October 17, 2020. It’s been four years to the day since we left Tours, Julien’s hometown, and the starting point of our hitchhiking adventure around the world. As if to make a loop, we are now heading back to Tours, unexpectedly, to attend the funeral of Julien’s grandmother who had just passed away. An early return to our homecountry that forced us to leave the Philippines on a rush, by plane, but above all to put an end to this adventure… It’s the right time to write about our four years overview, to share our state of mind and our projects for the future!
Four years of hitchhiking
When we left France four years ago, we wanted to travel as far as we could by hitchhiking (we had initially set Australia as our destination, as this country was on the other side of the globe compared to France), meet people, reduce our carbon footprint, and live the adventure of our lives.
So even if we didn’t reach Australia and didn’t hitchhike at the end of our journey, we are still proud to have reached the Philippines without a plane! In total, we have:
- traveled through 26 countries
- traveled 62381 km, or 1.5 times the Earth circumference
- traveled 3581 nautical miles aboard 4 sailboats and 1 Ro-Ro, which represents an additional 6632km
- and hitchhiked 1202 vehicles: cars, motorcycles, trucks, tuk-tuks… And many other “uncommon” vehicles that we had fun to list in “SerialHikers Bonus” of our hitchhiking guide!
Compared to our last travel overview, we have not made much progress: about 2500 km more on land, plus approx. 891 km at sea (481 nautical miles). It must be said that the outbreak of Covid-19 and quarantine measures forced us to pause our trip back in March 2020…
Human encounters overview
It’s hard to talk about this specific overview without a small twinge of emotion and a lot of moving memories: our journey was marked by wonderful encounters – from our drivers to the captains of the sailboats that took us on board, from our travel buddies who join us on the way to all of our 251 hosts who offered us hospitality. From the bottom of our hearts, a big thank you to all of you!
Our super hosts
Chiara, Greta, Giorgo and Hemal; Marta, Sara, Ilaria and Sylvia; Stefania; Cosimo; Elisa, Mateo and Rio ; Massimo and Rossana; Enrico; Susanna; Nicole; Roberto; Alan and Magda; Gessica, Giulia, Alice and Damiano; Mascha; Benjamin; Federico; Erica; Giulio; Caterina
Manca and her parents; Ajda and her parents; Darko; Tomaz and Mirjam; Niko; Metka and Bogda; Mojca, Luka and Sara; Rem and his parents
Zeljan; Sasa; Frane; Stipe and his parents; Ante; Bruno; Boris; Ben; Mijo; Ines; Maja and Luke; Dorian; Marie-Louise; Tanja and her sister
Alina and George; Rebecca
Adel and his wife; Ajika; Lutz; Denis; Maja; Amar and his brothers; Nemanja
Dejana; Juliette; Aleksa and his family; Ivan and his family; Danilo and his wife; Milos and Uros; Drago; Djordje
Tina; Cathy; Anne-Sophie
Robin; Joe; Enea; Ednild; Ali; Arjoni
Kostas, Anna and Kiki; Giorgos; Holly; Jéromine; Chryssi, Ify and Ozgur; Fotis; Emeline; Nikos; Pauela; Labrini; Eleni; Denise and her family; Iannis; Iannis
Rob; Yasen; Krum; Kali; Angel; Gergana and her family; Rositsa and her parents; Anton
Selma; Nuria; Murat; Aygen; Tuba; Murat; Canan and her husband; Sibel; Omer; Ayse; Sema and Ozkan; Huseyin; Bayza; Elif; Dilek; Bilen; Eray; Müge; Ahmet; Refik; Can; Kadir; Kenan; Hakan; Talha; Mustafa; Tugba and Tahla; Suleyman; Halil and his friends
Iri; Avto, Soso, Nini and Lala; Raphaël; Zaza’s family; Felipe, Ned and Ted; Taylor and Melody; Keti and her family
Mariam and her parents; Ani and Nerek; Nikea and Anzhelika; Koryan; Vardan; Elma and her mother; Edgar; Gayane
Mahdi; Leyla and Reza; Hoda and her family; Aliyeh, her family and husband Mohamed; Rola; Nosheen and Kevi; Hajar; Mohammad; Pedram; Ehsan; Kami and his parents; Reza and his wife; Mamal; Fahrang; Mohammad
Hadji; Shrin and her family
David and his family; Dina and her husband; Kymbat; Aigerim’s family; Azamat and his wife; Javid; Azamat; Manon; Turgan and his wife
Yousuf; Aibek; Saltanat and her husband; Aiperi; Nurjigit; Guliya; Jolaman and his wife; Yegi
Khumoyun and his family; Gulam; Sanjar; Shukhrat; Guli
Daylight; Paula and her roommate; Shehzad and his friends; Wang; Hong; Milos; Kai; Yihuan; Anthony; Lee and Raiy; Tian; Lin-Lin; YanLong; Mei and her family; Mia; Seven-Li and Molly; Chen and Rey; Claire; Skylar
