (yes, it’s a real cash cow) is estimated to be in the double figures of billions – that’s a lot of suckers spending their money on processed garbage. If you don’t have enough money to travel, then it’s probably because you spend it on crap, such as kinder-eggs at petrol station counters or on new covers for your expensive iPhone. If you want to travel, then virtually all of your money will go into a savings account and not into the accounts of the money-grabbing corporations that don’t care about your travel ambitions. If you genuinely want to travel, then ALL or MOST of your money will go towards it.

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2. Find a job that forces you to travel

You don’t need to be an experienced buccaneer to be given the opportunity to travel while working. There’s a demand for nearly every profession world-wide. Whether it be picking up garbage (kinder-egg rappers) on the street or slaving away in an office, you can work anywhere and everywhere if you’re willing relocate and a lot of companies will even offer live-in accommodation so you don’t need to worry about renting an expensive flat. I’m a chef in Scotland, which means I spend most of my time running around a confined space known as a kitchen for twelve hours a day. However, I applied for a chef position six-hundred miles away in the south of England and I got the job; so I’m travelling down south, at the cost of only a train ticket!

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3. Buy a bike

You don’t need a continental plane ticket to experience the wonders of travel.

Ask yourself this: why do you want to travel?

The universal answer for most aspiring nomads is so that they can indulge in a place, culture or sight that they’ve never experienced before.

Now ask yourself this: are there places, cultures or sights within the radius of thirty miles from where you are right now that you’ve never experienced before?

The answer is probably yes.

So buy a bike and learn more about your own culture.

Case closed.

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4. Train and bus passes are quite useful

And if you ponder the vastness of the area you can travel on a bike, just think about how much you can gaze your eyes upon with the help of trains and buses.

You can travel an entire country through public transport, so you should definitely invest in a rail card or bus pass that will allow you to do so at a significantly discounted rate.

Here’s a rather intrinsic map displaying the gargantuan public transport network that connects pretty much every town and city in the UK:

The green lines represent bus routes and the blue lines represent trains!

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5. Urban Exploration

Urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment.

Are you unable to subdue your relentless addiction for vending machine snacks and takeaway pizzas and therefore don’t have enough cash to travel abroad? Try exploring your own city. You’d be surprised at just how many abandoned factories, asylums and other buildings let go into the hands of nature there are in your area, just waiting to be explored and photographed by you.

Although urban exploration isn’t your conventional method of travelling, it will almost certainly instill you with a similar buzz, and you’ll often have to travel across the country in order to reach certain derelict places.

Here’s a useful website to get you started: http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/

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6. BE HARDCORE AND VOLUNTEER

Although it sucks to work hard and not bring home any bacon, volunteering for various different jobs or internships abroad is the perfect way to travel at the cost of only a toothbrush and a few pairs of socks and underwear. A vast majority of volunteer jobs abroad will pay for your expenses (travel, food, shelter etc.) so all you need to worry about is finding the free time to explore the area’s culture while you’re there.

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^^Don’t join these guys, even if they do offer you a blast of a time^^

7. STICK A THUMB OUT

Planes and boats probably won’t stop to the signal of your thumb, but once you’re abroad, the cheapest and often most interesting method of darting your way around the country, or even to neighbouring countries, is by hitching lifts from strangers in cars. This can be done either by spontaneously signalling random foreigners (probably a bit dangerous) by sticking out your thumb next to a road, or by finding pre-organised lifts on hitchhiking boards or online. However, I wouldn’t recommend this to any females over a solid 6/10, because you might find that a lot of male driver’s will expect a little something in return (not cash!).

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8. HOTELS HOSTELS

Hostels are universally cheap, safe and often not as a shabby as your friend made them out to be. There are literally hundreds of hostels in every single country around the world, and you can use sites such as Hostels Worldwide to find the one’s closest to you. You may end up finding the love of your life in a hostel – that’s if your soul mate is a bearded hippie with the stench of a three-week old banana skin. You just never know.

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Man the Dune Buggies!

The explorer standing under the scolding sun in this image is at Sossusvlei – a ridiculously beautiful sand pan located in the Zamib Desert in Southern Africa.

