Around the World for Free

Around The World For Free

Around The World For Free intertitle
Genre Reality Television
Created by Alex Boylan, Zsolt Luka, Burton Roberts
Directed by Zsolt Luka
Starring Season 1 Alex Boylan
Season 2 Jeff Schroeder
Season 3 Parvati Shallow
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 45 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Burton Roberts, Alex Boylan
Original network Previous WGN America, Current CBS
Original release April 16, 2009 – October 14, 2011
External links

Around The World For Free aka ATWFF was an online/broadcast hybrid reality series based on the concept of whether a person can circle the globe without any money.[1] The show follows a reality star, as they attempt to travel around the world without any money on hand. They travel with one cameraman Zsolt Luka and rely on local guides and inhabitants for basic needs.

The concept was created by Alex Boylan, Emmy-nominated editor and director Zsolt Luka, and Burton Roberts, who is also the producer of Camp Reality and was a cast member on Survivor: Pearl Islands. The project was self-financed and self-produced by the trio after major networks and online portals passed on it.[2]

Season 1

The first iteration of the project was hosted by Alex Boylan. He traveled around the world without any money and was aided in his quest by a social networking site created for this purpose. Alex was accompanied by Zsolt Luka who directed, filmed and edited the series on an ongoing basis. Executive Produced by Alex Boylan, Burton Roberts and Co-Executive Produced by Andrew Bishop, the first production season started on Sep 18, 2007, from midtown Manhattan and a kick-off on the CBS Early Show morning talk show, and ended back in New York City on the same program on February 23, 2008. During the production there were bi-weekly live on-air feeds to the Early Show from the field, but there was no formal affiliation between CBS and ATWFF.[3]

Relying on strangers' kindness, Boylan and Luka visited 16 countries including United States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam) on four continents over a period of 159 days and logged 45,000 miles.

The 6-month journey was documented on the Internet in 155 webisodes. They filmed 250 hours of high-definition video during the journey. The production company approached various networks until selling the project to WGN America.[4]

In April 2009, WGN America started airing an 11-part TV version of the project in prime time. In July 2009 Sony Entertainment Television (South Africa) brings the show to Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe.[5]

Season 2

On June 8, 2010. Alex Boylan announced that season 2 would start filming that summer with a new host, Big Brother and The Amazing Race Alum Jeff Schroeder. CBS interactive obtained the rights to the show. The second season's journey will be attempted in less than 100 days. Jeff will be accompanied on his trek by season one director/editor Zsolt Luka.[6] Burton Roberts and Alex Boylan remain as the shows executive producers. Schroeder visited 13 countries including United States, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, Romania, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and United Kingdom.

Season 3

On June 24, 2011, it was announced that Parvati Shallow from reality show Survivor would host. Shallow has visited 12 countries, including United States, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Guyana, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Kenya.[7] Her 100-day journey commenced on July 7, 2011 and ended on October 14, 2011.[8]


  1. Around the World for Free, USA:, 17 September 2007, retrieved 2007-09-17
  2. Huff, Richard (13 April 2009), Free thinker from 'Amazing Race' goes global, USA:, retrieved 2009-04-13
  3. 'Around the World' relies on kindness, USA:, 17 April 2009, retrieved 2009-04-17
  4. Hillside Elementary students find the world at their doorstep, USA:, 20 February 2008, retrieved 2008-02-20
  5. TV Series: Around The World For Free coming to South Africa, South Africa:, 9 July 2009, retrieved 2008-02-20
  6. TV Series: Around The World For Free Season 2, USA:, 20 June 2010, retrieved 2010-06-20

External links

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