Last year I conducted an experiment to see how cheap I could get a full complement of cycle touring gear together for — bike, camping gear, cooking gear, tools, and all the rest. The result? £25.17. (There’s a full write up here.)
Today, Part Two of that experiment begins.
Originally I was simply going to see how cheaply I could cycle across a country (using only the aforementioned no‐budget touring bike to do so, of course) and write about it.
Then I had a better idea: to opt out of the financial economy altogether, and write about that instead.
With the exception of cheap train tickets to Penzance (this morning) and back from Scotland (in three weeks’ time), then, I will be spending the next 20 days cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats without any money whatsoever.
To make sure this actually happens, I’ll be leaving my wallet and all my bank cards on the kitchen table when I lock the door behind me.
This will not be a ‘kindness of strangers’ experiment. We already know strangers are kind. Instead, it’ll be a give‐and‐take experiment; a look at how we can help each other out, and do so spontaneously, rather than an exercise in begging for handouts in support of a ’cause’. In short, I’ll attempt to work for food for the full length of Britain. God knows how exactly this will work. But I won’t have much choice but to find a way, now, will I?
Truth be told, I’ve found money a highly stressful part of living since relocating to the UK with Tenny three years ago. I’m sure I’m not alone. And I’m hoping that by abandoning it for a while I’ll rediscover the point of money in the first place, which was surely nothing more than a physical object designed to insert a delay between giving someone something and receiving something else in return.
Is it still possible to directly trade time and skills for life’s essentials?
Let’s find out.
(I am, by the way, scared absolutely shitless.)