Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Yme Travel Podcast. Today we want to talk about hitchhiking, one form to travel around the world. And I have a guest with me who has a vast [00:01:00] experience in doing so, Guim has traveled for the last four years Europe and Asia. He had the opportunity to work and live in different countries like India, Nepal, Vietnam, and his travel rhythms is about meeting his and adventures, and he loves slow travel.
So for him, the way is more important than the destination, I’m a hundred percent agree with him. So let’s say hello. How are you today?
Guillaume Lesage: Hey, thank you so much to, , hosting me here. I’m super happy to, , share some story of mine and,, of my travel experience.
Claus Lauter: Yeah. Thanks for being on the show. First question as always, what’s your first memory when it comes to travel?
Guillaume Lesage: I had the opportunity to travel alone for the first time in an island. And it was so nice because I had the opportunity to meet so many people from , all around the world. It was super interesting because, , it was in Christmas time , it was super, nice experience to share that Christmas party with so many people and to share good moments.
, that was like the first [00:02:00] memories I have of, , alone, , travel experience and the strongest because it was like really, , amazing moments.
Claus Lauter: Okay. So I understand in last four years you traveled a lot. You different styles of traveling. So tell me a little bit more about what you did.
Guillaume Lesage: was nice because it was, , during my school, , during my study, , so I did some work and, I was in India for one year and it was for my first year of m mba. And it was super nice because I was the only one guy, the white guy in all the schools. So it was like Full power experience with lot of meeting and lot of things.
During that year I had the experience , to visit India in lot of different way of traveling because, , it was really nice to have my apartments and It was possible to go one way to somewhere and come back after. So I did a lot of motorbike each hiking there and a lot of different things.
And after I finished my school in, last year, one year back, , and so far I, bought, , a camper with my girlfriend we did. 10,000 kilometers with the car. And we met [00:03:00] so many people just in France and we just had to discover, okay, it’s nice to go in the other side of the world, but , maybe we can just stay in France and see what we can do.
And it was just a super nice experience. And just before that, we did for the first time, , hitchhiking. So it was two years before I start to do hitchhiking. In 2020. And , the first time I did that, it was, , during the first lockdown in France. Every people said, why I’m here , to talk about each shaking.
It’s because, , I really want , to show to people. It’s shaking, it’s easy, and it’s not that hard. And it’s not like a big exercise. It’s like when we, did for the first time, me and my girlfriend , everyone said, yeah, you cannot , go there. It’s impossible. It’s the lockdown. You have to wear mask.
And even that the people, we will not take you. We did it , and it working really, really nice. I love to say it shaking, , it’s like the , travel fitter because when you are in the beside the road and you just, , wait, , [00:04:00] for cars, if, , the people is the hassle.
He will not stop. So you are safe . , I just, , met so many good people all over, around the world, in France, in Europe and everywhere. Like it’s a community who, they don’t know them, but they have the same mindset. .
Claus Lauter: Okay. No, that sounds exciting. Now I have done hitchhiking, , myself. Now I think a lot of people have a bit of, , concerns that hitchhiking is too So what was your. approach to that.
Guillaume Lesage: I can understand why people try to say that. I don’t know exactly why, but, don’t be afraid of other people because if you trust yourself, if you believe in yourself, if you feel you can go, you can go. If you feel something worse, maybe don’t go.
But , I did, more than 200 different car this year and I never even felt something bad. Every time it’s like good people, good thing.
You don’t have to go, , anywhere. You have to be sure it’s security for you and for the people who stop. You are like, I never do it checking in the night. So I have some [00:05:00] some rules of each shaking, but it’s mine. If you are like, balanced between the rules of yourself and your under environment, you you can find, , a good way to do , that kind of travel.
Claus Lauter: When it comes , to rules, share your rules with our listeners, but what are your rules to, , join somebody in the car or not?
Guillaume Lesage: The rules is, , to smile every time. You have to have a big smile , because like when people see smiles, they want to smile and they want to share it’s really interesting to take the opportunity to talk with someone. It’s so magical.
Because it’s just for like maybe 45 minutes and after it’s done. So it’s like this moment is really nice. So you have to be able to listen and also to talk without filter. It seems to be little difficult, but it’s supernatural , this is what I love with each hiking.
It’s the 100% random. I love to. , stop in one place and try to hitchhiking a little bit and after say, okay, let’s walk for 15 meters and like [00:06:00] see what happened. And after the car will stop, it’s just like, wow, you are like, how it’s possible. It’s just exactly the man I need now.
The rules is for me, it’s like you have. Be able to talk without filters and to listen people , and not judge and everything. So it’s shaking. It’s really good step to know about yourself and accept the difference of others
Claus Lauter: Okay. Are there any countries from where you have hitchhiked where it was easier to find a right than others?
Guillaume Lesage: The easier was in France because, in France, it really common to do hitchhiking it’s a good place to do. But for example, in, Netherlands it’s really hard because, , in Netherland it’s really, , famous for the, , bicycle.
If you are working, you don’t have to go in this roads because they don’t like it. After that I don’t really, trees like Africa or America, and I think , it’s really nice Also, I meet people who do that, but, , I didn’t do, for now France, it’s a really good country. And for [00:07:00] me it was really nice to, , experience travel in my own country with my own culture, with my own language.
