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Ahoy!

I’m Will Hatton, adventurer and location independent entrepreneur.

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.

Welcome to The Broke Backpacker

The goal of The Broke Backpacker is to show budding adventurers how to ditch their desks, hit the road and discover the freedom of owning your own online business while traveling the world.

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.

Will Hatton

Trekking through the Venezuelan jungle.

10 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, arrests in India and numerous other mis-adventures. Check out this post to find out about some of the lessons I learnt on the road. 

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 dream was abruptly over.

I did what any sane person would do; made my way to India and travelled around Asia on a budget of fifty bucks a week, I traveled for two years before returning to the UK to visit my family.

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.

How do I pay for my adventures? (Subscribe below to learn more!)

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 stretched my money as far as possible by hitchhiking and couchsurfing everywhere and picking up odd jobs on farms and in bars and hostels, whenever I could.

I have worked dozens of weird and wonderful jobs all around the world but today I make my entire income online. I am currently saving my cash to open a chain of hostels across South America.

In a nutshell, I travelled super cheap in super cheap countries.

Will Hatton in Venezuela

Livin’ large in Venezuela, the cheapest country in the world.

These days, I make five figures a month through my online ventures, the majority of that income comes from affiliate marketing on this blog.

Do you have to be rich to travel?

Hell no. I’ve been gallivanting around the globe on a budget of $10 a day for years.

I learned pretty quickly that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. All I ever wanted to do was see the world and if that meant sacrificing a ton of comfort then it was a trade I was willing to make. I travelled like a hobo for seven years, surviving on crackers and kindness.

I often camp out and I found that travelling broke is simply the best adventure experience – when you’re broke you’re forced out of your comfort zone, you learn, you evolve and you make friends all over the world.

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 to ditch their desks, make money online and hit the road in search of a better life.

Will Hatton in India

Driving my tuk tuk across India

THE STORY OF THE BLOG

The Broke Backpacker was 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.

When it comes to my own adventures, I enjoy exploring lesser-visited countries such as Iran, Palestine, Pakistan or Venezuela… I also like getting off the beaten path in pretty much any country and hell, I enjoy partying in backpacker meccas too.

I started The Broke Backpacker with the aim of teaching others how to to hit the road in search of a real adventure and how to travel on the cheap.

In November 2015, I began a new adventure. This is a journey which changed my life.

UK TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA

I aimed to travel from the UK to Papua New Guinea without the use of flights.

I hitchhiked my way across Europe, sleeping in the rock-cut caves of Cappadocia, before making my way into mysterious Iran where I met Nina.

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.

Nina flew out to meet me in India and we travelled together before doing a u-turn and heading back to Iran via Pakistan. In Iran, we got married.

After a year on the road, I paused UK to PNG in India (which is as far as I made it without flying from the UK) and prepared to face a new challenge…

Falling in love with Nina was an unexpected development on my travels and it changed the objective of my trip big time. Nina’s Iranian visa makes it tough for her to get into some countries and our combined bank balances was less than $1000.

In order for me and Nina to stay together, I needed to scale The Broke Backpacker to a point where it could sustain the travels of two people. In need of a base, we moved to Chiang Mai in Thailand which is currently our home in between adventures.

Will Hatton in Bhutan

Backpacking in Bhutan

 

IN SEARCH OF FINANCIAL FREEDOM

Throughout 2016 and 2017, I tested almost constantly, I launched numerous online ventures and experimented with different models of monetisation. We were almost always nearly bankrupt as I invested everything I made into new online experiments.

We went through a very tough time and I experienced some of the lowest moments of my life as I desperately scrambled to make something work – we needed cash to survive.

I started an adventure tour company – running tours to Pakistan – to raise funds to plow into new ideas.

My goal was simple – build a series of online businesses than run on autopilot and fund our life of adventures.

Two years since I met Nina, our lives have changed completely. I now make more than $20,000 every month from my online ventures and we can earn a ton of money (by broke backpacker standards) whilst traveling the world – we truly are living the dream.

I have learnt a huge amount over the last two years and I now know what works when it comes to building an online business. I want to teach fellow dreamers and doers what it takes to build an online income.

Introducing: A secret project I’ve put the last 12 months of my life into – Ditch Your Desk

This is where I will SHOW you how you how to live a meaningful, rewarding life through career freedom and epic adventures.

In a nutshell; I want to teach you guys how to travel the world and earn money online as you go.

 

THE BROKE BACKPACKER TEAM

Since 2017, we’ve expanded rapidly and have built an awesome team of incredible people who share a passion for adventure and financial freedom. Find out more about the team here.

