When I first read about Mark Boyle’s quest to walk 9000 miles from Britain to India — without money — I was impressed at his boldness and confidence in humanity. The plan was to walk 15-45 miles a day offering his skills in return for food and accommodation, all in aim of going back to communal living. Starting off with two friends in Bristol, they began with no problems as several people offered them meals and lodging. When they reached France, mainly because they don’t speak French, they were misunderstood to be a bunch of freeloading backpackers. Out of food, cold, and severely sleep deprived, they decided to go back home. Shows how important it is to be able to communicate effectively — your life may depend on it!
Boyle is a strong believer in the Freeconomy Movement that wants to rid the world of money all together. The idea is beautiful as it works towards promoting unconditional kindness within a community as you mutually receive and give help, either between yourselves or you “pay-it-forward” (yes, like the movie!).
It’s definitely an extreme idea, one that I don’t see happening on a large scale, but the difference it can make on a small-scale is worth every effort put into promoting the movement. According to the BBC, the Freeconomy Movement currently has 3000 members over 54 countries.
Trust when traveling is one thing, but depending on trustworthy people to sustain yourself is another. Three people expecting to get by for 2 1/2 years as they walk across several countries, solely on the hope that people will help them throughout their trip is a deep dip in faith, idealism at its core.
I’m an idealist. I respect Boyle’s plan and salute his courage and belief in this mission. Radical movements are not often successful, but they make enough noise to create a stir — in this case, whatever gets stirred will be well worth it on every count.
I was happy to hear that he has not given up: he is currently walking in the south-east of England. As he tours around the UK, he will learn French and set out again. You can read more about him and his ideas on his blog.
Hopefully he should get enough press by then that should get the word out, open people’s minds to the idea, ultimately helping him on his quest. If he pulls this off, it will be a magnificent step towards promoting peace and relationships between people across the world that surpasses all demographic and geographic barriers.
Good luck, Boyle!