The Routes Retraced
- 1 The Routes Retraced
- 2 18 Months in Asia
- 3 2018: The Gap Year from Traveling
- 4 Two Years in South America
- 5 Edges of Europe Tour: The Missing Countries
- 6 Round Trip to the Caucasus, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, etc.
- 7 Central America With a Touch of Caribbean
- 8 Hitchhike the UK – The Newbie Drop Out
- 9 Summer of Age – My First Big European Trip
- 10 Thanks for Reading!
I used to carry around a little book that I to take note of my rides. I wrote down the date (if I was aware), from where to where, what the driver’s name was and the topics we chatted about. It has no use in a spreadsheet. Today, I use my phone to take notes and the slightly creepy features of Google do the rest of the work to track my trips.
Here I made a few interactive maps of a few trips and added a few other details. If it was my first time in a country they are written in italics. Since making these maps and calculating stuff is quite a lot of work, this list is not complete at all and misses a lot of the trips I’ve done in the past. I do my best, though, to be thorough.
Use the table of contents to quickly travel to the continent or trip you’re looking for. Some maps are more advanced than others. If you see this symbol, you can find additional information by hovering over it with your mouse or tapping and holding it on your phone.
18 Months in Asia
Date: 31 October 2019 – ongoing.
Kilometers hitched: 1209 kilometers until Myeik.
Number of rides: 4 rides.
Countries: China, Myanmar (note: I’ve been to Thailand on this itinerary but didn’t hitchhike there yet).
Languages needed: English, Chinese
Use of Public Transportation: As I’m getting older, I’m not going to stubbornly hitchhike every single kilometer anymore on this trip. Between Mandalay and Nyaung-U I took a boat and between Yangon and Mawlamyine a train. Between major cities, I sometimes flew. Inside cities, I’ve used: metros, taxis (mostly via an app), tuk-tuks, rented scooters, rented motorbikes, rented electric scooters. I often used tuk-tuks to get to toll booths to hitchhike from.
2018: The Gap Year from Traveling
After hitchhiking in South America for more than two years, I had to return to Europe to finish my studies and get rid of my student debt. Jonas came with me and we lived an ordinary life in an ordinary apartment.
Between 12 December 2017 and 3 January 2019, I was basically stuck in Maastricht, the Netherlands. That’s the town where I started my bachelor’s degree back in 2010. In November 2013, I dropped out of university and did all these other trips on this page in-between.
As a student, I sometimes had one week of vacation to travel. With such little time, I had to use airplanes. Those trips took me to Tunisia, Sardinia (Italy), and Mallorca (Spain). I sometimes I hitchhiked in the Netherlands from Maastricht to Utrecht to see my family. During the 8-week summer holidays, I did do some hitchhiking journeys in Portugal (solo), and in Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia with my partner Jonas.
Two Years in South America
Google My Maps has a limit on how many places you can add on one map, so there are three maps to show the entire trip in South America. Some stats:
Start and finish: Arrived in Santos, Brazil. Departed from Bogotá, Colombia.
Time frame: From 18 November 2015 till 12 December 2017.
Total kilometers hitched: 30.163 kilometers
Number of rides: An estimated 281 rides
Countries sequence: Brazil → Paraguay → Bolivia → Perú → Chile → Argentina → Chile → Argentina → Chile → Argentina → Uruguay → Argentina → Chile → Perú → Ecuador → Colombia.
Languages needed: Spanish, Portuguese, English, and German.
Now here are the three maps with their separate data:
South America Part III: Northern South America
Date: 20 April 2017 – 12 December 2017. This is a continuation of the Southern Cone and the End of the World and Atlantic Crossing by Boat: Hitchhiking South America maps below. The break-off point is in Lima, Perú.
Kilometers hitched: 2781 Kilometers (1728 Miles) from Lima, Perú, to Valledupar, Colombia.
Number of rides: 51
Countries: Perú, Ecuador, Colombia
Languages needed: Spanish, Portuguese, English, and German
Use of Public Transportation: The boat from Pucallpa to Iquitos was not hitchable and neither were the four boats from Iquitos to El Coca in Ecuador. I took a short taxi ride from Zumbahua to Quilotoa in Ecuador as well, which was a splurge. The boat to Tayrona National Park wasn’t hitchable and the whole trip was a rather expensive ordeal. To get to Punta Gallinas – the northernmost point of South America – is not really possible without arranged (and paid) transportation.
South America Part II: Southern Cone and the End of the World
Date: 18 November 2015 – 20 April 2017. Google My Maps has a limit on how many places you can add. This map is a continuation of the Atlantic Crossing by Boat: Hitchhiking South America map below. The break-off point is in La Junta in Chile and continues until Lima, Perú.
Kilometers hitched: 14.967 Kilometers (9300 Miles) from La Junta in Chile, till Lima, Perú. Scroll up to see the continuation of this trip and scroll down to see the beginnings!
Number of rides: 120+
Countries: Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, then Argentina and Chile again and into Perú.
Languages needed: Spanish, English, and German.
Use of Public Transportation: The ferry to cross over the Lago General Carrera/Lago Buenos Aires at the Chile Chico border crossing costs 2.100 Chilean Pesos (~€2,60). The ferry €20 from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay.
