I didn’t know them, I have never heard about them, until the day a friend send me a message about them coming to Australia.
After checking their facebook profile and blog I knew I needed to meet up with Joana and Tiago on the Australian leg of their humongous project – a hitchhiking world tour.
After cancel a beloved camping trip in order to meet them, we had Joana and Tiago for a couple of days at our place.. and we talked a lot!
The Hitchhiking World Tour
They had been travelling and hitching all the way from Portugal to Australia in the last year so I quickly figured out that their intended 2 day stay would never be enough to satisfy my curious mind. Between Joana’s amazing Vegetarian cooking skills and my millions of questing this honeymoon couple stayed for 4 days!
Tiago loves a good chat, ultra curious about everything and one of the most passionates travellers I have met… He is extremely focus on his passion and project of hitchking around the world and as long as he doesn’t get killed it’s all good and part of the experience.
Joana, we could see that she is a soft soul and for her travelling is more than experience places is about the lessons learnt along the way and the reflection after each experience good or bad, a wonderful cook with great cooking hacks for travellers (I am waiting for a travel cook book from her!!!!)
To put in perpective, Joana and Tiago got married a year ago and for their honeymoon they decided to travel around the world hitchhiking. The idea just by itself seems somehow crazy but then I found out that Joana was never a traveller.
“ the day after our wedding we were still working but we had the plan to quit our jobs few months later. we were still planning and fixing up the details before departing. as we started our trip in our hometown and by hitchhiking any day was good to start, we got a bit late and we had one month of farewell parties with our friend s because we hadn’t decided the day of departure. we ended up departing on march 2nd 2016, almost 6 months after the wedding.”
How On Earth Did Tiago Convinced Joana To Be Part Of Such A Mission?
“More than converting Joana to a traveller I had to convert her into a hitchhiker. first of all, i could convert her because she loves me and because she trusts me. We started with small trips around Portugal, then we traveled around some Portuguese islands. in 2013 we crossed some countries in Europe by hitchhiking and we saw all these as internships, getting ready to a trip around the world.
In some of these trips, Joana felt she wasn’t ready but we got back to the Portuguese islands Azores and we’ve set this as the last internship, the make or break which could send us hitchhiking around the world or could make us sit on the couch watching TV.
The Part of being hitchhiking is a very important detail on this expertise experiences. It is a hard work traveling depending on the human goodness.”
After a while Joana enjoyed very much their road trips by car but when it comes to hitchhiking, special during the long waits or the unconfortable sleep, Joana remembered how much she loved to be at home looking at her comfy bed.
Every time Tiago mentioned the word Hitchhiking his eyes sparkled… So I need to ask:
Would You Ever Consider Travelling In Any Other Way?
“For us hitchhiking is at the same time the best and the cheapest way to travel. This way we have close contact with locals, which allows us to understand their culture, learn their language, and experience human goodness. It is a truly adventure and mostly of the time we have the most beautiful experiences with people due to this way of traveling.
For the past few years we have traveled mostly by hitchhiking and it has always been a great experience. We feel that we are getting out of our comfort zone and most of the time everything goes very well. Even when everything seems to be going wrong there is always someone to rescue us from the dark or from the cold, with hot tea and a warm place to welcome us. Maybe people think that this way of traveling is dangerous, but after so many good experiences we believe that not only is danger everywhere, goodness is also everywhere, and we will be careful and do our best to meet always good people on our way. There are always people who had bad experiences even when traveling by bus, and of course we agree that staying at home is safer than traveling. For us, everything we learn and experience outweighs the potential risks. (Also when you travel there is a high risk of becoming more open minded!)
This is our favourite way to travel right now, we feel it as the true way of traveling but depending on the our life later on, we might have to adapt our way of traveling, because the most important thing is traveling itself, doesnt matter how. We would like to mention that everybody should travel as they feel like, if people want to be in resort for 7 days taking sun baths these people should go for it. for us, take sun bath in our garden is enough and, for now, we prefer to be sweat, smelly and using the same clothes for 3 or 4 days (not that extreme but sometimes almost there )”
We all have less good moments on the road..
Tiago seemed to have the right mind set for those days.
“During te tough moments everything comes to our minds but I see this as a Mission and I have never though about give up but Joana is feeling that she wants to get back home “as soon as possible.
Once in guangzhou, China we waited three days for a ride. the first day we set the perfect place (fuel station) to start hitchhiking but we couldn’t get there so we started in the entrance of the highway before that place. We waited 9hours and nobody stopped. at 9pm we decided to get back to ours friends house, we couldn’t believe, it was the first time ever, after more than 100 000km of hitchhiking, that we couldn’t get any ride during the whole day. It was a Friday so we stayed for that weekend in the city and on Monday we got back to the road. that time we start to hitchhike in the city centre, we got a ride to another entrance of the same highway, but it wasn’t the right one, and after many hours we got back to our friends house, again at 9pm. The next day we managed to get to the perfect place which we had set in the first day. we knew that coming back to our friends house in the end of that day was a possibility but at least we tried to hitchhike in the right place. After two hours we got a ride, the driver gave us drinks, invited us for the lunch and in the end left 70 euros inside our backpacks. That day we got three rides and very special ones, great people and the left us in front of the building that we were going to. all this means, we were waiting 3 days for the right rides.”
There Are 3 Essential Things to Travel
By then Joana had joined the conversation and she quickly told me that for Tiago there are 3 essential things to travel:
“When we travel there are three resources which we have to spend: time, money, energy. usually if we want to spend less of one of these resources we will spend more on the other two. Based on this people can start palling they trip. We’ve chosen to hitchhike around the world, we spend less money but we spend more money and energy”
Travelling as a couple is not always easy
Travelling as a couple is not always easy, specially for that length of time and hitchhiking but their dynamics seemed to work quite well.
“I would say we match very well, while traveling, Usually Joana cooks, takes care of the clothes and pack the bags, I plan the trip and speak with everybody. Without Joana I would be still in Portugal packing up my stuff and Joana without me would be in Portugal looking for the right road to hitchhike.” Tiago explained
O Mundo Na Mao
Joana and Tiago write about their adventure on the blog O Mundo Na Mao – which means the world in the hand, as we are traveling by hitchhiking the hand is our tool to ask for the free rides, thumb up in the western world, waiving our hand in the middle east and asia, or simply holding a boardcard with the name of our destination, and this works pretty much everywhere.
we want to show the people that traveling is for everybody and it is not conected with the money one has it is conected to the options one makes. Usually people who travel are more tolerant, respectful and thoughful, thus traveling changes people and people change the world. lets travel!