Four months. For four months I travelled the world relying purely on the kindness of people who had proved to not particularly like me. I stayed on couches, floors, air-mattresses, hammocks, and, occasionally, beds, in 14 different countries for my first book, Five Ways to Carry a Goat.
How did I get in touch with my generous/fool-hardy hosts? I write The Backpacker blog for the Fairfax newspapers, so back in January 2009, I put out a cry for help, asking overseas-based readers to drop me an email me if they were prepared to let me stay with them. I didn’t care where they were – if they were up for it, I’d find them.
I got an incredible 400 replies, and chose my itinerary based purely around where the most interesting-sounding people lived. I managed a full lap of the globe and, mild bout of alcohol poisoning aside, had one amazing time.
I’ve since distilled that four months of craziness into the 360 pages that make up Five Ways to Carry a Goat – which is out now. For more information, head here.