We hitchhiked Europe on 10€ a day. It was an incredibly moving, enlightening and consuming experience. For all of the amazing, great and funny experiences it involved, it was also the hardest, most pushing, comfort zone smashing experience of our lives. Looking back, the highs well outweighed the lows and the times we were beyond exhaustion, uncomfortable to our lowest level, and feeling lost, we pushed on. The human body and mind is capable of unfathomable things. We did it for ourselves, but also to show others, an extreme level of what is humanly possible. It was not done with the intent to push the idea onto others, but example what can be done. We did it so people think about the common or norm, question that, and possibly see it is not the only way. We are a movement, not individuals, striving towards more rewarding, infinite possibilities.. Looking back, it was without a doubt the most incredible experience and 5 months of our lives. This is a recap of what our trip entailed.
- 17 different countries
- 131 days of travel
- hitchhiked a total of 196 lifts from an incredibly broad range of beautiful, kind human beings.
- covered a total 13335km hitchhiking
- walked 1761km
- 71 nights slept in a tent
- Drove across 22 country boarder crossings, walked across 4
- Spent a total of $2649€ (between two) equalling just over 10€ each a day
- Spent 250€ on public transport (between two). A lot being on small local busses to get outside of cities to hitchhike. We used two busses in Albania for actual travel as it was so cheap, one bus in the UK after failing to hitchhike followed by a cheap train, a 1.5€ train in Slovenia, multiple ferries which half of our amazingly kind drivers offered to pay in Norway, and to cross from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia was on an overnight cruise ship for only 11€ each!
How was this all possible?
We kept the main expenses of travelling to a minimum. Them being:
We bought a decent tent as we knew it would be our home for those months. The cost of the tent was a quarter of the price as the cheapest hostels over the space of the trip and we still own it! The majority of the time we free/wild camped in all kinds of crazy, hidden places. We were very picky in our locations. Not being seen entering our location. Not once did we come across trouble. On occasions we used campgrounds. A shower is nice once and a while ;). There were also plenty of occasions where camping was simply not possible because we still wanted to achieve seeing every single place we wished to, so we either tried to couchsurf (couchsurfing.com) or stayed in a cheap hostel.
When budget travelling, transport is the biggest expense. On a usual trip of our length of time the cost would have passed out entire budget. So we hitchhiked. IT WAS SAFE, we can assure you, nothing happened to us of the entire 196 hitchhiked lifts. There is always the possibility of risk we wont deny that but with common sense, safe locations and precautions are taken, hitchhiking is an incredible experience and way of meeting genuine people who want to help others! No matter what nationality, cultural group, background, race anything you want to call it, the base of everybody we met through Europe is fuelled by kindness. Deep down, we all want to help one another. For advise on hitchhiking check out our page on it (hitchhiking advise) or even more thoroughly in depth for locations across the world check out (hitchwiki.org)
Food can be very expensive also, and it can be quite a restraint to hold back from tasting all the amazing different cultural foods. What was expensive however, we found was touristic and commercialised, and the true traditional authentic foods from the right places, were usually cheapest. Asking locals was the best way to discover this! If we saw somebody eating something looking amazing on the street, we would ask where they bought it. Quite often through couchsurfing we would ask if we could buy their dinner of choice ingredients, from local markets, then help them cook a traditional meal. We usually only bought from these local markets and what is typically traditional was always the cheapest!
To everyone we met along the way, the people who gave us faith in the kindness of us all, we thank you! This trip is not possible without the greater good of people shining through. Everyone who picked us us, hosted us, joined us, showed any level of kindness to us, you are amazing people and an example of pureness!
(1761km walked, 13335km hitchhiked)