THE BROKE BACKPACKER MISSION

Our mission is to provide a blueprint for others to ditch their desks and discover the world. We want to show you that it’s possible to travel the world on a budget of $10 a day whilst you set up an online income.

 

EXPLORE MORE

And that’s The Broke Backpacker! Have an explore of some of my favourite adventure tales from the road…

My favourite posts

Work with me

Feel free to inquire about working with me, collaborating with me or sponsoring the site.

Stalk me

Developed a weird obsession with the site? Stalk me 24/7 on Instagram and Facebook.

myanmar backpacking

38 Comments

  • Ole K. Jensen says:

    Dear Will,

    Where can I find your guide? I would like to buy it, as I am going to Pakistan next week.

    Best regards,
    Ole

  • Sylvia Hayes says:

    Dear Will Hatton.
    I was delighted to read about your travels and adventures in Iran. Back in the days of the Shah I worked in Teheran for 4 years and enjoyed every minute. The people..the history..the mountains..coastal regions. And lets not forget the food! I hold a British passport and I also have Irish ancestory. Anything is possible. Good luck with all your future adventures.
    I have lived in South Africa for over 40 years…and still pack quite a lot of travels into my life.
    Very best wishes
    Sylvia Hayes

    • Will Hatton says:

      Hey Silvia! Thanks for your message! I’m actually back in Tehran right now, a cup of tea in one hand and a feast for dinner in the works… Amazing country!

  • Sam says:

    Dear Will,
    I started reading your blog two years ago when I was 16 years old and looking at ways to travel the world. Your blog inspired and helped me to actually accomplish that dream and when I turned 18, I bought a one way ticket to Spain and then stayed in Europe for 3 months, seeing 8 different countries all because you helped me know it was possible. Thank you for your amazing advice.

    • Will Hatton says:

      Hey Samantha! I am so stoked that you are living an adventure, power to you and keep on rocking – if you find yourself in Asia, let me know; beers are on me.

  • akbj says:

    Hey Will, found this site by accident through another travel blog, it’s great reading about what you do!
    I’m a 56 year old woman who has some health issues, (chronic pain etc) & I take some prescription medications & need regular access to the same healthcare provider. (I live in Alaska) I love traveling in theory but in reality it’s kind of difficult with the pain issues. For now it’s just armchair traveling through books & blogs like yours & I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed discovering your blog & how great it is that after so long of bare bones travel you are able to make an online living! Thanks for allowing some of us to follow you on your adventures & enjoy vicariously.

    • Will Hatton says:

      Thanks so much for your kind comments, I’m stoked that you are enjoying the site! Alaska has been on my wish-list for so long now, what an incredible part of the world to hail from…

  • Anuj Agarwal says:

    Hi Will,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog The Broke Backpacker has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Backpacking Blogs on the web.

    http://blog.feedspot.com/backpacking_blogs/

    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Backpacking Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.

    Best,
    Anuj

  • Evan says:

    Hi will,

    I am super encouraged by your website, its so well made and inspiring! I am currently planning a cheap trip to Vietnam and surrounding countries! Thank you for giving me the motivation to pursue a life long dream!

  • somgal says:

    How do you plan on going from East-tumor or Indonesia to Papua New Guinea? I too want to do the trip from western Europe to PNG without flying, but I couldn’t find how to do this last part of the trip. According to my research, there are no ferries between these last points. Your only options are taking a very expensive cruise or spending a very long time trying to find a private yacht.

  • Volk says:

    This site is amazing! Though, you should leave a warning: how far does a single man get when traveling from UK to PNG? Answer: Iran 😀 (Though I’m quite sure it’s not possible to start single and get to PNG single anyway :))

  • Lameck Ngogo says:

    Hi Will
    I’m lameck from Tanzania i like escorting people from other countries like Switzerland Sweden USA and others when they come to Tanzania as a guider can you help me by connecting me with other people in whatsup groups so as i can develop by receiving many guests?

  • Martina says:

    Just came across your blog from Matt’s site and already fell for it jajaj! It’s such a huge belief that you need to be “rich” for traveling, but I totally agree that if you want it bad enough you’d do it anyway regardless the comfort you have to give up. Traditional ways of traveling can be quite expensive, is just that people sometimes don’t know how to travel cheap!

  • Philip Bramley says:

    Hi Will, I was fortunate to live and work in Islamabad from 1979 to 1981…a time of much excitement and drama. Managed to escape down the Khyber Gorge ahead of the invading Soviet army, who were 40kms out of Kabul at the time.

    Hoping to go back but frustrated by the lack of really good information out there…..but then here we are!

