Back-packing can be exciting and… dangerous. Here’s what to do if you go broke abroad or get kidnapped, according to seasoned backpacker JUSTIN BRATTON.
WHO’S HE? Born and raised in Texas by an American father and a mother of Burmese descent, Justin came to Singapore a few years ago for a modelling assignment. “I decided to travel the region and ended up in Bangkok where I now model and work as an actor and TV host,” says the twentysomething hunk. As part of an online campaign (or social experiment) by Heineken, he recently backpacked across Marco Polo’s Spice Route spanning Mongolia, China, Vietnam and Thailand, with bottles of beer as his only form of currency.
1. Budget wisely
JUSTIN: I once bought return tickets from here to Perth-Melbourne-Sydney because they came in a package deal. But when I was in Perth, I used up all my money, and ended up as a door-to-door salesman peddling restaurant and gym discount cards, so that I could survive till my flight to Melbourne. Over in Melbourne, I lived as a homeless man for a week, sleeping on park benches and stashing my backpack in a local library every night. I stuck it out long enough to catch my next flight to Sydney, where thankfully I had a cousin who helped me out. You don’t really have to lead such a hard life as a backpacker, but all this happened due to my mismanagement of funds!
For the full story, read this week's issue of 8 DAYS (#1144).