Chuckling: at the hapless hippy

Mark Boyle, a former organic food company boss, had a grand plan - to walk from England to India without a cent, relying on the goodwill of the people he came across on his way to keep him fed, sheltered and whatever else he might need. Essentially letting "the universe" provide.

His goal was to demonstrate to the world that we don't need money to live (presumably as long as everyone else that we meet actually does have money and a generous heart).

Mark is part of the freeconomy movement, which is all about sharing and community and bartering and working together and I'm pretty well fine with all of this. You can read up about this on his blog here. I'll happily agree that big business thrives on creating an environment where it's everyone for themselves and we are constantly encouraged to overconsume. Society is generally better served when we work together as a community and this is all good.

At the same time though, I respect that people who choose to work extra hard or who have good productive ideas are entitled to be rewarded for their efforts and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with a reasonable level of private property.

Where our Mark's story gets interesting is how far he actually managed to make it.

France. Calais to be precise, just outside the ferry from England.

On arriving in France (with two fellow-travellers) they found that the French weren't that interested in speaking to "back-packing freeloaders" with no knowledge of the language between them.

After a few days starving, he and his pals have packed it in and headed home, copping a little bit of stick from the media in the process.

It's worth taking a look at some of the posts on his blog and it's hard to think too unkindly of him as his heart is clearly in the right place but let's say that he comes across as a little disconnected for day to day reality.

Poor hippy.