Today we are traveling with Danie from Like Riding Bicycle
My name’s Danie, and I’m Canadian. While I suppose my blog is a travel blog, I’m not really the destination guide, or top ten list type of person. I prefer to share my personal experiences – whether good or bad – with the aim of inspiring and relating to my readers. After all, they can find all that top ten info elsewhere already!
What type of traveler would you say are you?
I am most definitely a backpacker! I’ve always traveled this way, and it’s really just become my way of life. While a luxury vacation would be nice once in a while, I’d rather meet the locals and see the real side of the countries I visit.
What’s inside your backpack? What is that one thing that you ALWAYS have to carry
Of course I have all the basics – clothes, toothbrush, this and that – but the most weight and space in my pack is for my tent and my sleeping bag. Even when I’m not camping, I always know that if I have my tent, I have a home no matter where I am. It’s my baby.
Are you usually traveling alone? Why?
For the most part, my travels have all been solo. Part of it is because I love the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want, and I tend to change my mind at a second’s notice. Although a partner in crime would be nice to have now and again, I’ve rarely found anyone who’s as go-with-the-flow as I am.
Where do you usually sleep on your travels? How much is your budget traveling?
Where I sleep tends to change a lot. When I’m purely hitchhiking and I’ve got next to no money, I mostly live in my tent. Sometimes I use couchsurfing, but it can be difficult when you’re hitchhiking to have a clue where you’ll wind up that night, making it harder to arrange to stay with hosts. When I’m working online, I tend to stay in hostels so that I have wifi. As for my budget – it’s all over the place! I hitchhiked across Canada on $40 a couple of years ago, while other times I have some money saved up and can afford the luxury of a hostel!I hitchhiked across Canada on $40Click To Tweet
Which one was the easiest country for hitchhiking? Why?
Hands down, the easiest country was Scotland – even the police pulled over to give me a lift once! During my two weeks hitching the country, I never waited more than 10 minutes for a ride. I think the mindset is just very open and friendly there, and people tend to be open to helping each another out.
Which one was the worst country for hitchhiking? Why?
The States was definitely the hardest country I’ve hitched so far. The media likes to share terrible stories, and sadly, a lot of people don’t realize that for every horrible incident they hear about, there are TONS of amazing ones. Unfortunately, the good things don’t make it to the news, and I found that a lot of Americans were truly scared to pick up a hitchhiker. On several occasions I’d find myself at a gas station, smiling, and politely asking people if they were headed in my direction – I’d wait hours upon hours for someone to give me a lift, yet people would often pop out of the gas station with some food or a drink for me. They were kind, but they were just terrified to let a stranger in their car.The States was definitely the hardest country I've hitched so farClick To Tweet
Can you tell us a hitchhiking story?
One of my all time favourite lifts was from a man in Scotland. He was just escaping the city for the day, and driving to nowhere in particular. We wound up getting along so well, that before we knew it he realized he was five hours away from home! We exchanged info, and wound up going on adventures together the following two weekends – he even picked me up in northern England to go explore Wales, simply because neither of us had ever been!
What’s your favorite gastronomy/food cuisine that you had in your travels?
This is awful, but I totally love my westernized food. I found I got sick of Asian food within a couple weeks of being in Thailand. I wasn’t terribly fond of genuine Mexican food, either. Although, I must say, the snacks in Mexico are DELIGHTFUL! There are few things in life as wonderful as drinking some coconut milk right from the coconut, then chopping it open, slicing it up, throwing some lime, salt, and hot sauce on it, and chowing down! Also mango with hot sauce. And popcorn with hot sauce. Basically all snacks in Mexico have lime, salt, and hot sauce, and it rocks.
Which country did you find the most hospitable people?
The most hospitable people I’ve ever found were in Newfoundland, a province in Canada (sadly, not the part of Canada I’m from!) I was fed far more than I could even eat – and I was flat broke at the time – taken in by several people, had people drive out of their way for me… they were just amazing! I absolutely cannot wait to return there!
