ARE WE EUROPE
ARE WE EUROPE
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HOMELESS ARTICLES

Hey I'm Russ and I'm Homeless

 
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by RUSS SELBY
 

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Hey, I’m Russ and I have chosen to be homeless. For the last four years, I have traveled the world by bike; sleeping in a tent. I left Manchester, England, to circumnavigate the globe on my bike with New York as a final destination; raising money for four charities whilst I go. In the process, I have inadvertently made myself homeless. The experience has not only allowed me to see the world, but has changed my world, recalibrating what is important in life.

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The markets of Istanbul; the beaches of Bali; the plains of Australia; the rainforests of Colombia; the cultures and nature on four continents; I’ve seen the incredible beauty our planet has to offer, on a shoestring. I also learnt how people from the four corners of the globe live.

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I have enjoyed the simple life. With the flexibility of no fixed home, I can spend each day without the worry of arriving to a destination or returning home on time. I can temporarily put my home high in the Andean mountains or even on the Salar de Uyuni. It means each day starts and ends differently. Everyday is an adventure.

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There are downsides. A tent sometimes attracts some unwanted attention, although this is usually more of a disturbance than a danger. There is no privacy beyond the eyes of onlookers. Nothing worse than a drunk in the early hours or, like in Laos, some military personnel shining lights and pointing rifles into the tent.

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What is the biggest lesson being homeless has taught me? I do not have to own much stuff: everything I want, I must carry on my bike. A simple life, filled with things and people that add value. And of course, I appreciate each and every item and experience I have.

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It is no coincidence that I have received the generosity of countless families – I never would have conceived a level of hospitality like it. But in reality: wonderful, interesting and kind people are everywhere. Without a word in common, strangers invite me to their homes to meet their family and share their food. A real cultural exchange.

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After three days staying with a family in Bolivia, they asked me curiously why I would want to leave my home in Manchester. “To experience this.”

I do not feel homeless. I am fortunate to have family one day I will return to. For me homelessness has been positive, offering simplicity and flexibility.


You can check out Russ’ journey by following this link.

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