Adventurer Andrew Siess Explains How to Cycle and Walk Around the World on a Tiny Budget

Adventurer Andrew Siess

Name is Andrew Siess from St. Paul Minnesota, USA. Right now, I am in Saint Paul, Minnesota working construction jobs until adventure season starts in a month. Favorite activities are kickball, biking, canoeing, urban exploring, busking, going to the BWCA. I’m a stubborn, laid back, serious, joking, hard working, and slacker.

How and why did you get into adventuring?

Got into adventuring because I was sick of fossil fuels and sick of the USA and wanted to get out and live a better life. So I biked down to Argentina in order to become a shepherd. In the end, I never became a shepherd but did other jobs along the way and fell in love with adventures. I wanted to see the whole world by human power.

I got in shape for biking by biking around my city. Got in shape for walking around the world by walking and running everywhere. I have never owned a car so I have to get around by my own power so that is my practice. It wasn’t all that hard for me to turn the dreams into reality. I just decide to do something and I am going to do it or die. That has usually been my philosophy.

I am always active so I never have to do too much to get in shape for the adventures. The adventures get me in shape. I spend a lot of time looking up visa/logistical info online and reading as much as possible from others experiences to learn what I can before leaving.

Adventurer Andrew Siess

How do you finance your adventures?

I usually keep a tiny budget of about $5 a day. So because of that, I don’t usually have to save up that much in order to leave for a long time. I biked from MN to Ushuaia, Argentina with under $1,000. Canoed the Mississppi river from Minnesota to New Orleans for three months without spending any money because I ate out of the dumpsters (they throw away a lot of ‘trash’ that is perfectly good food in the USA). I also play violin in the streets for money sometimes and pick up odd jobs along the way.

Some friends have given me some food and small amounts of cash to keep me going. I have also gotten some equipment from some people who worked for outdoors stores who just want to help but I don’t have any official sponsors. Just people who like the adventure and want to see me succeed.

I spend much more up front than I do actually traveling, but I also don’t spend much up front. 😉 Walked around the world for three years for around $5,000-6,000 total probably.

Adventurer Andrew Siess

How do you eat and sleep on the road?

I just hide in the woods. Sometimes I ask people for help. Sleep in churches or mosques or temples. A lot of people give me a lot of help and keep me going with food and drinks and kind words.

My rule is “Never pay to sleep.” I almost exclusively eat from super markets or the trash. Not much restaurants.

How do you bring your things with you?

I put them in my pannier or backpack. I have one bag, which I don’t even know the brand. Not important. all the brands are pretty much the same in the backpack department. I do like Ortlieb panniers for the bike. They never break!

As for organizing things in my bag, I just keep the most used items on top.

Adventurer Andrew Seiss

How do your bags and gear hold up?

Well enough. Some bags are a little better or a little worse. Usually the simpler the better. I hated one backpack I had that had all sorts of stupid stuff on it. Too many frills.

Only brand I wish I had from the start of my bike trip was Schwalbe tires on the bike. They are the best.

Any gear you wish you had brought with you from the beginning?

I used to bring too little. Then i would end up going to the hospital for dehydration and losing consciousness so I began to carry more to avoid suffering as much. I used to never even use a sleeping pad, but now I use one and it helps with sleep.

As for recommendations, a good sleeping bag and a waterproof jacket/pants.

Adventurer Andrew Siess

What has been your best adventuring purchase below $100?

That would be my $80 violin because it’s given me much more than that back from the streets playing. Also, brought a lot of joy and friends into my life.

As for my other favorite things, I really liked my Teva sandals becuase my feet wouldn’t stink, but they didn’t give me a new pair when they wore out after less than a year. A bit disappointing.

What is your best advice for other adventurers?

It’s always wet and it’s always cold. Get used to feeling uncomfortable. Buy the ticket and take the ride. I just think it’s funny that you see some adventurers who look like they are fresh out of the box and have all new everything. But then they get surprised when someone steals it. My advice is to not have nice stuff and that way no one will steal it. And if they do, you won’t care as much.

Adventurer Andrew Siess

What will the future bring?

Biking around the world. Sailing around the world. Bike Africa. Rowing and ocean. Trips to the north and south poles. Going to sail around the Caribbean this winter, and hopefully going to sail around the world soon.

Follow Andrew Siess on his Facebook page


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