Hi! I’m Will, a professional adventurer, digital nomad and freelance journalist.
I am passionate about real adventures; freezing peaks and steaming jungles, crashing waves and raging rivers; if it gets my heart pumping and my blood racing, I’m in.
The Broke Backpacker is my baby; a website aimed at sharing my knowledge and experiences travelling around the world over the last eight years.
On the site, I show you how to live a life of sustainable travel by stepping outside of the box, creating your own career and living your own definition of a successful life.
I believe that travel is the ultimate learning experience and that when you are out of your comfort zone, this is when you learn the most.
My own adventures tend to be fairly ambitious, some would call them downright insane, affairs – right now, I am on a three year adventure without the use of flights, travelling from the UK to Papua New Guinea.
The goal of The Broke Backpacker Adventure Travel Blog is to advise, inspire and inform budding adventurers to ditch their desks, hit the road and discover a new and exciting world of career and lifestyle opportunities.
8 YEARS OF TRAVEL
I had my first taste of backpacking when I was eighteen and was instantly hooked by all the inspiring people I met whilst hitching, camping and couchsurfing my way around Europe. Since then, I have trekked deep into the Venezuelan jungle, worked on bars in Laos, herded goats in the Holy Land and conquered the highest navigable pass in the world armed with a poorly drawn map and a packet of ritz crackers. I have survived knife-point robberies in Nepal, guerrilla encounters in Myanmar, motorbike crashes in Vietnam, marriage proposals in Iran and numerous other mis-adventures.
How do I pay for my adventures?
Originally, I had the world’s worst job unloading lorries at 5am for minimum wage. I worked sixty hours a week to save some cash and then quit, hitting the road for three years and not looking back.
I have worked dozens of weird and wonderful jobs all around the world but today, I make my sole income through my blog. Although I now earn a decent wage, I have stayed true to my Broke Backpacker roots and I still hitchhike and couchsurf my way around the world. I am currently saving my cash to open a chain of hostels across South America.
Why did I choose a life of travel?
When I was nineteen, I became seriously injured whilst trekking in Costa Rica and spent two weeks in a hospital before being shipped back to the UK. I had always wanted to be a Royal Marine but, on account of my injury, that career path was abruptly over. I did what any sane person would do; booked a one way flight to India and travelled around Asia on a budget of just fifty bucks a week. Being in India, by myself, at such a young age, was one hell of a culture shock but it ignited my passion for adventure and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
Do you have to be rich to travel?
Hell no. I’ve been gallivanting around the globe on a budget for years and I’ve learnt plenty of tricks when it comes to exploring the world without much money.
Travel is for everyone; it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you are from or where you are going; at the end of the day, to travel is a basic human impulse and everybody should have the opportunity to travel at least once in their life.
I am passionate about teaching others how to ditch their desks, start an online career and hit the road in search of a better life and, in the future, I hope to have a ‘travel fund’ aimed at providing would-be writers an opportunity for financial support upon their first adventure.
THE STORY OF THE BLOG
The Broke Backpacker – Adventure Travel Blog started out as a hobby-blog, originally founded in September 2014.
After being on the road for nearly six years, and being constantly inundated with questions on how I managed to travel with limited money, I wanted to share my experiences of how to travel the world on a budget.
I started to write for online news publications, such as The BBC, Huffington Post and News.com.au. My raw adventure tales from far-flung lands were well received and selling my stories gave me the funds I needed to invest in The Broke Backpacker.
Today, The Broke Backpacker has evolved into the world’s best known adventure travel blog.
My vision for the blog is simple; to provide the world’s best adventure resource for budding explorers. I aim to inspire, educate and inform others on how to hit the road in search of a real adventure, how to step out of one’s comfort zone and how to live a meaningful, rewarding life through career freedom and epic adventures.
When it comes to my own adventures, I insist on throwing myself into the thick of things; I enjoy exploring lesser-visited countries such as Iran, Palestine, The Congo or North Korea.
There is a lot of misinformation and fear-mongering floating around the internet. Every time I announce my plans to visit a country like Pakistan or Venezuela, I am warned that I will be killed. I haven’t been yet.
The world is a beautiful place, there are good people and bad people in every country, and I see it as my duty to help illuminate parts of the world which are infrequently visited by the backpacking and explorer communities.
The Broke Backpacker has won numerous awards and been featured on the likes of Business Insider, Reuters and Al Jazeera.
Right now, I am on a three year adventure…
UK TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA
In November, 2015, I began my most ambitious adventure to date…
A three (or four!) year journey from the UK to Papua New Guinea.
From Iran, I travelled to Pakistan, hiking deep into the Himalayas and Couchsurfing with locals in some truly far-flung places.
Next up, I drove a multicoloured Tuk Tuk, Tinkerbell, 2000km across India.
I fell in love with Pakistan and decided I must return and so, shortly, I will be crossing back into Pakistan and, over the next year, making my way to Vietnam via Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.
From Vietnam, the plan is to build a boat out of recyclable materials and take to the high seas on a six month sailing expedition that will take in The Philippines and Indonesia.
Eventually, I will arrive in Papua New Guinea and attempt to cross the country by dug-out canoe.
I am aiming to arrive in Papua New Guinea by December 2018.
If you want to see something a little bit different, follow me on Snapchat at wthatton.
Whenever I can get phone signal, I upload the day’s adventures – I’m not shy and show travel as it really is; exhausting, exhilarating, unpredictable and often pretty crazy.
If you are interested in hiring one of the world’s leading snapchat influencers, get in touch at email@example.com – subject: Snapchat.
BECOME A BROKE BACKPACKER CONTRIBUTOR
The Broke Backpacker is rapidly expanding and we are always on the hunt for new and talented writers who can help with content creation and bring their own unique style of adventure to our team.
To get started, we need an example of your writing. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your proposed article title. Try to think of something which will benefit our readers and which hasn’t been covered before.
- Articles must be at least 1000 words
- Submissions must be an original piece of your own writing
- Submissions must include fantastic quality photos (800 x 600 px) landscape format only. You must only use your own personal photos. Do not use photos from the internet; this may breach copyright law.
- The article must be in English with sound grammar and no spelling mistakes.
- Include a short bio (4-5 sentences) about yourself as well as a headshot for your profile.
If we can accept your article, it will be published as a guest post. If we accept three of your articles, you will have an opportunity to become a regular contributor. Regular contributors have access to paid work.
Your Guest Posts will become your Broke Backpacker Travel Writer Portfolio.
Please fill out your application form and send us your proposed article to email@example.com – subject: Travel Writer.
Please note, we are often inundated with requests and can only accept the best, and most original, article ideas. Check the site thoroughly, if it has been done before we will not be interested.
If you are interested in contributing to an existing series, please check here for current opportunities.