    Hope to look at your resources in more detail and start to plan to get back the the NW Province once again.

  • Love the site and the awesome info. We are on month 4 of our Travel and have landed in Merida Mexico. We are renting a small place for next to nothing (by American standards) and are really enjoying the freedom from the day to day stresses of our past lives working to pay rent in Portland Oregon.

    We have a similar story working odd jobs trying to save for the launch. On lunch breaks at work delivering food on PostMates to make an extra 5 dollars to save, etc. 🙂

    We are still trying to figure out how to make the travel lifestyle sustainable. Our goal was/is to travel and enjoy the location but also create or help with volunteer projects that are wanted or needed by the local communities.

    At this point we are using the knowledge you shared on your site and investing the majority of our time building a blog/vlog about our travels and projects. We are also promoting our plastic free store which is focused on sustainable travel and living with plastic free options.

    • Will Hatton says:

      Hey Nate! Awesome story dude- sounds like we have some adventure in common, see you on the road for a beer one day and good luck with your online ventures! 🙂

  • Alexandros Zois says:

    Congratulations from Athens Greece !! : )

  • Marlena says:

    Hey Will, I just found your website and want to say you: You are awesome! You can be really proud of yourself!
    I send you all the best vibes from India, Marlena

  • Cath Gibbon says:

    Hi Will. Love reading about all your adventures. I have managed to get 2 months off work Feb/March 2019 and both myself and my husband are looking at spending 7-8 weeks travelling. We are so excited about this and would love some advice. We are both in our mid 50’s (young at heart though). Our idea is to start in Bangkok and look to see some of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and maybe Malaysia. We want to spend time though lazing on beaches and relaxing along the way , we want to be able to chill out a bit rather than spend lots of time going from 1 place to another in a mad rush. Therefore if we cannot get to see all the countries we will just look to do a couple. Can you please give us some ideas of what to do and where to go at that time of the year.

    • Will Hatton says:

      Hey Cath! I never really like to advise where to go at different times of the year because I myself don’t mind traveling in off-season as it’s a bit quieter and the rain has never bothered me 🙂 As for what to do – Oh wow, you have so many options… Thailand is amazing and offers some truly awesome places to explore, I would recommend perusing AirBnB for some special retreat-esque places to stay in the villages outside of Chiang Mai, you can also check out some amazing treehouse experiences in the Southern Islands. If you have a look at our individual backpacking country guides, there’s a wealth of information – https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/where-to-go/

  • Cath Gibbon says:

    Thanks Will. Never thought of AirBnB but will certainly look into that option. Thanks again

  • Rose says:

    Hi! My name is Rose and my mom and I are planning a backpacking trip. We are very athletic and are longing for an adventure. We cant decide though on a country. We are from Dallas Texas and want to go somewhere not in the US. Are top options are New Zealand or Iceland. Do you think you could give some insight on the pros and cons of each trip? We have read your blogs and they both sound amazing which is why we nned your help. Thanks!

  • Hi Will,
    I dream a life like you. But as I’m from India ( happy to know that you visited my country at very young age) can’t afford to travel to developed country. But I have started my own site and working to make it successful affiliate site in next few years.
    I travel within India and use AirBnB a lot. Hope if my affiliate site do well, I will be able to travel a lot.

  • Mark Ryden says:

    Hi Will,

    Traveling full time is a dream of mine. As a internet marketer myself, I can see the grit that you put into this blog. I truly wish you safe travels and keep us updated on how things go!

    Best wishes,
    Mark Ryden

  • okonkwo kene says:

    congratulation sir. Atleast you finally made and at the same time found love along the line

  • Claudine Niyonsenga says:

    Hi, I am studying studying abroad next semester. I will be going to Brazil, Argentina, Chile. As a broke student – how much money do you think I should budget for in each country? I want to have a great time and visit some of the places that you have mentioned on your websites. If you have any tips please do let me know. I’m thinking of budgeting 500 a month in each country. Will that be enough to have fun?

    • Will Hatton says:

      Each country is different and it’s hard to give budget recommendations as it really depends on where you choose to save cash – if you Couchsurf or find somewhere cheap to stay, eat local – then yeah, it should be enough for plenty o beers! 🙂

  • Matt Adams says:

    Truly inspiring, and the strength both mentally and physically you demonstrated is truly remarkable!

  • Dragana says:

    Hi, I am a writer and editor behind http://www.momthemuse.com. I write humorous travel stories trying to make museums and archeology interesting to kids 🙂 I love to see you are a big traveling kid your self and I would be grateful if you find some time and take a look at my travel website and give me your comment. Keep enjoying! Dragana

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