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.
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.
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?
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.