Hobo tourism/How to celebrate the New Year in bum tours

The following chapter of the textbook, being an optional part of it, is advisory in nature.

New Year's Eve in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina (2014)
End of December. Seoul, Korea (2018)

Long intercontinental travel in the format of a hobo tour is more convenient to combine with a period of cold in the country of permanent residence, which means that the route can take the night from December 31 to January 1 — the so-called New Year, considered a holiday in many countries of the world, which implies a special attitude to the said date by the members of society, including a bum tourist as one of them.



Since it is customary to celebrate the New Year collectively, it is desirable to choose from the possible accommodation options to live with Aboriginal families, or to join a company of bums. The first way will allow you to get acquainted with the traditions of the locals (which is one of the components of cultural travel), and second — to understand and feel the inner world of the homeless from a distant unfamiliar country. If the first option involves your participation for the most part as a passive observer, the second — provides a space of imagination: you can take on the role of a tamada, offering new companions, for example, to decorate a branch of the existing tree (spruce, palm, etc.) by materials at hand, and (depending on the mood of others) to take other actions aimed at creating the festive atmosphere .

If there is no opportunity to implement the above methods of accommodation — do not be upset. The feeling of a holiday (provided you are in the city, not in the jungle) will surround you everywhere, creating a specific mood (see visual supplement to the article).

Practical examples


Bustling New Year’s Eve (or "This song is good — start over again"). 31 December 2012, Snake Lake, Brunei (Viktor Pinchuk's expedition to Papua New Guinea).

The evening was a reminder of the need for a bed. A small building on the coast near the houses of local residents could well be suitable for this purpose. The covered area with wooden flooring, was intended either for cafes or for dancing. Darkness came to its rights, taking a circular defense. I didn’t want to sleep. Leaving the backpack under the roof, armed with a flashlight, went to the same coastal path: suddenly lucky to take a vodyanoy photograph or kikimora. Bad luck, not even a crocodile met, only the jungle in the pitch dark stretched out the shaggy paws of the branches. Apparently, all the animals have gone to the burrows New Year to celebrate. Only vagrants do not sit at home. I returned and went to bed. But it was not there: a hundred meters away from my "bedroom" concert began: all night an ensemble of local amateurism performed. The soloist only knew two songs that, by 3:00, I had already learned also.[1]

New Year under the fence; 31 December 2014, San Juan, Argentina (Latin American expedition of Viktor Pinchuk).

With the coming of the evening, I wandered in the direction of the outskirts: it is calmer there... to spend the night. Walked for a long time, but "civilization" did not retreat. Pulled out a map: the road — a closed loop, a ring.

...Slept under a concrete fence of a private house, where noisy noises of households celebrating the New Year came out of the window all night long. Next to the highway. The passing cars were directing the headlights towards me, but the drivers could only see the thick grass, at least a meter high, which protected my "den". <... >

"New Year under the fence" — a kind of international holiday, invented by me improvised. "Noting" it as befitting went to the station.[2].

New Year's Eve with the harbour bums; 31 December 2017, Anjouan Island, Comoros (Viktor Pinchuk's solo expedition to Africa, 2017/18)

An attempt to reach the neighbouring island failed due to unforeseen reasons. I checked out of the hotel, already said goodbye to the manager, so there was no desire to return back. I had to spend the night on a concrete parapet in the company of either vagrants or homeless sailors. The main thing — there was a shed: protection in case of rain. [3]

New Year's Eve on the technical floor of the railway station; 31 December 2018, Chiayi, Taiwan (Viktor Pinchuk's expedition to the Islands of Oceania).

By the evening I arrived in the capital of Chiayi County, in the area of which is the Alishan National Scenic Area. New Year "celebrated" lying down to sleep on the technical floor of the railway terminal, from where after two hours of the night I was escorted out by a lineman. I had to go downstairs and lay my sleeping gear in the spacious lobby. But even here the policeman asked to leave a place at six o'clock in the morning: difficult life at the bum, especially international.[4]


  1. Pinchuk, Viktor. Six months by islands... and countries (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 17. ISBN 978-5-9908234-0-2.
  2. Pinchuk, Viktor. Two hundred days in Latin America (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 27. ISBN 978-5-9909912-0-0.
  3. Pinchuk, Viktor. Holiday of wandering mzungu (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 54. ISBN 978-5-9908234-0-2.
  4. Pinchuk, Viktor. Two months of wandering and 14 days behind bars (in Russian). Russia: Brovko. p. 19. ISBN 978-5-9909912-5-5.