And it’s really nice because I can share a lot of things and, it’s, really nice to talk with a lot of people.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Bit of a question. , what kind of luggage do you have with.
Guillaume Lesage: The smaller is better . I have a backpack I really advise people to take the minimum because, , , wherever you go, you should go just for one weekend to see your friends or six months to go. , in, , America, it’s same because, , like you don’t need to have too much in your back, and if you have some space more, you can even bring back some stuff from there.
So it’s super nice if I travel for two days old, three years, it’s the same. It’s just like two t-shirts, one pants, one short, and underwear. But, the minimum is better. When I did , the last time in, , France, so I did a hotel dam in island , to lose in three weeks and I took my homework to sleep in beside the road.
But I never, use because every time someone, , just [00:08:00] asks me so I never slept outside
Claus Lauter: Okay. You said you did Rotterdam, to lose. What was the average distance that you could go by hitchhiking
In a day? .
Guillaume Lesage: I fixed, a goal to a city to another. So for example, I start in Roter Dame to reach BR Brazil in Belgium. So I did okay. Today I need to go brussel, so I adapt myself. But it’s like, I don’t like to take highway because. For me, it’s not really interesting to take the highway because you see nothing of the country and, , everything.
So I, I try to take , all the time, the little roads, I look in Google Map and in each hiking it’s, three more time , to take it. Like if it’s two hours, it’ll be six. But every time when I do each hike, it’s for all the day.
So I start the morning and I will end in the evening. It’s working good, but the maximum is maybe two or 300, maximum kilometers in the same day. Because I’m traveling , not in the highway. If I’m [00:09:00] too late, I can, okay, let’s go to highway, and , it can be faster.
But I really advise people to don’t travel by highway when they take the road because , it’s a pity
Claus Lauter: Okay, obviously you have been with hundreds of different drivers. Is there any kind of particular treat that you say this is a person that takes you with you or is that, who’s the, person that stops?
Guillaume Lesage: It’s really interesting because like I love , to discuss with people and to ask them, , what they do , for living. , what are the jobs, what are the things? So the first thing I can say, it’s. Can be everybody. Like every kind of people take me. I add like policemen, I add, people who would do painting with people who are like in politics I had the one guy, it was a horse writer for the King of Belgium , like a lot of different things.
And it’s so funny and, people are, , if I can do in percentage, like maybe 70% walking more or less in a [00:10:00] social thing, , after. 75%, , already did, , one time hitchhiking , on their life, all know someone who do, , hhi. But for some people they said, oh yeah, you look nice.
And I want two stars because I seen one day in TV and it’s look, , amazing to take someone in hitchhiking, . So it’s nice because So many people say to you, yeah, I take you because , , you are looking nice. Okay. Thank you, . It’s the best way to mix so many different kind of people like, , Evan in France.
, I have so many, , international people from outside, from France, from, , old and young. it’s really very difficult to just resume in one sentence, but it’s super nice and super easy to do and to meet so many different kind of people.
Claus Lauter: Okay. No, it sounds very interesting. So it seems to be a whole range of people who stopped to take hitchhiker with them. Did you have anyone asking you for money or were they all taking you for free?
Guillaume Lesage: , every time it’s free. We never paid something and It’s really interesting because lot of people say to me, yeah, [00:11:00] you are traveling for itch hiking because it’s free and it’s really not for that because it’s take you so much time. And now it’s. Just, , super easy to take a best for three euros and go in the other place and all that stuff. So if you want to, travel for save only your money. I don’t advise you to do each hiking, but if you want to to have good stories , to tell, it’s nice.
it’s a good advantage of that things because it’s also free and, it’s not the first time , I did hitchhiking. For me it was little bit weird to be in beside the road and alone. And also to ask people , to share , the time because when people stop, it’s really like you enter in their bubble.
Because like, you know, when you drive, you are , in your things. And every sign when you stop. Okay, let’s come with me, , on that drive and, , Never. It’s weird, like, yeah, do I have to take to give him money or something like that. it’s natural and they never ask. And , sometimes I just pay a coffee or something [00:12:00] like that, but more because it’s a new friend than, , he pick me for something.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Yeah, it seems to be like a win-win situation. , that’s where everyone wins a little bit there on this experience that you have with each other. So before we come to the end of our, , podcast, , what’s your next travel plan? Where do you wanna go next?
Guillaume Lesage: , for Christmas, , I go to La la Laa maybe in English, in north of Finland. And I got to met my girlfriend who worked there, and the goal is to go elsin in the south to Laa more than 1000 kilometers in each hiking. , I go there. 16th of December. If you have to know one thing about me, I love sun and good weather.
And there it’s like sun for four hours in a day and less than 35 degrees or something like that. So it should be a good adventure
Claus Lauter: That sounds definitely like an adventure. So much. There was a lot of good tips in there. So for people who wanna try out I think there’s a lot of content [00:13:00] that they can take away from this interview today. So thanks so much for your time and talk soon.
Guillaume Lesage: Yeah.
Leave a Reply