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Trying (and failing) to hitchhike out of Maastricht, Netherlands.
Quiet road through the Maktesh Ramon crater at Mitzpe Ramon, Israel.
My favourite type of hitchhiking - narrow countryside roads. The Isle of Man is perfect for this.

An English hitchhiker living in Manchester. Wishes he could unicycle.

The stats

Adventure #1: The Gent Escape, 8km, August 2004

Adventure #2: Home to Home to Home, 858km, June 2006

Adventure #3: "Jedzie Pan do Wrocławia?" "Tak! :)", 1522km, June 2006

Adventure #4: AWOL in Europe, 4657km, July-September 2006

Adventure #5: Bummit to Belgrade, 1815km, March-April 2007

Adventure #6: Final taste of freedom?, 1170km, August-September 2007

Adventure #7: The TT course, 59km, January 2008

Adventure #8: Israel by thumb, 648km, January-February 2008

Adventure #9: The shortest hitchhike ever?, less than 1km, April 2008

Adventure #10: Keeping it local, 39km, May 2008

Adventure #11: Home from the Berlin Beach Camp, 15km, May 2008

Adventure #12: The TT Festival, 34km, June 2008

Adventure #13: To the Promised Land, 89km, June 2008

Adventure #14: Around The Island In Eight Hours, 73km, July 2008

Adventure #15: Home from Singapore, 15km, July 2008

Adventure #16: Wet summer, 6km, July 2008

Adventure #17: Maughold, 14km, August 2008

Adventure #18: Home from Barcelona, 14km, November 2008

Adventure #19: Home from Berlin, 14km, January 2009

Adventure #20: Ab in den Süden, 692km, January 2009

Adventure #21: Home from Warsaw, 14km, March 2009

Adventure #22: Goodbye Isle of Man, 59km, April 2009

Adventure #23: England, Scotland, Isle of Man, 211km, April 2009

Adventure #24: Grand Tour of Europe, 2324km, May-June 2009

Adventure #25: Klöden and the Surprise, 2587km, August-September 2009

Adventure #26: Darina's Challenge, 9km, September 2009

Adventure #27: A Birthday Story, 480km, February 2010

Adventure #28: Escape to Aberffraw, 254km, May 2010

Adventure #29: Race to Mont Royal, 17km, May 2010

Adventure #30: French Education, 221km, July 2010

Adventure #31: Mannifest, 52km, August 2010

Adventure #32: Sulby and Dhoon, 39km, August 2010

Adventure #33: Distant Nearby Roads, 604km, September-October 2010

Adventure #34: The Winter Guest, 9km, December 2010

Adventure #35: Saving Christmas, 4km, December 2010

Adventure #36: Turkey and back, 26km, December 2010 - January 2011

Adventure #37: The 5 Big Brothers of Cornwall, 1064km, February 2011

Adventure #38: Escape to Aberffraw pt. 2, 73km, April 2011

Adventure #39: Cross-country adventure, 77km, May 2011

Adventure #40: Mad Sunday, 60km, June 2011

Adventure #41: National Day, 41km, July 2011

Adventure #42: When Worlds Collide, 1080km, July-August 2011

Adventure #43: Raad ny Foillan, 20km, August 2011

Adventure #44: Edinburgh and Manchester Love, 331km, August 2011

Adventure #45: Lament of a Heysham Bus Driver, 1km, September 2011

Adventure #46: Snaefell and Sulby, 10km, September 2011

Adventure #47: Regressing in Kendal, 88km, February 2012

Adventure #48: The Mistake, Part 1, 45km, May 2012

Adventure #49: Messing about in Mont Royal, 7km, June 2012

Adventure #50: In Love With Iceland, 2893km, June 2012

Adventure #51: The Canaries, 39km, July 2012

Adventure #52: The Mistake, Part 2, 418km, July 2012

Adventure #53: Last of the Isle of Man, 68km, August 2012

Adventure #54: Highlands and Islands, 1502km, August 2012

Distance travelled: 26469km of which 9272km hitchhiking alone, 12360km with one other hitchhiker, 4020km hitchhiking in a group of three, 815km in a group of four, and 2km in a group of five; hitched road vehicles for 25879km (including 6km by bus, 38km by coach, 63km by taxi, and one Eurotunnel journey), trains for 590km, trams for <1km, and not hitched by sea or air... yet

Longest lift: I think it's 589km, from Povegliano Est (A22 services near Verona, Italy), to Feucht (A9 services near Nürnberg, Germany), in September 2009. The driver was going from Bologna to Szczecin, and took four hitchhikers in a five-seater car at the same time

