So many comments coming in asking how to afford travel like this. One of the most important steps of making this goal of mine a reality, was to figure out how I'd be able to pay for it. Prior to this Expedition, I managed to stretch out the $2,000 I saved one summer from Lifeguarding to travel to roughly 25 countries over the span of about 2 years. Some great sites that helped me to be able to make that $2k last were:
-helpx.net and workaway.info (work in exchange for accommodation and food)
-couchsurfing.org (free accomodation)
-statravel.com (cheap flights for those under 26/student/teacher)
And of course, living off of bread, sleeping in train stations, and hitchhiking.
But for Expedition 196, I had to plan a year and a half in advance. I asked myself; A) What is a sponsor? B) Why would they sponsor me, and C) How do I obtain them? It wasn't easy, sponsors are not going to invest in you if you do not have something to offer them in return.
Before you can even consider obtaining sponsors or investors to travel, you need to figure out what your purpose is going to be, what do you have to offer the world that no one else does? Traveling is great, but what's your purpose? What good will you be doing for the world through your travels and how will you help people? For me, I wanted to focus on peace through tourism and sustainability. I thought the best way to make an impact would be through an educational documentary and speaking around the world to university students. If you can utilize your travels towards making a positive impact, supporting a cause or doing something unique with it to help the world, you're one step closer towards finding funding to make your dream come true.
I'll be writing a whole series on my personal recipe for sponsorship. To read "Sponsorship: Part I", click here.