Dave Cornthwaite seems to have got it made.
He’s gone from being a not-very-good graphic designer (his words, not mine) with a mortgage, a Playstation and a permanently furrowed brow to a bloke who will say “yes” to pretty much anything — swimming 1,000 miles down the Mississippi with no training; pedalling an elliptical bicycle round Europe; kayaking the length of the Murray River in Australia; making the longest skateboard journey on record at the time; and staying awake for 72 hours straight, which is surely the most impressive feat of them all.
He’s even adopted the phrase ‘Say Yes More’ as a tagline for his own brand of motivational clobber. The idea behind it, as well as his talks, books and short films, is to help folk untangle themselves from constricting life circumstances and end up in a place where the world is one big happy playground. He’s been there, done it himself, and has poured remarkable energies into exploring the many ways in which others might do so too.
During his talk at the Adventure Travel Film Festival, he mentioned a new side project entitled 50 Ways To Make £50.
“What if you hate your job?”, he writes on his website (and, judging by the statistics, that’s a lot of us). “But you can’t quit because you need the dough. Rent, food, going out with friends, it all costs money… 50–50 is an attempt to find 50 very different ways of making some cash. It’s not a sustainable career choice, but it does show that one person can make money a lot of different ways, if only with a bit of invention.”
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll notice a familiar theme here. We must not let perceived obstacles — such as work commitments — prevent us from making once-in-a-lifetime personal journeys which allow us to extract ourselves from this frenzied world for long enough to discover who we really are.
Like the free touring bike project I wrote about a few weeks ago, Dave’s project chips away at one of these perceived obstacles; specifically the dogma that without a fixed salary we are doomed to live out our days in misery in a cardboard box.
Dave aims to show that anyone can make decent cash quickly and easily if they’re willing to throw caution to the wind and get inventive. Yes, he’s not had a real job for 7 years, and so has had plenty of practice at being inventive, but his project is about providing starting points — points of escape for people who feel trapped.
Here’s something else to think about: if it’s this easy to make a quick (fifty) buck(s), what’s stopping him — or anyone else — replicating the concept during one’s travels whenever the need or opportunity arises?
(Like that time I worked for a day as a film extra on my way through Hollywood last year…)
Is it really set in stone that one must sacrifice one’s earning power entirely in order to travel?
If you had to make £50 cash in the next 24 hours (not including your day job, of course), how would you do it?
6 replies on “Unusual Sources of Travel Money: 50 Ways To Make £50”
We haven’t worked for almost a year now and have been managing to live off our diminishing savings for a while, by spending wisely… but with the prospect of having to eventually get a normal job again we have tried to drag it out as long as possible… Here is a few ideas that we are doing/thinking of doing soon..!
1. Life painting — Can make some quick cash by doing very little work!
2. Go to farmers markets and ask them if they need a hand with jobs — picking ect..!
3. HelpX — volunteering work for food and accommodation — but sometimes the chance for a small ‘bonus’ for extra hours
Begging? singuing? hugs for 1$? kisses for 2$?
Since I was 7, I had to overcome some major obstacles and try to make $50 quick and feed myself, put gas in the car or pay bills because something was turned off..
My story starts at the age of 7 my father dies and it left my mother and I are left very poor..She recieved disability due to mental illness and she couldn’t read or write and I received social security due to my father’s death.But back in the early 80’s this was not alot of money to live off of..
So at age 7, I started off by selling my toys and video games to raise enough money so I can buy and sell candies, sodas and juices at school to raise money to buy food for my mother and I..Then at 11 I started delivering newspapers on my bicycle so I could help my mother again.Then at 15 I started working at burgerking for a steady check to help out with bills and save up for a car.
At 17 I saved up money to buy a used car so I could work 2 jobs and drive my mom to places instead of taking the bus or walking.My social security check ended during my senior year in high school so I had to quit school and work 2 full time jobs to pay rent and take care of us.But then at 19, the worst possible thing had happened to me!! My mother and I were in a head collision with a drunk driver and my mother dies..I sustained major injuries and needed multiple surgeries from the accident..
Since my mother’s name on the lease the landlord gave me 30 days to move out of our apartment…I was forced to sell everything and live in my car..But my boss at the time found out that I was living in my car and lent me money to get a apartment..So I had to raise money fast, so I delivered pizza, detailed cars and I drove escorts around..I went back to school got my g.e.d and put myself through truck driving school.I got job driving gasoline tankers and I saved up money bought a duplex rental property at 22. So I could live in one unit then rent the other unit to help pay the mortgage..
I changed careers a few times for higher paying jobs and I also did property maintence and home repair on my free time..Then in “04” I landed my dream job at home depot..I traveled the east coast remodeling old stores and building new stores..I worked 5–7 days straight over 80hrs a week for years and I climbed the company ladder quickly from part time help making $10 to senior project manager making over $65 thousand a year..
Then once again, I was in a really bad car accident with a truck driver that fell asleep behind the wheel and crushed the car that I was in..The accident wrecked my spine, hip and knees and put me in a wheel chair..Not only did I lose my job but I lost my house, truck, boat and pretty much everything thing I owned..I had to sell everything I owned to pay bills and take care of myself..
To make quick money I started making candles, lotions and soaps(People thought it was funny that I was making candles because I’m a 6ft 240lb construction guy making candles)..I actually became very successful and was making over $2500 a month in selling this stuff..And then I started selling handbags and shoes to make more money..But I had to stop the candle business because my injuries got so bad I became bed ridden..
I eventually had over 25 surgerical procedures including multiple spine surgeries and now I can walk again..So while I’m recovering from all of my surgeries I was still selling handbags and shoes and then I got into selling everything I could find on ebay and craigslist..This past year I went to a few different types of auctions and I’ve been selling cars, antiques and toys on craigslist and ebay to make quick cash..And this year I was able to raise enough money by selling things to go on my first vacation in 10yrs..
Believe it or not but from the 97′-07′ I was actually in involved in 4 accidents but I only spoke of the 2 major car accidents..Oh and I was a passenger in all of the car accidents!!!
I wrote this just to say that there are so many ways to raise quick cash.But sometimes you have to think outside the box,swallow your pride, do things you would never really want to do and when you get knocked down,dust yourself off and pick yourself back up!!
Thanks for writing all of this, Dave. It’s inspiring and puts the whole “I can’t afford to travel” complaint well and truly in perspective.
I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve edited your comment by adding paragraphs for clarity and readability.
Take that to its logical conclusion and you have the world’s oldest profession!