In 2007, Jeremy Marie of Caen, France graduated from university, packed his bag and began a journey with the goal of hitchhiking around the world. On March 12, he finally arrived home after 5 years, 5 months and 5 days. In all of the 1,752 vehicles that gave him rides, he never once paid a single cent. Jeremy traveled 180,700 kilometers (112,282 miles) in over 100 countries and used many forms of transportation including boats, tractors, historic cars and camels.
He has completed an amazing adventure, in which he spoke to tens of thousands of students and millions through his media interviews. His mission was to promote global understanding and let the world know of the trust that exists between humans. We talked to Jeremy upon his arrival in Caen.
VN: What do you think of our world and the people after your travels?
JM: I am in between being a pessimist and an optimist. Indeed, while hitchhiking, I had the possibility to meet a great range of people. Most of those who picked me up showed me the great side of humanity, by helping each other when one needs it. I also met people who spent a whole life to try to make the world better, in different ways, through social work, environment, etc…
However, I could also see that some people did the opposite. Destroying is easier than creating, criticizing is easier than doing. Those persons seemed to think that it is fun to do so, but sometimes they looked lost to me.
I believe that one important thing that could be done would be to help the people who want to do good. To give them this desire. To inspire them to go in this direction. (continued below)
VN: What were some of the most difficult parts of your journey?
JM: I didn’t really feel that some parts were too difficult for me. I was living my passion and I was taking the difficulties as part of the experience. Crossing bodies of water by hitching on a boat, plane or ferry was a challenge because sometimes it was like a gamble. If I missed my opportunity, I would not have other chances because only one ferry company existed in the area, such as the border of Egypt/Sudan or Indonesia/Malaysia.
VN: There are so many memorable moments in your journey, is there one that stands out very strong to you? If so, which one?
JM: I believe that once, I faced the desire to stop this journey. I was mugged by the police in Venezuela, in Caracas, and just after that I was supposed to look for a boat that would take me across the Pacific towards Australia. I knew that looking for a boat would be very difficult, especially for such a long distance, and I lost a bit of faith in humanity at this moment. Luckily, I didn’t give up and 5 days later, I was on a sailboat that would take me all the way to New Zealand with a crew whom I spent some of the most memorable moments in my life with. (continued below)
VN: What advice can you give to aspiring hitchhikers?
JM: The most important advice that I could give to a hitchhiker would be to use their common sense. This is also what is good in hitchhiking, because it makes you think for yourself and it forces you to find solutions to each little problem.
VN: Will we see a book soon?
JM: I will write a book. I have the desire and the need to do it. This journey offered me a lot of different experiences, and people to meet. I will now have the desire to sit down a bit and to think about all of this, so I can give more sense to the world I saw.
VN: What do you plan to do now that you are back in your hometown?
JM: After all those years on the road, I am happy to see my family, my friends, to see the places where I used to live and do things. Then, I will surely go back to Indonesia, where I met my girlfriend, and who has waited for me for a year already.
VN: Thank you Jeremy and happy journeys ahead!
JM: All the best mate!
Learn more about Jeremy Marie and his amazing journey around the world through hitchhiking through his website.