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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 16:15 GMT
Penniless India trek is under way
Mark Boyle
Mark Boyle: "We need to get back to a more communal way of living"
A man has started a two-and-a-half year walk from Bristol to India without any money - to show his faith in humanity.

Equipped with only a few T-shirts, a bandage and spare sandals, former dotcom businessman Mark Boyle is set to cross Europe and the Middle East.

On his 9,000-mile trek to Gandhi's birthplace, he will have to pick his way through war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Mr Boyle, 28, said: "I will be offering my skills to people. If I get food in return, it's a bonus"

He says he is part of the freeconomy movement - a group which began in the US and aims to bring about a moneyless society.

He said: "My interest started five or six years ago when I was studying economics.

"The more we accumulate wealth, the more it leads to a breakdown of community."

We need to get back to a more communal way of living
Mark Boyle

Mr Boyle aims to walk between 15 and 45 miles a day, with the goal of getting to Porbandar on India's west coast.

He plans not to touch any money and is taking no credit cards or travellers' cheques.

Travelling light, his rucksack contains just t-shirts, sandals, sunscreen, a knife and a bandage.

"We need to get back to a more communal way of living," he said.

"My mum and dad always speak about a time in Ireland when people came together and took in the harvest together, and no money changed hands."

Asked about how he would manage without money, Mr Boyle said: "I've got a lot of faith in humanity.

Freeconomy now has almost 3,000 members in 54 countries
It offers people the chance to exchange skills and labour
Ultimately, members would like a moneyless society
They also want to see more face-to-face communication

"My friends are really supportive. I'm very lucky. My mum was very supportive but was getting very worried."

Although he will walk nearly all the way, Mr Boyle has even hatched a plan for when he is forced to cross water - he will explain his mission to ferry staff.

He added: "If that doesn't work, I will simply try again and again.

"If I've got to spend two and a half years to show one person the conviction of what I'm doing, then it's two and a half years well spent."

Mr Boyle plans to give anyone he meets a password, which they can use to enter his website and upload details of his journey.

Map graphic

Inside Out West will be following the walk in its new series on BBC One from 22 February.


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