Our answer is pretty simple: we are rather minimalists in the way we travel! We don’t pay for transportation (hitchhiking), we hardly pay for a night in a hotel (mostly accommodated, or wild camping) and we feed ourselves by buying either street-food meals or vegetables on markets that we will cook, and we don’t throw our stuff away when they are damaged, we fix everything! (sewing clothes, backpacks and sleeping bags, DIY, fixing a broken photo lens, etc.).
No! We didn’t set any budget limits. But by living simply, we can spend as little as possible – and travel much longer!
During the first three years of our adventure, we didn’t earn any money (no salary, no sponsors, no financial help). Since November 2019, Julien earns some money by giving online French courses (through italki platform) and being Web Assistant/Web Master for a French start-up.
Regarding to our blog, we refuse to be remunerated by advertising, by any brands or tourist agencies (we have refused several offers). Why? Because it would be completely insane and paradoxical to make money thanks to companies that don’t have the same ethics as us, and in the same time to advocate an alternative way of traveling that goes against the capitalist system!
About requests for partnerships with companies or organizations, we can accept requests if and only if the company respects our values, as detailed in our code of ethics. If we agree on a partnership, we will state it transparently in the relevant post/publication!
We answer to this question in our post: How to decide your route from day to day?
There is no better or worse country! This question is also very suggestive and depends on each person tastes, personal experiences…
There are three ways to obtain a visa on the road:
- by requesting online an e-visa (and more countries are now opting for an e-visa system!)
- by getting a visa on arrival, at the border
- by applying for a visa in the embassy of the country you want to visit, in the country you are visiting.
Well, we’re still alive after 3 years on the road, no?… Of course we’ve had some problems, but we don’t think we’ve had more problems than in our past sedentary life, despite the particular conditions of our adventure.
In detail, we got out of the car 3 times for different reasons (dangerous driving, alcohol, harassment); and we had 2 bad Couchsurfing experiences. But these situations remain rare, compared to the thousands of good memories left by our drivers, hosts and other people we met on the road!
For the hours of walking with our big bags, accumulation of tiredness, or not always knowing where to sleep at night, we don’t considered them as “a pain in the ass”. It’s part of our adventure, we chose it, so we knew it was going to happen!
Find out all our stories travel stories
Hard to answer! We’ll start with the worst: the death of Margaux’s grandmother during our trip.
For the best ones, we still hesitate: our unusual hitchhiking experience with an ULM in Bulgaria, being hosted in cave dwellers in Cappadocia, Turkey, or the night spent in a yurt-surfing iu Kyrgyzstan, the silver necklace offered by an uzbek jeweler who gave us a lift, etc. In a general way, we will especially remember the incredible encounters we had (hosts, drivers, travellers…).
What we miss the most is our families and good French cheeses!…
Joke aside, it’s true that sometimes we miss the comfort of a thick, cozy mattress – as well as our independence, when we had the freedom to do what we wanted to do during the day, before meeting up with the other in the evening. Margaux would also like to be able to dress in something different than her hiking outfit… Apart from that, there are not really many things we miss from our life before: we have gradually learned to live well, with little!
No, never. And we have many reasons to justify this decision:
- While we are hitchhiking, we are given a lift by people who are already driving for themselves: we take this opportunity to “fill” the empty space!
- Each driver is free to stop or not: we don’t force anyone to take us!
- By not “giving money” we don’t mean that we “never give”: when we have food with us, we always share it. Hitchhiking is all about sharing!
- It would also be necessary to define “poor country”: we were taken by a wealthy family in Vietnam driving a 4×4 and who obviously lacked nothing; and conversely, in France, by a couple who were not making ends meet… So everything is relative.
- Giving money to drivers of “poor countries” can be seen as a colonialist practice (“here’s rich white people’s money to help you live”). We are also convinced that money perverts people: if the driver to whom we give money sees “white” tourists on the road again, he’ll systematically ask them for money.
- In some countries, drivers expect money (local taxis). To avoid any misunderstanding, it’s always better to specify, in the local language and before getting into a car, that you will not pay.
And, we would like to remind you that we are financially independants and that hitchhiking is not just about money for us. It’s also about ecology and encounters…!
Find out all our tips about hitchhiking in our Hitchhiking guide
First of all, you have to try to understand what motivates your fear: is it because of your family and friends, who advise you not to hitchhike? Because of the media?
If you really want to hitchhike, we advise you to follow your instincts and make your own experience! You can start by reading up on hitchhiking (by reading our adventures and our guide for example) and choose a road map with spots you’ll have spotted on Hitchwiki.org.
Read our Hitchhiking Guide
Girls, we advise you to find a travel partner (girl or boy!) for the first time. As we are going around the world together, we can’t really give any advice about solo hitchhiking for girls… But you can get inspiration from great adventuress who have done it, like Florence among many others!
We mainly use networks: hospitality or volunteering networks, friends network, social network (especially Facebook groups). And when we don’t have a plan, we also sometimes find a host on the road: it can be the last driver (we call it the “sunset car”!) or people met on the streets. We never ask for hospitality directly: our hosts always offer to host us voluntarily, either because they adhere to our project, or because they refuse to let us camp outside. In order to keep a pleasant moment of authentic exchange, it’s better not to impose oneself…!
Find out about our tips to find a host in our alternative accomodation guide
No. When we left in October 2016, we weren’t even aware of the volunteering system, which allows people to be hosted and fed in exchange for a few hours of help! It was only after a month of traveling, when we were hosted by an Italian couple who also host travelers through Workaway.info platform, that we discovered a whole new world!
At the beginning of our trip, we used Workaway.info platform to find our missions, and contact hosts. But then, the website’s increased rates and possibilities to find contacts in another way motivated us to stop our subscription.
From now on, we spontaneously ask businesses that might be potentially interested (hostels, bars, language centers, etc). As for a spontaneous application for a job, we send them a resume (summarizing our profiles, our project, our skills) and positive references written by our former hosts!
Find out our tips to find a volunteering mission in our alternative accomodation guide
We were aware of the risks, but we had already been living together for several months. We knew that this trip was going to change our lives, from a “comfortable” life with separate activities, to a nomadic lifestyle in special conditions, being together 24 hours a day… We had prepared ourselves mentally: our relationship could go on… or break!
We’re not going to lie to ourselves: travelling as a couple is not easy every day (especially when there are two very independent people together, like us). Arguments will be part of your travel routine: don’t try to avoid them, let your frustrations express themselves! Communication is the essential key.
And above all… don’t neglect the “sweet” moments in your relationship despite the difficulties you have experienced: it’s a means without words to make the other understand that you love him/her, that you are thinking about him/her. And that makes everyone happy!
For the moment, we do not plan to live in a sedentary way elsewhere than in France, for several reasons: first of all, because of our loved ones who occupy a primordial place in our lives, and secondly because ot the social rights (education & health), freedoms and women rights in our society.
You haven’t found an answer to your questions, or you just want to chat about an alternative trip with us?