Alex Boylan is a hero to many people, myself included. If you’re a fan of The Amazing Race, you probably know who Boylan is. Maybe not – The Amazing Race has been on TV for a long time. However, if you’ve ever fancied yourself a world traveler, or have ever longed to be one, Alex Boylan is someone to admire. With friend Chris Luca, Alex won the second season of The Amazing Race in a footrace. After winning The Amazing Race, Alex got into the world of television and producing. He hosted a couple of little known shows, but in July of last year he embarked on one of the most ambitious traveling experiences of the internet age. He called it Around the World for Free.
Around the World for Free (which you can learn about at Aroundtheworldforfree.com) was exactly what it sounds like: Alex and cameraman/editor Zsolt Luka left the CBS Studios in New York on July 17th with nothing but clothes and their equipment. They left with no money, and intended to travel across the world by acquiring the good will of the people. Using their website, they would book travel and find places to stay via the internet. Users would find housing from family members or themselves, give them advice on where to go next, and Alex would simply be at the whim of the people.
And it worked. After nearly six months on the road, Alex and Zsolt returned to New York on December 23, after 159 days on the road. They went from the Caribbean to South America to Africa to India to Southeast Asia and back to the United States, all with no money in their pockets.
His stated goal was to show everyone that people across the world are by and large like you and me – kind, compassionate and welcoming. There is a definite xenophobia that pervades over America these days, which is interesting given the globalization of the world. But, it’s there, that pesky fear of other countries and foreign people. It’s something that needs to be stopped. Like others who have gotten the chance to travel extensively, I know that people everywhere are good people. No matter the politics, or the vast cultural differences between where you come from and where you are, it’s not difficult to bond or connect with anyone on a purely human level. Boylan’s little experiment, which was documented extensively, is something that we all should take to heart. Going to Aroundtheworldforfree.com only makes me want to travel more. I hope it does the same for you.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)