Topic:     Travel the World for Free

Guest  Michael Wigge, Author and Challenge Seeker

In 2010, Wigge trekked across 11 countries and 4 continents in 150 days without a cent to his name. Relying solely on his wit, he traveled 25,000 miles across Europe to Antarctica! Join us for a fun, one-of-a-kind travelogue without leaving the comfort of your home, office or car!

During his journey, Michael relied on dumpster diving, taking virtually any job offered, conquering his fears of the unknown and traveling without the safety net of money that so many of us rely on.  As a result, he learned that the world – and the people in it –  is a pretty good place.

He continues to purposefully put himself in challenging environments.

Some people on the chat wondered if Michael, age 37, had a wife and/or children.  He does not.  He did chat via skype with his girlfriend at the time, which helped ease their separation.

Bartering isn’t part of his life much anymore.  He doesn’t live his life-like that anymore, but he does know first hand, what is like to live without money.

What was the funniest experience he had?  In order to visit the Inca ruins of Machu Pichu, Wigge offered to serve as a Sherpa.  However, being a Sherpa without any Sherpa training was not a wise idea.  Wigge pretty much passed out with all of that luggage on his back.  “People had to help me to Machu Pichu,” he says!

What was the most serious experience he had?  “I crossed the US for free.  During the way, I stayed with a homeless person in Albuquerque, NM.   We had to sleep outside.  The water system in the park where we slept goes on at 5:30 am every day and sprays water everywhere!  What a way to wake up!

“For me, it’s only a project. But for Joseph, the homeless man I stayed with, it’s reality.  People’s lives can be really hard and so can their economic situations.”

In Asia, I visited a place called Durabi where bartering is a way of life.  It’s packed everywhere.  It’s the poorest part of Asia.  It was a very different experience.  We don’t see that normally – ten people in a very small hut.  I went in there because I researched it and I wanted to experience it first hand.  I went there to see how people barter for survival.  I met these women who barter plastic goods.  They bartered them for clothing.  Plastic for clothes.  It’s a business that works out them or they wouldn’t have a chance to survive.  Without the plastic, there would be nothing to barter.”

We have a capitalist system.  Sometimes it brings unequal tendencies into the world.

It’s good to look at different possibilities.  The barter system is growing into a popular system (in the west). There are people sharing cars and tools, expensive items.  With the barter system, there’s more take and give and it’s good for everyone, said one person on the chat.

Marilyn and Michael spent a good portion of time discussing bartering.  To be successful, Michael approached each bartering situation with honesty, integrity and vulnerability.  He allowed himself to be goofy, outrageous sometimes and caring.   In the end, Michael found that people really do want to connect and he found threads of connection with each person he bartered with that helped him be successful in his bartering.  Marilyn pointed out that Michael’s currency was his energy and his actions.

Barter systems require trust and connection.

You have to look at what you want.  And then you have to figure out what that person wants or what is of value to him/her.  That’s where you barter.

Don’t be vain/proud.  Be willing to do anything.  Wigge worked as a butler – complete with costume, as a hill pusher and as a sofa.  When he combined services  + entertainment, he was more successful.

When it comes to fear, Michael acknowledged that he was fearful at times prior to and during his journeys.  He had no money.  He had a lot of doubts.  He knew he was entering situations and places where there was conflict.  He knew lots of things could go wrong.  But in the end, he encouraged all of us to “Live your dreams!”  He said, “Fear can be helpful.  The measurement of fear can be subconscious and sometimes that’s helpful, but sometimes that fear also keeps us apart.  To overcome the fear, you have to reflect it and consider why you have the fear and how it’s keeping you back.  Life can be so exciting.”

Below are Guests, People & Resources Referenced During the Show:

Michael Wigge, Guest

Award-winning author, filmmaker and journalist Michael Wigge (pronounced wig-ee) first started as a comedic travel reporter on MTV in Germany, and that’s the last time he ever stayed in one place.

Since then, the world has been his newsroom: from living with the native Yanomami Indian tribe in the Amazon rainforest to fighting Sumo wrestlers in Japan. For the past decade, Wigge has been spinning around the globe reporting and producing in his trademark style: a hybrid of journalism and comedy. Culture is what drives him to travel and meet others and he is fascinated by the similarities and differences that make the world hum.



Book:   How to Travel The World for Free – First Project
Book:  How to Barter for Paradise – Second Project


Chris Rinehart           
Co-Producer/The Breaking Free Show– Online Television

Marilyn Shannon
Coach – Life/Business/Children/Teens/Adults
Host – The Breaking Free Show – Online Television
Superior Court Mediator
Co-founder Women’s Power Networking
Phone:  919-362-7133


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