South America Part I: Arriving by Repositioning Cruise
Date: 18 November 2015 – March 27th when I arrived in La Junta. The following map belongs together with the two above it!
Kilometers hitched: 10.801 Kilometers (6711 Miles) by hitchhiking and approximately 7000 by boats across the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Corcovado.
Number of rides: ~110
Countries: Canary Islands (part of Spain), Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Perú, and Chile.
Languages needed: Portuguese, Spanish, and English. Occasional German.
Use of Public Transportation: I had to take a flight from Amsterdam to the Canary Islands (BOOO! I know…) and the cruise ship I took to cross the Atlantic Ocean was a really cheap “repositioning cruise” – both were sponsored. On the mainland of South America I’ve taken a few city buses to get out of the cities; namely the Saõ Paolo metropolitan area in Brazil and to get out of Asunción, capital of Paraguay. In many places, it was possible to walk out of town, though.
Edges of Europe Tour: The Missing Countries
Date: January 2015 – 18 November 2015
Kilometers hitched: 11.790 Kilometers (7326 Miles) by hitchhiking and walking (I had to walk a lot in Spain) and 630 Kilometers (392 Miles) by sailboat from Corfu to Malta, that’s 340 Nautical Miles. This was supposed to be the trip where I visit all the countries in Europe I haven’t been to yet, but then I changed my mind (it happens).
Number of rides: 300+
Countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Malta, Italy, France, Monaco, Spain, British overseas territory of Gibraltar, Portugal.
Languages needed: Spanish and English. Occasional German, French or Russian when hitching with other tourists. Super basic Portuguese, but many folks spoke English/Spanish/Portuñol.
Use of Public Transportation: None, except for the ferries from Malta to Sicily and Sicily to mainland Italy. That last one costs about €2.50 to cross a small strait (I couldn’t be arsed to find a boat hitch for that). Emergency flight from Lisbon to Berlin. This was one of those trips where I changed my mind at some point and drastically changed my plans.
Round Trip to the Caucasus, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, etc.
Date: July 2014 – December 2014
Kilometers hitched: 19.946 Kilometers (12.394 Miles) hitched over roads. Many parts were done using the speed hitchhiking method (get on the highway, don’t leave it until you’re at your destination) which is why I was able to cover such a distance in half a year while also visiting places. I covered the distance Maastricht – Tbilisi in five days. The distance Istanbul – Maastricht was covered in 60 hours.
Number of rides: ~600
Countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Abkhazia (disputed territory), Armenia again, Iran, Turkey (again), Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkey (yet again) and then the same route home for Christmas through Bulgaria, Serbia, etc.
Languages needed: English, German, Turkish, Russian and basic Farsi mandatory. Random others: Spanish, French, Georgian, Armenian, South Slavic (Balkan languages), Polish and even Dutch!
Use of Public Transportation: None, unless paid by a host/driver/friend. Oh, and the ferry between Mersin and Cyprus isn’t hitchable, so I paid.
Central America With a Touch of Caribbean
Date: January 2014 – July 2014
Kilometers hitched: 8.816 Kilometers (5478 Miles) From Mexico City to Panama City and a little in the Dominican Republic.
Number of rides: ~500
Countries: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
Languages needed: Spanish and English. Occasional German, French or Russian when hitching with other tourists.
Use of Public Transportation: None, except for the flight to the Dominican Republic. The ferry from Punta Gorda, Belize, to Livingston, Guatemala isn’t hitchable, so I paid (but sailed it myself!), but I got a free bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
Hitchhike the UK – The Newbie Drop Out
Date: November 2013 – 23rd December 2013
Kilometers hitched: 4.900 Kilometers (3045 Miles) hitchhiked and ferry hitchhiked.
Number of rides: I have no clue. I wasn’t tracking my rides as meticulously. I did hitchhike with three consecutive Chrisses in a row in Wales.
Countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Shetland Islands (part of Scotland), Isle of Man, Wales.
Languages needed: English, French, Flemish, and Dutch.
Use of Public Transportation: I went by train (one of those douchy Virgin trains with champagne for the wealthy commuters) from Liverpool to Lancaster once and took the London Tube to get through and out of London. I paid for the ferry to and from the Shetland Islands (there was a blizzard) and to and from the Isle of Man, but I managed to hitchhike the Eurotunnel and the ferry back to Calais with drivers for free.
Summer of Age – My First Big European Trip
Date: During the summer holiday of 2013 (about 6 weeks from July till early September).
Kilometers hitched: ~5049
Number of rides: I have no idea.
Countries: Netherlands, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary.
Languages needed: English, Dutch, German. Russian would have been great to know but eh, I couldn’t back then.
Use of Public Transportation: I wasn’t really adamant back then on hitchhiking everything, so I mixed things up with the bus and train. The first leg of the trip all the way to Czechia was a road trip with some friends and split the gas costs. In Romania, I didn’t hitchhike at all because someone told me they always wanted money. Two years later I had a great time hitchhiking around Romania, so that was a lie. I had a lot to learn still back then.
Thanks for Reading!