By Mirembe Martina
A man of French origin decided to travel round the world on foot without any money in his pocket.
For the past five years, Jeremy Marie has traveled the world and visited 71 countries without using a single penny. He relied on people’s kindness to offer him his daily needs like food, water and transport.
Marie has traveled countries ranging from Sudan to Syria and has a lot to say about which country is good for hitchhiking and which one may not be the best choice.
The 29-year-old hitches lifts with cars, boats, planes and even a donkey since he set off from Caen, Normandy in October 2007. He has gone through Europe, USA, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and more in between.
Talking about his travels, Marie said it was his passion for traveling that guides him. “My passion for travelling came when I stayed with a Polish family as part of a school foreign exchange trip. This desire to travel led me to live a year abroad, when I went to live in Wales.During this year I also had the opportunity to visit England and Ireland. It was in the green and very hilly city of Dublin I had my first taste of hitchhiking. I like to hitchhike, it’s a good way to meet people and you get to see the world from a local’s point of view and see and experience things a tourist wouldn’t usually be able to. When I came back from Wales. I started a tour of Europe with a friend. we hitchhiked our way through Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, England and France,” he said.
He went on to add saying, “The next logical step was to travel the world so I set myself the goal of touring the world by hitch-hiking. Hitchhiking makes it possible to meet local people, it makes it easier to make friends on your travels. Another benefit of hitch-hiking is by being a pedestrian you have greater freedom, all I had was a bag and I had the freedom to go wherever I liked, whenever I liked. Hitchhiking is not just a means of travel, it is an unexplainable passion, I go and find a good spot on the roadside and raise my thumb. I then wait anxiously to see if the car indicates, if the driver lowers their window. If they do, they take my bag, I get in and talk to the driver and/or passengers, people I would never normally have had the chance to meet.”
Marie confirmed that he has visited 71 countries in total. “It was a long experience and took over five years but it gave me the opportunity to see places that are sometimes difficult to get to. I’ve visited 71 countries in total from Italy, and Asia to the USA and Canada. Some countries are very easy to hitchhike around, New Zealand was great the people are very friendly, the roads are good and there was no danger of miscommunication. But it was difficult in the US as it’s against the law to hitchhike there, so people were very reluctant to stop and offer me a lift.”
His favorite part of the trip was when he went across the Pacific Ocean aboard a 45-foot sailboat in Cartagena, where the British captain took him on as a crewmate. While there, he visited Tonga the Galapagos islands, Panama, Auckland and New Zealand. “This was definitely my favourite part of my trip. It was quality time, time to think about the meaning of life, without worrying where the next lift would come from. Hitchhiking has given me the opportunity to see so much of the world, it is the best way to travel. Sometimes I felt scared, there’s good and bad people everywhere and so you have to be careful about who you choose to trust when you’re hitchhiking. I met my girlfriend in Bali, Indonesia while I was travelling and hitched a lift with a pilot to come back here. I’m now living here writing a book about my journey.’