Teaching Traveling: Is it possible to safely hitchhike around the world? Let’s get a lesson from the “Hitchhiking Guru,” Kurt Provost!
Kurt, tell us about yourself and how your travel adventures began.
Kurt: I was a bored student in a small coastal town in Australia, much like any other bored student in a small town. Life for me during high school was less of a cocoon to emerge gloriously from but a prison to break free of. My escape was through language, through culture, through travel. I went on exchange to Quebec when I was 16 and from that day on I saved every cent I earned while slaving at four jobs – a fruit and veg boy (making just enough in an hour to buy an apple), a dish pig (watching the chef eat the left overs off peoples plates before I scrubbed them), a delivery boy for my father’s store (which would have been fun if the shops I delivered to were staffed by cute girls) and a barman at the town’s only pub (getting offered financial incentives to take the drunk fat girl upstairs for a night. Please note I never took those offers up, no matter how desperate I was for money).
The dream of travel was so intimately entwined with my dreary reality that I found myself lapsing into “la la” land as I restocked the banana’s or scrubbed at a mayonnaise smeared dish. Travel became my escape from that horrible half-life of work and waiting.
I went on to hitchhike all over the world and explore the cultures and people I’d dreamt of. Now I’m in the wonderful position of being able to use my experiences to teach others how to hitchhike safely through my website HitchhikingGuru.com and my ebook, “Smiling at Strangers.”
TT: Whoa! Tell us more about your hitchhiking adventures around the world.
K: In early 2009 I attempted hitchhiking from Australia to China– unwittingly during cyclone season.
How did it happen? At the end of 2008 I made the decision to drop out of university. It was a time in my life when I felt I had a lot to prove, not just to myself, but to everyone who believed I was making a mistake in leaving University. It wasn’t a well thought out plan, but for what it lacked in planning it made up for with action and adventure; which is something I’ve learnt over the years – if you set off with a goal in mind, a path will be made as you take the first step.