Furthest distance in 24 hours: 1042km, from Rome, Italy, to Lausanne, Switzerland, in August 2006

Furthest distance in 12 hours: 1033km, from Bisenzio Est (A1 services near Firenze, Italy), to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in September 2009

Countries hitchhiked (earliest first): Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, United Kingdom, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Monaco, Slovenia, Iceland, Spain, Andorra

Most useful lift: Gabor the Hungarian, who picked us up at Pforzheim Nord (A8 services near Pforzheim, Germany) and didn't care where he was going - he wanted to be a personal taxi service. So we got him to take us to a mate's house in Kelkheim, 177km away. Although neither of us trusted him, and he tried to abduct my travelling partner, it was one hell of a useful lift

Least useful lift: the Slovakian white van man who took us to the wrong side of Bratislava, on the wrong motorway and facing in the wrong direction, making us fail the Bummit to Belgrade challenge

Most fun lift: two Israeli soldiers found me north of Tiberias, and took me with them for a great day out throwing snowballs, avoiding minefields and exploring abandoned military outposts in the Golan Heights, before tasty ostrich steak and a cross-country drive just to drop me back in Haifa. Also, drinking syrupy hot chocolate with a French white van man and his two young children as we travelled through the Italian Alps was fun. And I won't forget the three Danish students on the start of their roadtrip

Best hitchhiking spot used: Brunautal West (A7 services near Hamburg, Germany), where those three Danish students dropped me off in front of around 200 hard rock fans going home from the Wacken festival. I could pick and choose from so many offered rides, going all over Europe... the only way the situation could have been better would be if I was among a crowd of hippies

Worst hitchhiking spot used: a McDonalds restaurant in Meerane (near Zwickau, Germany), a couple of kilometres away from an empty motorway junction. All hope seemed lost. Whilst I was thankful to the previous driver for going 50km off his route, he did it so as to drop me off in the most useless place he could find

Most unexpected lift: from Keele to Knutsford M6 services in the UK, from a coach full of old-age tourists from Warrington, who were travelling back from a package holiday in the southwest. We won over their sympathy and played them some old classic tunes on the ukulele

Best scenery: waking up at a service station in the mountains east of Aosta, then travelling through the town, and north on the E27 across the Swiss border towards Lausanne - this was unforgettable and was well worth the overnight hitchhike from Rome. In Germany, I had the opportunity to hitchhike to Traben-Trarbach through the hills and vineyards. I've hitchhiked through some beautiful Israeli scenery, especially Route 40 south of Be'er Sheva, and the mountain roads around Galilee and the Golan Heights. Most of the Isle of Man (especially the A18 'mountain road') is breathtaking

Scariest lift: any of the old-age drivers with terrible eyesight who pick you up on the Isle of Man, and drive way too fast. The Isle of Man has no national speed limit. Also, in June 2009 we suffered a rear wheel suspension failure while doing a high speed on a German autobahn near Koblenz. No big accident but we considered ourselves very, very lucky

Shortest time waiting: no time at all. On many lucky occasions it's taken under five seconds to thumb a lift. It's a big relief

Longest time waiting: a spot in central Cologne, going east. I'd used the spot the year before and it took 2 hours for a lift to arrive. This time we weren't so lucky; after waiting for eight hours, we cut our losses and hitchhiked a train

Most ride offers turned down: I turned down many, many ride offers in the direction of Munich while on the German-Austrian border at Inntal Ost (A93 services) during a seven-hour wait. I was trying to get to Vienna - there was a fair bit of traffic going in my direction, but no-one was interested in helping

Biggest moment of genius: none. In this era, your average hitchhiker has a few screws loose

Biggest moment of stupidity: spilling freshly squeezed orange juice onto my rucksack and sleeping bag whilst trying to thumb down a VW camper van outside Jönköping, Sweden on a hot, sticky afternoon. The van didn't stop and I had to grudgingly trudge back to Jönköping centre, wash out my equipment and catch a bus

Best lap time of Monaco's street circuit: about 9 minutes - I forgot to time it accurately, but I'll be back

My definition of 'hitchhike': a journey made

  • for free (if on public transport, then a free ride where you'd normally have to pay),
  • arranged at the moment the journey starts
  • with the explicit consent of the vehicle driver,
  • who is otherwise a complete stranger to you, and
  • you have the option of declining the ride

(i.e. no car-pooling schemes or similar, public transport drivers must agree to let you travel without paying, lifts from friends-of friends, work colleagues etc don't count, and neither do enforced rides in police vehicles)

Planned hitchhiking trips

A collection of signs used in 2006. 2012 collection under construction...

None. But if you're around Manchester, let me know.

More info

I can host you in Manchester, United Kingdom