Hitchhiking across Europe with strangers

If someone told you you could cross Europe for free, while in the meanwhile getting to know local cultures, would you? What if the deal also included meeting wonderful people and seeing places that you just haven’t had the time, money or huge interest to visit? Places that you’d like to see, but for one reason or another, would just never book a plane ticket to go see. Well, good news: you can! As a proof, I went across Europe with strangers.

Last April I took a break from cycling and flew from Iguazu Falls, Brazil, to where I am now – Madrid, Spain (I’m flying back to Brazil tomorrow). Instead of taking a flight back to Finland, I decided to hitchhike. Why? Because Hitchhiking is an incredibly efficient way to meet people and enter their lives for a while, almost as if you were couchsurfing. The idea was to travel with strangers and meet friends along the way. The route wasn’t too straight from start to finish (as I ended up e.g. shooting a documentary in Torino), but I definitely did discover many places and landscapes through the eyes of my drivers.

Here’s a collection of some photos along the way. I didn’t take many pictures of my drivers (as on that trip I was concentrating on road photography), but here’s a glimpse of what I saw and who I met on the way. I truly hope that these pictures will decrease even a tiny bit the dangerous stigma hitchhiking still has in many people’s minds. If you don’t like cycling, yet want to meet locals while traveling, hitchhiking just is the ultimate thing to do! No doubt about it.

Strangerless comments:

My previous hitchhiking trips include, among others, journeys from Prague to Tallinn, from Croatia to Finland, from Zimbabwe to Mozambique, 600kms in Chile, from Mozambique to South Africa (and back), from Poland to Italy (and back), from Berlin to Paris (and back), all around Poland in various stretches, from Madrid to Helsinki, from Helsinki to the Arctic Sea (and back) and from Warsaw to Berlin. There are also many other trips, long and short, that I have done either alone or with friends during the past 15 years. If you’re interested in knowing anything more about these trips or hitchhiking, don’t hesitate to contact me!


Written by Sissi Korhonen
Exploring, interpreting and understanding cultures through local languages and people. An advocate for intercultural communication as a basis for diversity acceptance and human equality.