How to Barter for Paradise by Michael Wigge
Michael Wigge, the man from Germany who pushes the boundaries when he travels is back at it again! This time he’s bartering his way around the world with the hopes of securing a home in Hawaii. Owning a home in Hawaii has long been one of his dreams – ever since he was a child when he hung up a poster in his room with images of the Hawaiian Islands.
He gives himself 200 days to complete this mission.
So how does one start this process? If your Michael – it is merely with a partially eaten apple in a market in Germany. He barters up in value as much as he can until he reaches a plateau with a ride-able lawn mover called Herman. He then uses this as transportation to do more bartering. He joins a group that meets specially to barter. Michael’s luck turns south and he starts a series of barters where he gets items of lesser value…
Until he’s standing in the hot sun in the chaos of Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala with a huge hunk of beef that is quickly attracting flies. Somehow he refocuses his efforts on the ultimate prize until he secures a valuable piece of art in Australia, somehow turns this into Jade in New Zealand and then voila is meeting with one of the world’s 1000 billionaires in Singapore where he leaves with gold and silver coins in his pocket. Now we are getting somewhere – but still not enough to barter for a home in Hawaii.
Striking out in Thailand he heads to Africa where among other stories he attempts to barter with several Kenyan Olympic gold and silver medalists for their Olympic medals. Unsuccessfully, he ends up racing against one and loses by a breath. Still looking to move up in the bartering world (remember homes in Hawaii are not cheap) he heads back to Europe. An unusual meetup involving a Ukrainian pop star, a Limo and a painting increases his net worth.
A stint in South America results in visiting a small German community in Brazil where bartering is an accepted way of life. For a short while he ends up with a 66′ VW Bug but his smarts prevail resulting in something more appropriate for airplane travel.
Jetting up to New York he tries all avenues for exposure, standing on street corners, introducing himself to media, friends, friends of friends and the online world. When the wealth of Wall Street (literally approaching strangers on Wall Street) in New York rejects his offers he moves on to the west coast – San Francisco and Los Angeles. He misunderstood the point of Burning Man – hoping to use this event as a bartering platform. But ultimately he was given a number of free items out in the desert which helped his net worth.
At this point in the trip, Michael also has a special “barterman” costume that he commonly wears.
He arrives in Hawaii with a number of valuables and begins looking for a Hawaiian home.
This story is an intriguing read – as expected he suffers more rejections than positive exchanges. Fortunately Michael does not give up easily – he writes with a dry sense of humor; this read is quite enjoyable and rather unbelievable (yet 100% true)!
NOTE to Travelers: With a Hawaiian home finally secured Michael is now offering travelers to the Big Island of Hawaii up to two weeks free accommodation in exchange for barter – even if its something as simple as working on site. If interested, you can reach out to him at: www.facebook.com/MichaelWigge.Deutsch