Bao; Hanh and her sister; Michael; Cam Thắm; Giang; Tran Sy; Van Anh; Quang; Vivi and Hai; Anh; Tung; Duy and her parents; Peter and his students; Quang; An; Randy
Bounnam; Mickael and Sofi; Dollar and Santa
Benz and his father; Chanda; Vedant
Valentin; Anutida; Hordi; Preaw
Mazliza and Madi; Grant; Alimin and his family; Ashlie and her father in Singapore
Jonathan; Martha; Ben; Jody; Chris; Philippe Z; Philippe G; Evelyne and her kids
Rob and his wife Sonia; Jhowanis; Ric; Edmin; Iya; Joan; Selma and Aida; Jenny and Claudia; Leonel and Janette; Gary; Jhon; Roger and Judith; Jéremy; Rick; Eric, Imee, Thezou, Max, Myriam, Julien; Marili
This is undoubtedly the most expected outcome: how much did our adventure cost in the end?…. No need to make the suspense last longer, here are the figures:
- We spent a total of €9209.50 for two in 4 years – that is 4604,75€ each.
- This represents, on average, €3.40 spent/day/person (or €1,151/year/person) to live, travel and enjoy from time to time (our beer budget has not been negligible!)
- On top of that, there are few personal expenses (purchase of second-hand equipment and clothing), and travel insurance costs (between €800 and €900/year for two). We do not include plane tickets to France which we consider as not being part of our adventure and which, for this early return, will be fully reimbursed by the insurance.
Regarding our incomes, we already mentioned it in our previous overview: after three years of traveling and living exclusively on our savings, Julien became Digital Nomad at the end of 2019 (first as a French teacher for students wishing to learn our mother tongue via an online platform, then as a web assistant for a French entrepreneur). This change of situation has been very beneficial for us: not only money was no longer a source of concern, but also it has enhanced our new skills… A real ackowledgement of our work which will benefit to us in the future!
Our carbon footprint by hitchhiking
It has become a habit in our overviews: we calculate our hitchhiking footprint from the total distance traveled, and then calculate the carbon footprint of the same distance by plane. Of course, the results obtained can hardly be compared because the plane is more direct: a flight from Paris to Manila is equivalent to 10,763 km to give you an idea. However, the figures speak for themselves:
- We have emitted 878kg CO2/person in four years of hitchhiking according to our calculations (you can find our calculation methods in our post “How to calculate your carbon footprint on a hitchhiking journey“)
- We would have emitted 10,000kg CO2/person by plane according to the ADEME’s Ecolab calculator (one of the most reliable calculators that can be found online)
How to calculate your hitchhiking footprint?
Four years overview: our impressions, projects and what’s next
What can we say?… We lived four intense, fulfilling years. We do not hide the fact that our early return in France is a little bit complicated; between the mourning pain, the new quarantine measures, the gap in life between here and the Philippines… For the moment, we are confined together, in Tours. We take advantage of this confinement to readapt ourselves slowly, to think about our future projects: it will take some time, certainly. One thing we are sure of is that we do not want to resume a job that locks us up and does not match our convictions; we want to keep our independence, work on projects that make sense, and continue to be involved as volunteers. We will also continue our efforts to consume differently, as we used to do while traveling, favoring local markets and craftsmen as much as possible, reducing our consumption, repairing and buying second-hand. Of course, as soon as possible, we will reopen the door to all travellers who would like to meet us, listen to our stories, share a beer or discover Paris/Tours!…
And what about our blog, what will become all the “SerialHikers” content? Be reassured: we still have a lot of stories, thoughts and photos to share! Maybe one day, we will tell our adventure in a different way – through a film, or a travel book. And then, when it will be time to travel again, we’ll hit the road by hitchhiking, sailing or biking!
* Post written according to our personal experience *