During the months weeks days spent planning this trip, several people expressed an interest in what I was attempting, and offered to help. In some cases it simply wasn’t logistically possible to accept their advances – for example, the photographer who wanted to document every moment of my trip, so much so she began sending DM messages every few minutes in BLOCK CAPITALS to impress her keenness upon me.
My two biggest concerns going into this were having enough money to feed myself, and having some way of getting out of a dicey situation if it all went wrong. I didn’t have the cash to splurge in either situation so unless I invented some new branch of mathematics, I wasn’t sure how I was going to stay safe, stay fed and pay the mortgage back home.
That’s where another tweep entered the world of Twitchhiker. Step forward Andy Blood – @thebloodster to give him his rather dark Twitter name. Given the opportunity to reinvent himself with a new online identity, Andy choose a personae that sounded more like a serial killer. Good one.
Andy is the Creative Director at TBWA\WHYBIN, an advertising agency in New Zealand. Having heard about Twitchhiker, he got in touch to ask whether I’d accept help from one of his clients – VISA. What kind of help? Pre-paid credit cards that can be used anywhere in the world.
I said yes, in a flash. For starters, they total around £20 a day – I’m not going to be taking a left turn to Switzerland to open a bank account there. If anybody thinks I’ll be throwing wild parties around the world, they need to get invited to more parties.
Secondly, it means if I do get into some almighty trouble, VISA has got me covered and I should be able to get out of it. And finally, I’d quite like to be in a position where I spend very little of it, and hand the remaining total over to charity. Andy and the guys at VISA want to see me go all the way to Campbell Island; if I manage it without spending a penny of their money, all the better for it – they don’t want it back.
As with the support I have from @jamesparton and the team at O2 Litmus, it just makes my task a soupçon easier (bit of French for you there, language lovers) and means I can worry about those tasks that demand my worrying – like how to travel to the other side of the planet.
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