Christopher Schacht: Around the World on 50 Bucks — Book review

Answer the question below and email your answer, together with your name, physical address and cellphone number to and you could receive one of two copies of  Around the World with 50 Bucks by Christopher Schacht that Struik Publishers are giving away this month. The deadline for participating in the book giveaway draw is 6pm on Wednesday February 12 .Question: Where did Christopher stand on an active volcano?


In Around the World on 50 Bucks the reader meets the young Christopher Schacht who left home when he was 19 to sail around the world.

With just his backpack, his 50 Bucks and a well of smiles we journey with him as he relates stories of how he was able to hitchhike and sail around the world, travel to 45 countries without using a plane, learn four languages, be exposed to so many different cultures, meet the love of his life and to discover a closer relationship with God.

It was his dream to travel around the world and he fulfilled that dream with very little resources.

At this time of the year people have their lofty list of dreams of all that they want to achieve and the only thing preventing them from achieving those goals is lack of money and lack of resources. Christopher Schacht did not let that hinder his dream.

His daring decision would see him travel to 45 countries forming friendships and making lasting memories. In one interview Schacht shares: “ I had the idea of doing the trip a year before. I love adventure, love to explore the world and this was what motivated me. At that time I did so many things at once that my schedule was already planned for the next four weeks ahead so I had plans after plans.

“I felt imprisoned and I wanted to break out, be free and live day by day not knowing what’s ahead but just living moment by moment so my new plan was not to have a plan at all. I wanted to embrace the unexpected…. I simply went outside my home stepped on to the street a put my thumb out and started charting a way.”

Though faced with near-death encounters Christopher was adamant to finish what he started. The decision was to go around the world without using a plane but to hitchhike, sail, travel by bus or car. Without any sailing experience he taught himself through reading many books and when he “was on the job”.

He worked various jobs to survive. In Venezuela, he remodeled a bathroom for the military police. In Guiana he dug for gold. In Rio de Janeiro he sold fruit salad on the beach and in Peru he pumped fuel at a filling station.

Most of his work was on sailing ships. In Around the World on 50 Bucks — How I Left with Nothing and Returned a Rich Man Schacht shares his incredible experiences revealing what he learned along the way about life, love and God.

One of his most incredible experiences was to be on an active volcano on an island in the Pacific at Vanuatu. Standing on the rim of the active volcano the whole mountain was shaking and he could have slid down to his death. It is near-death experiences such as this that drew him closer to God.

He was warned of a possibility of death many times before embarking on his trip but he said: “I would rather die doing something that I love than just sit in some office for 15 years thinking, If only I had…”

He shares of a special time spent in Brazil in South America: “They took my concept of hospitality to a whole new level. A sentence I heard often was: ‘Nao vai nao rapaz. Fica um pouco mais!’ (Don’t go boy, stay a little longer!) With that, my hosts would convince me to stay another week, then another and another, until I had spent a whole month there, even though my original plan was to stay for just three days.”

“In northern Brazil, it is simply a part of culture to be trusting and open, definitely a practice I want to emulate.”

Schacht encourages his readers by telling them; to bring the attitude that“Yes It’s possible and somehow I will find a way. I don’t know how but I will work towards it.” He believes you have to get out of your comfort zone, start engaging into the life and grabbing opportunities because life is not coming to you but you have to go out and get it.

He says adventure is not to put yourself into a dangerous situation or do risky things but the very best things on the whole trip happen when you start to embrace the unexpected and even when things don’t go as planned. You just go along with it and see what will come out as a result in the end and that’s when the adventure begins.

As we begin this decade let us remember that anything is possible. Christopher’s story teaches us to: just take the first step.

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