The hot spot, translated natively as “dead-end marsh” is engulfed in a sea of towering red sand dunes that make this place the ideal location for any daredevil who is in possession of a dune buggy, and a camera.

fcgvUYnImage credits: Reddit user zapekanka

The Secret Leopard Societies of West Africa – The World’s Most Notorious Cannibals

“Some time before Chief Dapaba died, many people had disappeared from that area. While they crossed the river in a canoe, ‘leopard people’ grabbed them, pulled them under the water, cut their heart out and left the corpses. These ‘leopard people’ would dress in leopard skins and put on claws of steel with which they stabbed their victims.”

(Guenter, 1992: p. 55/56).

It is very rarely the case that any tribal society of the world is given such significant notoriety as the secret leopard societies of West Africa. With gruesome tales emerging of the mysterious leopard men from as early as the 1890s, the narcissistic operations of the tribal cannibals didn’t disappear until as late as the 1950s; although, it is still unknown exactly when the merciless clan did eventually cease to exist, or if even it did go completely extinct. Centered in the heart of Sierra Leone and surrounding districts, the leopard men were the most psychotic of any organised criminal group in the world.

The goal of the society was to gain supernatural powers and protection through ritualistic sacrifice. Yongolado – the designated murderer of the society, would dress head to toe in the sacred animal’s skin and ruthlessly ambush any unsuspecting traveller out in the wilderness of the jungle, where the victim would be most vulnerable to attack. The sharp claws of the leopard skin would craftily be replaced by three-pronged forks and iron knives in order to cunningly disguise any killing the Yongolado made with that of the animal itself. Once the murder had taken place, the cannibals would slice up the body and distribute the parts throughout the society where it would be contrived into bofima – an omnipotent medicine that allegedly gifted the consumer with supernatural powers and bolstered the strength of the clan as a whole.

Gaining membership to the fearless society was not a challenge for the faint of heart. Each prospective member would be required to produce the sacrifice of either a teenage girl of his own or the blood of his wife in order to gain access to the club’s barbaric operations. On the eve of this sacrifice, a cannibal meal would be prepared and devoured and the candidate accompanied by companions of the society would run rampant through the jungle, imitating the blood-curdling sounds of leopards as they did. On the day of sacrifice, the new member would plan an ambush on their chosen family member by luring their victim into the jungle and hiding in the thick brush upon their passing. The leopard man would then proceed to pounce upon their victim, stabbing their leopard claw replicas into the victims neck and then decimating the body for the glory of the society.

Throughout the duration of the rule of President Edwin Barclay in Liberia from 1930 to the early 1940s, hair-raising reports of the greatly feared leopard men began to surge. A German Doctor who lived in Liberia for ten years describes one of his most chilling encounters with the murderous society. It reads as follows:

“There, on a mat in a house, I found the horribly mutilated body of a fifteen-year-old girl. The neck was torn to ribbons by the teeth and claws of the animal, the intestines were torn out, the pelvis shattered, and one thigh was missing. A part of the thigh, gnawed to the bone, and a piece of the shin-bone lay near the body. It seemed at first glance that only a beast of prey could have treated the girl’s body in this way, but closer investigation brought certain particularities to light which did not fit in with the picture. I observed, for example, that the skin at the edge of the undamaged part of the chest was torn by strangely regular gashes about an inch long. Also the liver had been removed from the body with a clean cut no beast could make. I was struck, too, by a piece of intestine the ends of which appeared to have been smoothly cut off, and, lastly, there was the fracture of the thigh – a classic example of fracture by bending.”

(Junge, 1952: p. 176).

As can be gathered from Werner Junge’s observations, the leopard men were utterly merciless in their operations. Their limited morals could only have been concentrated on that of their own selfish superstitions. Although, the leopard men were not the only cannibalistic murderers that roamed the jungles and villages of West Africa in these times – the fear of being ambushed and killed by the Devil society or the Crocodile society were also quite prominent among tribal villagers living in these areas throughout the 20th century. However, in spite of these other dangerous societies, it can not be disputed that the secret leopard societies of West Africa were the most notorious of any clan. I’d certainly rather become a hostage to the affairs of Islamic State than these primitive psychopaths.