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How to Travel Europe on Gumballs

By Edited Dec 20, 2013 1 2

How to Travel Europe on Gumballs

While strolling along the cobblestone streets and grand boulevards of Paris, I can’t help but think how truly breath-taking this city is; I also can’t believe I’m here because of a bunch of gumballs. 

Paris(110195)

The Big Chew

As a substitute teacher the best way to describe my job is sporadic.  If you factor in holidays, school breaks and in-service training, the average substitute can expect only 194 days of potential work.  Needless to say, you have to supplement your income.  With a second job in the construction industry, I wanted something that didn’t involve children or hammers.  Much like InfoBarrel, I was looking to generate money over the long term, without my constant presence.  I scoured the Internet for business ideas but they all seemed to require a certain degree of commitment, expertise and money.  Having very little of any of these, I finally stumbled across something I knew I could do….chew bubble gum.

Dirty Inspiration

While sitting at my local garage waiting for an oil change, I noticed a faded, weathered, vending machine standing silently in the corner. Stained with the grease of hungry mechanics and restless patrons, I stared in amazement as quarter after quarter found its way into its dirty, candy filled vault.  I concluded that people eat when they’re bored; they’ll even eat stale old peanuts and brittle bubble gum.  If they were willing to put their money into this filthy little creature, what if it were actually clean?


eBay(110201)
Armed with a sweet tooth and strong sense of hygiene, I found my first machine on ebay. Shiny and clean, my twenty-five dollar estate sale purchase paid for itself in the first month. Six others would follow, all Beaver quarter turn vending machines, all from ebay.  With an average cost of $125, my investment would consistently produce $300 per month for about an hour and a half of my time (refilling and cleaning).  I would eventually expand to ten machines, dispensing primarily gumballs because of their high profit margin (980 gumballs for $38 is an amazing profit of $200).

The Money Makers

Quarters

Over the course of a year, one quarter at a time, I managed to squirrel away almost $4000. I booked a cheap flight to London ($450 return), grabbed the Chunnel to Paris ($66 one way) and found a private room ($75 per night) within 6 minutes of Notre Dame cathedral.  Over the next four weeks, I would see the Mona Lisa, walk along the banks of the Seine and sit beside the graves of Chopin and Jim Morrison. I was always smiling...and always chewing bubble gum.

 I don’t expect to get rich from InfoBarrel but I am planning a trip to the Himalayas, one article at a time. 

Taktshang(110200)
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Comments

Aug 28, 2012 1:21pm
creighton2899
What a incredible story! I've just started writing for IB myself and am noticing non-Internet passive income streams everywhere now. Great inspiration!
Aug 29, 2012 11:05am
Lostboy
There are lots of great stories of success here on infobarrel, I usually read one whenever I have writers block haha. Good luck with your writing, I hope you stay inspired and keep on publishing and thanks for taking the time to read my little piece:)
Aug 29, 2012 11:06am
Lostboy
This comment has been deleted.
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