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Interview with Tomislav Perko

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Today, we are traveling with Tomislav Perko.

Tomislav Perko is a Croatian traveler who’s been traveling around the world for 6 years. Like all of us, his life has a great backstory on why he started traveling cheap and long. He blogged about his journey for the past years, sharing great advice on how to travel with almost no money. He writes on his blog about his budget travels in the past 5-6 years, and advises on how others can do the same. 

He quit everything in his life, traveled 1000 days around the world, and hitchhiked over 50 000 kilometers in 40+ countries. His budget? $10/daily. And if you think he should write a book about his travels, well, he already did! 

Today, let’s try to know Tomislav deeper. (You can’t imagine how stoke I am to finally write this interview. Aw!)

What type of traveler would you say are you?

If I have to put myself in some category, I would be a backpacker. Which doesn’t exclude other types of travels – I stayed in beautiful houses with swimming pools, spas and jacuzzis. I am also a professional – I make a living while traveling with my writings. But yeah, mostly I’m just an ordinary backpacker. Even though I never stay in hostels.

It all started when I wanted to travel, but  almost had no money. I had to find some alternative ways of traveling, so I did. Hitchhiking for transportation, couchsurfing for accommodation, busking on the street to earn some money, etc.

As time goes by, and especially since I don’t travel alone in the past few years, the style has changed slightly – we don’t hitch that much, but we use car relocation or BlaBlaCar. We don’t couchsurf that much but use house sitting or home exchange.

What’s inside your backpack? What is that one thing that you ALWAYS have to carry

Not many things, I try to keep it as light as possible.

Some clothes, tent, sleeping bag, mattress, toiletries, laptop, camera, head torch, rain coat, and one little sheep. And yeah, a swiss army knife.

I could go without all these things, but probably my laptop is “”my precious””.

You started traveling alone, Why?

I started traveling alone because no one wanted to join me.

I don’t thin either way is better, just different, and both options have their up and downs. In my opinion, you should try both, to see what fits you better.

[Tweet “I started traveling alone because no one wanted to join me.”]

Can you tell us your favorite hitchhiking story?

It would be my first hitchhiking ever – I was walking to a hitchhiking spot, and one guy stopped even before I lifted my finger. That was the fastest ride ever.

He was drinking beer, so I joined him.
Afterwards, he was rolling a spliff, so I joined him.
After that, he wanted to take some speed.

All that at 7 am.
That was my first hitchhiking ever.

Sailing across Indian Ocean. Tomislav Perko

Sailing Across Indian Ocean.

As hitchhiking expert, Which one is your favorite country for hitchhike?

The best countries are the ones that have hitchhiking in their culture – Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Germany, etc.

And the worst?

The worst are the opposites – Spain, Portugal, most of Asian, African and South American countries.

But there is no rule, and you shouldn’t mind waiting if you hitch. Its all part of the game.

Traveling the world spending $10 per day, have you been traveling literally without money for a few days?

Yup, it happened couple of times, and those days were the best because I had to do everything in my power to get some food and shelter. That’s how I busked in one small Spanish village, met some great people, even got a job as a drug dealer – which wasn’t successful 😀

Which are your plans for now? Are you planning writing another book?

Yes, I am staying in Zagreb for a while, but I am also planning to go on a tour with my book, giving talks and lectures about my travels. I already held over 200 talks in 10 countries, and always have a bunch of people showing up – few weeks ago I had over 1000 people in Brussels on my talk – that was amazing.

So, who knows, maybe I come to your city soon.

Can you tell us how many books did you sell 1000 Days of Spring?

The book actually turned into a bestseller here in Croatia, and its on the way to do the same abroad, I am even translating it to German, apart from my English version.

I wrote about my student days, about the days when I had a well paid job as a stockbroker, about going bankrupt, about turning my life around, about first ventures on the road with a backpack on my back, and about finding a way that I will follow in the years to come – by traveling.

I wrote about hitchhiking in numerous countries, sleeping in homes of strangers, camping on the side of the road, eating in supermarkets and drinking beer in parks, volunteering, many anecdotes that I encountered on the road, natural beauties that left me breathless, and about the beautiful people that I met on the way.

I wrote about love.

Couchsurfing. Interview with Tomislav.

Tomislav doing Couchsurfing.

Which country did you find the most hospitable people?

Every country has amazingly hospitable people, but I would probably say Iran was #1. Maybe because you don’t really expect that amount of kindness from them, but most probably because their culture is like that – travelers are their beloved guests.

How is a day in your life when you aren’t traveling?

I like to watch movies, reply to my emails, sometimes hang out with my friends, sometimes spend time alone. I love to play badminton!

What’s the big reason why you are traveling?

I manage to see first handedly how beautiful this world is, and its inhabitants.

Tomislav in Machu Pichu.

Tomislav Perko in Machu Pichu.

Can you tell us about your longest trip? How long was it and which places did you go to? Why did you do this trip?

It was my RTW trip, it lasted 1000 days. I visited Europe, Asia, Australia, Indian ocean, Africa and South America.

I wanted to do it when I finish my uni, mainly because I was curious how would it be if I can leave without having to return any time soon.

In all the trips you’ve done, what has been your favorite so far? and why?

It was the same one – my RTW trip, for obvious reasons. It lasted the longest, and the amount of amazing experiences I had, well – there were many.

What’s your favorite gastronomy/food cuisine that you had in your travels?

Thai and Indian are my favorites! Mango and sticky rice – probably the best thing ever!

Has there been any challenging and bad moments? Can you tell us about the experience?

Sure there were – probably the most challenging was sailing across the Indian ocean on 45-feet yacht. Just 4 of us, sea and sky, for 45 days.

What has been you favorite destination on all the trips you’ve done? Please tell us why.

They all depends on many factors – how did I meet there, how was the food, was I healthy, how was the weather, etc.

But my favorite place in the world is a little town in India, called Varkala. There I had everything I needed.

What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?

I slept once under a truck in Mozambique. That wasn’t that great. Or in Australian outback, that was kinda cold.

The best were the homes of people I met on my travels, some of them even better than 5 star hotels. In New Zealand I stayed with one of the directors of Lord of The Rings movie. That was cool.”

Are you planning for a new trip or do you already have a new trip in mind?

Not really, after 5-6 years of living on the road, its time for some steady time.

But yeah, who knows how long will that mindset last – I can always pack in couple of minutes and just head to the road.

Its easy to find love while you are traveling?

Easier than where you are not traveling. You are open, you don’t waste your time, and sometimes your visa expires soon so you cant afford to wait for the right moment to approach someone.

Do you have any recommendations which blogger/traveler should I interview next?

Josh from Go Travel Your Way.

Amazing interview, thanks for your time Tomislav Perko!

Great story from Tomislav, 6 years traveling around the world with almost no money. Hitchhiking, couchsurfing and Busking while traveling. Sleeping under a truck in Mozambique. Traveling the world with $10 per day. Now, he is talking about his travels experiences. Who knows, maybe Tomislav will visit your city soon!

Want to know more about Tomislav Perko? You can his website to find out about his journey.

If you want to know more about hitchhiking, check this full guide.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

Melvin Dsouza

Friday 6th of January 2017

hi, wonderful adventures you have witnessed. it was nice to know that you loved garbage. it's a town just half an hours drive from where i work. and I love that place

Ruben Arribas

Friday 6th of January 2017

Thanks Melvin, Tomislav has great adventures :)

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Monday 11th of January 2016

Wow. Blown away

Ruben Arribas

Monday 11th of January 2016

I agree, Angie! Glad you liked the post!