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Apr-10-2012 18:29printcomments

Traveling the World... For Free

The series is now airing on SCAN-TV Silverton.

Michael Wigge
Michael Wigge

(BERLIN, Germany) - Meet Michael Wigge: journalist, comedian, documentarian, and world traveler.

His adventures are chronicled in the upcoming television series "How to Travel the World For Free", which starts airing in late April on public and local access television stations in 70 markets across the U.S.. His accompanying book by the same name (Pichu Productions, May 2012, $11.95) releases in May, complete with colorful tales and tips on dashing across the world by his coattails.

From coaxing a dollar out of passerby on a corner in San Francisco and engaging them in a street pillow fight (which paid for a flight to Costa Rica), to earning money as a "Human Sofa", Wigge's creativity and chutzpah seem limitless.

One plan saw him become "The Hill Helper" in California: The extreme slopes of hilly San Francisco equaled weary tourists, so Wigge strapped on a sign proclaiming that he would push individuals up the hill, all for one dollar. Tired travelers leaned all their weight into his hands as he marched them up a hill.

By the end of the day, he earned enough to buy groceries.

Wigge's modus operandi in this kind of travel is a two-fold:

  1. Avoid regular work and focus on unusual services in exchange for accommodation, travel, and food; and
  2. Engage people. Wigge certainly wasn't afraid of getting knee-deep in physical labor as long as it was out of the ordinary. He was also highly aware that people enjoy being let in on an ambitious plan and contributing to making things happen. A German ambassador in Panama City offered Wigge the role of "butler for a day" to help him earn a flight to Colombia.

"I'd rather not engage in normal work," says Wigge. "A lot of people are already doing that during their travels."

A popular media personality in Germany, Wigge is known for his combination of journalism and entertainment-comedy. For the past decade, Wigge has served as a reporter, presenter and producer for cable and public television networks.

Says Wigge: "Everything is possible without money. I made my dream come true."


MICHAEL WIGGE first started as an anchor on the German VIVA-program London Calling. Since then, the world has been his newsroom: from living with the native Yanomami Indian tribe in the Amazon rainforest to fighting Sumo wrestlers in Japan. Wigge currently lives in Berlin, Germany, but prefers to be on the move. Learn more at How to travel the world for free (

Since then, the world has been his newsroom: from living with the native Yanomami Indian tribe in the Amazon rainforest to fighting Sumo wrestlers in Japan.

For the past decade, Wigge has been spinning around the globe reporting and producing in his trademark style: a hybrid of journalism and comedy. Culture is what drives him to travel and meet others and he is fascinated by the similarities and differences that make the world hum.

This motivation has helped him achieve a high number of accomplishments and accolades. His documentary "How to Travel the World for Free" received best feature in the 2011 Accolade Awards, in addition to two international nominations. He was honored with the Platin Remi Award for on-camera talent, and his piece "The Truth About Germany" was a finalist in the New York Television Awards.

From reporting for MTV from a prison, to entering the Buckingham Palace in England dressed up as King Henry VIII, Wigge has always thrown himself into the most unusual situations, including riding a donkey for more than 60 hours in an effort to obtain a Guiness World Record.


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