How is a day in your life when you aren’t traveling?
I’ve been on the road for three years straight, but I do stop here and there for a couple of weeks or a couple of months sometimes. I suppose when I’m staying somewhere for a bit my life is pretty much just working online, and then going out in search of new friends!
What’s the big reason why you are traveling?
Quite honestly, I’m just a nomad at heart! I feel uncomfortable even thinking about staying put in one place! I suppose it’s just how I was made.
Can you tell us about your longest trip?
This one! I’ve been on the road for three years straight, and in all honesty I don’t really feel that anywhere is my home, so I won’t be stopping anytime soon! I started off with working holiday visas in Australia and New Zealand, before hitchhiking across Canada, the States, and Mexico. From there I flew to Europe and hitched around, and then off to Thailand and Laos I went. When I started I actually hadn’t saved a dime – in fact, I had $6,000 worth of debt! These days I work online, and while I don’t earn a huge amount, it’s enough for my way of life.
Has there been any challenging and bad moments?
As with any lifestyle, there are definitely the bad times along with the good! For me, the biggest thing I struggle with is loneliness on the road, but we all have to choose which challenges we’re willing to face in order to live the life of our dreams, so I just try to get through it and hope that new friends come about soon!
What has been you favorite destination on all the trips you’ve done?
This question is nearly impossible! I love little beach towns – Mancora in Peru and Zipolite in Mexico being my two favourites. I also fell madly in love with Iceland, as it was such a diverse and beautiful country, and I love being out in nature. It’s also one of the few places I’ve been where it’s legal to wild camp – I mean, it doesn’t stop me from wild camping when it’s illegal, but it’s certainly nicer to be in a country where it’s totally understood and permitted!
What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?
I spent a month living in a tent on a beach in Mexico – not in a campground, just right there, on the beach. It was so amazing to wake up each morning to hear the waves, and watch the fishermen doing their thing. Plus I love sleeping on sand so insanely much! I can’t really think of anywhere that was terrible to sleep – I once had my tent pitched on gravel for a month, with no mattress, and I still slept like a baby every night! Even airport floors are perfectly comfortable to me.
Are you planning for a new trip or do you already have a new trip in mind?
The trip is my life! I’m off to Mexico next, and then who knows from there!
Its easy to find love while you are traveling?
God no! If it were, I’d have a partner in crime by my side! Most travelers are on trips of a set length, so even if I found someone I truly connected with, our lifestyles probably wouldn’t fit together anyways. On the bright side, when I do find it, it’ll undoubtedly be a truly meaningful connection.
How do you finance your trips?
I work online as a personal assistant to another travel blogger, as well as doing transcription work. As long as I have wifi, I’m good to go wherever I am!
What’s favorite post you’ve written so far?
I’ve written a few that I really loved; recently I wrote a guest post for Mapping Megan – which I thought was awesome as it gave me the opportunity to show the world how amazing hitchhiking can be. On my own site, I was really proud of my most recent post – as it’s really personal. I had a few people tell me how much they connected with the things I said, and that meant the world to me. I don’t want to pretend that my life is all sunshine and roses; I want to give my readers the good and the bad.
Do you have any recommendations which blogger/traveller should I interview next?
Stu from Looking for Stu is awesome! He’s on a crazy hitchhiking trip from the UK to India, and he always seems to get himself into crazy situations – whether good or bad – that will have you laughing your ass off. He’s a really cool dude who I first met at a hostel in Peru.
A crazy hitchhiking stories, thanks for your time Danie from Like Riding a Bicycle!
Great stories on the road from Danie. The best country for hitchhiking is Scotland. Danie told us how hard is hitchhiking in United States. Danie is living in her tent while traveling meeting local people and experience a real way of traveling.
If you want to follow more hitchhiking stories, check the interview with Tomislav Perko and how he traveled around the world during six years. Or check here, to know Jeremy Marie adventures and his hitchhiking experiences around the world.