About my travel philosophy
Since 2005, I have traveled the world by hitchhiking in order to document hospitality and portray everyday life beyond stereotypes. By now, I have spent 13 years –on and off- vagabonding the backroads of Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America, and I’ve even managed to explore several bases in Antarctica! I have mostly kept my travel budget under 5 to 8 dollars per day, not out of self-punishment but as a way to force myself to depend on the help of strangers and spark interaction. In this spirit, I hitchhike even in countries where a couple of bucks could buy me several hundred kilometers by public transport.
Pilars of my travel style:
Using minor roads and visiting random small towns along them –the more remote the better.
Relying on local hospitality instead of touristic facilities
In depth research of history and social issues of visited área
I kicked off my expedition in May 2005 from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where I had been based for a couple of years. Since then I have visited more than 90 countries and territories, from Norway to Tibet, from unrecognized breakaway nations like Transnitria or Somaliland to officially existent but not really more famous ones like Djibouti or Suriname. I have boarded nearly 1,200 vehicles covering over 100,000 miles and –save your questions- I have never been raped/murdered/assaulted.
I love uncertainty: the thrill of guessing which dot on the map I will rest in each night. I’ve gotten lifts in Porsches and donkey-drawn karts, but I have always reached a planned or not destination. I have never made a hotel booking but I’ve always managed to make friends among locals. I have slept in monasteries, luxury apartments, castles and farms. I have camped in the gardens of Versailles and shared the carpet of a Bedouin tent in the Syrian desert. In subways and parliaments I have shared meals and ideas with beggars and vice presidents alike. I was invited to weddings in Transylvania and ayahuasca ceremonies in the Amazon rainforest, I have laughed with hashish smugglers and street vendors.
In a world portrayed as dangerous, where disputes are settled by means of war, walls or indifference, the road has turned me into a believer in empathy and intercultural understanding.
Long trips (+1 year) follow thoughtfully chosen itineraries (on which random variations are inscribed through the art of hitchhiking) crafted in the light of a premise – something I intend to show, question or discover.
My blog and books are my ways of spreading this message and, at the same time, they make possible further traveling and writing.