Hobo tourism/Long intercontinental trips and expeditions

Hobo tourism (or bum tourism) is a format of traveling around the planet in which the subject, overcoming the planned route, leads a more than Spartan lifestyle, where material costs are minimized. There are some similarities with backpacking, but in this case everything is much more complicated and extreme. This method originated in Russia in the post-Perestroika period; in Russian it is called «бомж-туризм» (pronounced: bomzh-turizm), where the first constituent word mean a homeless person.

Russian traveler Viktor Pinchuk in Sucre, Bolivia
(This is what a person practicing bum tourism looks like)

Etymology edit

The term has at first glance a strange name for the reason that the existence of a traveler for a certain period of time becomes similar to the life of homeless people, who in Russia, since the 90s of the last century, have been called «бомж».

What is it for? edit

Makes sense to be used by people who don’t have enough funds, but creatively thinking, who make a feasible contribution to science, art and literature, or at least who want to improve their own knowledge. The essence of the method is that by saving money on personal comfort, you can visit many more places on the planet and, as a result, through historical and geographical (as well as in the field of other sciences) research multiplied by your own vision of the world, benefit your country and not only. The above method of transportation opens up additional opportunities for creativity — painting, photography, the creation of literary works in the genre of travel essays, etc. — which, upon returning to their homeland, allows the traveler in one form or another to acquaint compatriots inclined to a home lifestyle with what saw in a foreign land.

How to get ready and what to take with you? edit

Going on a trip of the "bum tour" format, it should be remembered that you can not take expensive items with you: when sleeping on the streets, in the companies of bum natives and other similar places, spectacular equipment (smartphones, cameras, video cameras) can attract the attention of criminal elements. You need to look inconspicuous, clothes should not only be inexpensive, but also not stand out against the general background, i.e. without bright tones and motley shades. The material reserve should be divided into two or three parts and hidden on yourself, preferably in the upper part of the body, since during the route it is possible to ford shallow reservoirs (for example, streams), as well as moving by small-sized water transport with boarding and disembarkation in places where no specially equipped berths. It is advisable to use the method of ultralight backpacking: a small backpack without zippers, sleeping pad and a blanket (or sleeping bag) is the main attributes of bum tour. The presence of a tent is possible, but undesirable.

The form of clothing and the period of action edit

Following the example of migratory birds, you need to choose the end of autumn or the beginning of winter to set off, planning to return closer to summer. Since most international flights originate from capitals, the starting point is likely to be one of major cities. The above season is usually accompanied by low air temperatures, so you should put on outerwear, which is not a pity to throw away at the arrival airport, leaving only a light sweater, a scarf and sports hat made of thin warm fabric, that fits in a clenched fist: it can be cold at night even in tropical countries.

Tips for choosing a route edit

The route should include places with favorable climatic conditions. The ideal option is developing countries, where prices are low, and the expanses are not fully explored. The first world states, due to the high prices of goods and services, are suitable only for short-term transit on the way to the goal. The cold spots of the planet are not useful for practicing this method.

Recommendations for choosing places to stay overnight edit

In order to save money, need placing in the ruins of abandoned houses, in the open air, in cemeteries, stairwells and halls of residential multi-storey buildings, as well as in other places where the presence of foreigners does not contradict native laws. If possible — in the homes of local residents: it is easier to get a bed for the night with poor people, residents of villages or small towns.

Methods of transportation edit

The main and irreplaceable way of traveling for a hobo tourist (as well as a backpacker) is hitchhiking. In addition, you can use budget transport (sometimes it has a specific benefit: at relatively low costs, time is saved). And a distance of up to 20 kilometers is easy to overcome on foot, which gives additional opportunities for learning about the world around you. A good option is to visit ten or more countries in one trip, in particular, if the route runs, for example, through Latin America, or the islands of Oceania. You can also take advantage of low-cost airlines and seasonal ticket sales.

Food edit

In poor countries (namely, they are of primary interest to those who have chosen this method), there are always points of street catering, where it is easy to purchase inexpensive dishes for a nominal fee. When staying overnight in the jungle — you can eat the gifts of nature, visiting the aborigines — what the owners will serve.

It's important to know edit

In recent years, the concept of "bum tour" and "bum tourism" sometimes apply by users of the World Wide Web in the meaning of "Slum tourism". There is a slight similarity between these terms; in particular, regarding the option of a traveler's residence in the communities of homeless people. Nevertheless, the clients of slum tourism, for the most part, are well — off people who want to find thrills in this new entertainment for themselves in order to dilute the routine of a monotonous, far from poor life. While the subjects of hobo tourism, who go on long journeys around the world "with a bag on their shoulders" — on the contrary.

Materials in Wikisource project edit