Watch above: Life is short so make the most of it. One man is travelling the world using only the guidance of strangers.
SASKATOON – Most of us at one point or another have fantasized about quitting our job and traveling the world. Well that’s exactly what 36-year old Bjorn Troch from Belgium did, who is now making a quick stop to see the sights and sounds of Saskatoon.
“I had a good job, well paid but I kinda wanted to do this,” said Troch.
Starting his quest almost five years ago, Troch has visited more than 40 countries and has only two rules.
“No guidebooks and no search engines that I could use so everything that I do is linked to people that I meet or people that are connected via social media.”
Calling himself “The Social Traveler” his journey started and will end in Spain as strangers shape his adventures along the way.
“It’s almost like an online reality show that people can influence.”
That’s because this modern gypsy takes on challenges presented to him by friends and followers. The biggest? Cycling 5,000 kilometers on a tandem bike with the help of strangers.
“The bike broke down all the time and out of those situations you can meet locals.”
He’s now tackling his sixth challenge.
“The goal is cross North America with the van and along the way I need to learn to play the guitar and that’s also again via people so I can’t look on YouTube for lessons so I really need to ask people, ‘hey can you maybe teach me a little bit.'”
The second phase of this particular challenge is to play the guitar well enough to earn gas money for the 1978 VW van that also serves as a place to sleep when needed.
“There’s one minor problem with the van that is that it doesn’t have any heating so if there anybody knows about where I can find a part because the part in the van is missing, that would be great.”
Before all this, Troch worked in social media as a business developer for two different companies. So it was only natural for him to work off and on as a consultant to fund this massive undertaking and said in the last year he’s landed some amazing sponsors.
He also admitted the journey has had some low points but those experiences have been the gateway to a lot of adventures.
“People are really not so bad and that you can achieve anything reach out.”
All in all, Troch said he’s having the adventure of a life time, met people from all walks of life and has realized we all just want the same thing.
“It’s about being connected with people around you and being validated in whatever you love or do and people to do it with.”
From here, Troch plans to make the following stops: Prince Albert, Regina, Cypress Hills, Medicine Hat, Calgary, Edmonton then it’s off to the Yukon.
To connect with Troch you follow him on Twitter @Social_Traveler, add him as a friend on Facebook under “The Social Traveler” or find him on Instagram or Google+ .