Are you crazy?
Yes, I do think so. However, I am not exactly a society drop-out, living under a bridge because I can’t reintegrate.
Since 2015 I built up some experience in serious long-distance hiking. I have done a shake-down hike on the PCT in 2018 (1800 miles) and I further worked on my abilities to hike in harsh conditions on the Shvil Israel in 2019. Besides eating miles in Switzerland, France and Germany.
Thats why I don’t think I am just 100 % naive. I somehow know, whats expecting me.
9 months or more of holidays sounds chill, I want this too, where can I sign-up?
Walking 12 hours per day nearly every day is not what most humans imagine as their dream holidays. Sleeping in the dirt or even on snow can be fun as long as you have a comfy bed at home, most humans do this for ten days or so and are happy to return home afterwards.
The trails will be my home, hiking will be my job. It is not the most luxurious form of existence I can think of either.
Due to the nature of this undertaking there will be not much time to chill somewhere, even if I cross spectacular landscapes.
While on holidays you may eat more or less healthy, I need to eat nearly everything I can find and transport in my pack.
I will also be dirty most of the time.
Another rich white man, born into privileges, I assume he had to sell his second Porsche to finance it.
Not exactly. It is true that I sold my road bike long before even hiking on the PCT but I never had even a drivers license. While the entire journey will cost around 30’000 $, at the moment (May 2020) I don’t have this kind of money on the bank account.
I have some money set aside for retirement but these funds are legally blocked, I can’t take them now. I have debts on which I have to work for the rest of the year – even some credit card payments from last fall are still open.
Besides this, yes, my place of birth equals a big win in the lottery. I have a Swiss citizenship since the day I was born. No need to even use white-privilege here, Swiss privilege is way better.
People risk their lives to make it to Europe. Our own border isn’t even fenced off. There is a sea between poorer countries and our neighbors. Those who survive the mediterran sea, make it to Italy or Greece. Thanks to the Schengen system, once registered in Italy, you will not be able to to even ask for asylum in Switzerland.
Sometimes we take a few hundred, for humanitarian reasons. During the cold war, we welcomed doctors and scientists from Hungary and Czechoslovakia, but this welcome culture is gone since 50 years or more.
During my past live however, I worked thousands of hours, mostly as a volunteer to advance disarmament, peace and sustainability, domestically and abroad. Together with others, who are much brighter than I, we helped our little country to save 10 billions or more.
Maybe I feel kind of entitled?
So you are just hiking down the bank-account of your parents?
I don’t think my parents are giving me something.
However, because of my past as a campaign specialist and my formation in communications, I can offer sponsors so much more than stupid influencer marketing.
I still plan to blog for Outdoor, a german publication by Motorpresse Stuttgart – their flagship publication is still AutoMotorundSport. This is the biggest car magazine in german language. Of course I have opinions even on cars but they have real professional journalists.
If my previous attempt in 2020 had worked out (it failed financially, looking back today a blessing, since I would have been forced from the trail due to corona), they would have agreed to give me access on to their platform. This platform is huge, therefore I will have some kind of reach in the DACH outdoor world.
I work according to editorial standards and will not do dumb surreptitious advertising but they do discuss the impact of outdoor activities to the environment. If somebody is interested in my progress, he will be able to follow me on Instagram and eventually watch YT stuff.
At the moment, I search sponsors who are leaders in sustainability – no, if you just sell some bluesign stuff, don’t waste your time contacting me.
If you have proven manufacturing chains in western Europe instead (and not just “made in Europe” to cover up horrible working conditions in Romania or Bulgaria) I look forward to hear from you. If you think this is naive, maybe you should do some research.
I believe my USP is unique in Europe and there are brands who deserve way more attention. For them I am a trustworthy ambassador, since you can’t be much more sustainable than armed with just 5 kg base weight in the wilderness – at least compared to the usual expeditions to the Himalayas.
I am also crazy cheap for the attention I can get.