Tomislav Perko from Croatia has been travelling the world for the past 5-6 years with almost no money. Before he started traveling, he was a stock broker and lived a pretty different lifestyle. When the financial crash came, he decided to turn his life around and he started traveling. Right now he is giving talks around the planet to tell his story and inspire other people. His TED talk “How to travel the world with almost no money” has over 1.3 million views right now and he recently wrote a book about it too called ‘1000 days of spring”.
Hey Tomislav, first of all, what’s your favorite thing about traveling?
What I love about traveling is the freedom you get to experience. I also love meeting new people and learning from them. They made me see new perspectives and tore down my prejudices.
What are some life lessons you’ve learned during your journey?
I’ve learned not to trust the media or other people with their scary stories. People are all the same, no matter where they are from, how they look like or what god they pray for. While traveling in some ‘dangerous countries’ like Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, you see that people are kind, hospitable and amazing. On the news you only hear things about bombs, terrorism and similar things. I also learned to be more grateful for all the small things in life.
What is happiness to you?
Happiness to me is doing what you want to do. It doesn’t matter what it is. It can be traveling, but it can be sitting in your living room and watching movies. Happiness isn’t a destination but it’s something you find in the journey. Reaching your destination is cool, but short term. When climbing one mountain, you will enjoy the view, but you should choose the next mountain to climb too.
Have you experienced a difference in how people perceive happiness all over the world?
Not really. However, there is a pattern. The poorest people can be extremely happy, while rich people can be very sad. For someone one meal can mean happiness, for others a brand new car doesn’t mean much.
You’ve travelled with almost no money. What do you think about the statement ‘money makes you happy’?
I think it doesn’t ;).
Were there some life-changing moments you’ve experienced?
There was one – when I left Croatia knowing that I won’t come back for the next couple of years. That was the biggest, hardest and the most important moment. Everything else just came naturally and easy, no matter where I was.
Who was the most inspirational person you’ve met on your journey?
The most important person I met was myself. Traveling gives you a perfect opportunity to be with yourself and to get to know yourself better. Everyone else you meet gives a new insight in who you are and what you should be doing with your life.
Are you dealing differently with difficulties in life right now?
I have no idea, to be honest. But I do believe difficulties are just challenges that make our life a bit more interesting. It would be very boring if everything would go as planned. What traveling has taught is me that nothing is impossible. When it comes to fear, I just do things no matter if fear is here or not, and then it’s all just a matter of practice.
What are some life goals you still have?
Just one, and the most simple one – to do what I want to do, no matter what it is.
Like we mentioned before, Tomislav Perko has written an amazing book called ‘1000 days of Spring’. In this book he answer questions like ‘How is it possible to travel with almost no money?, ‘Is my way of traveling safe enough?’ and ‘What are the worst, and the best moments on the road?’. A must have for everyone who loves travelling! Book link: https://tomislavperko.com/en/shop/