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Airmail109
01-08-2008, 06:02 PM
I've been following on lads 5 year hitchike around the world keenly since 2003, through e-mails he sends out. He has now completed his trip, this is the most recent e-mail. This guys a great example of a "winner". This guys a huge inspiration to me, being somewhat of a nutter myself it has encouraged me to start exploring somewhat. Have travelled just about all of mainland Britain now through hitchiking, cycling and bus. Havnt got to the point where I feel like travelling just by hitching.

Heres his website http://www.ludovichubler.com/

"Before saying anything else, I want to thank all of you who've made it possible for me to realize my childhood dream, starting with my close family and friends who have always given me moral support, and all the people who picked me up while hitchhiking, or gave me a night's accommodation in exchange for a few stories. I also want to give a special mention to Claudio, my "coach," who helped me so much throughout these years of travel, and to all the children in the Strasbourg-Hautepierre Hospital who have followed my journey from the beginning.

5 years around the world, that changes a person. The Ludovic Hubler who left to realize his childhood dream in 2003 is no longer the same Ludovic Hubler who is now returning.

I have often considered the achievement of this world tour as a necessary step in my life between the end of my studies and the beginning of my professional life, in the same sense as a Doctorate or Masters degree would be for other people, in different domains. However, this step did not happen in a classroom but in full contact with the realities of the terrain, at the sides of drivers and people the world over. This world tour was, at the beginning, supposed to take only 2 years, but in the end it took 5 because it seemed necessary to me to gain a deeper understanding of our planet.

In order to meet the local people around the world, I chose to use hitchhiking in all its forms to get around (car hitchhiking, boat hitchhiking, etc.) and tried to realize the challenge of "closing the circle" without spending a cent on transport (except urban travels). No expression can better summarize my vision of hitchhiking than that used in the Diario del fin del mundo, an Argentinean daily newspaper based in Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego that, on November 28, 2003, titled an article about my adventure, "Asistiendo a la mejor escuela de vida " ("Attending the Best School of Life").

The best school of life. Hitchhiking permits, in effect, 2 individuals who know absolutely nothing about each other at the start, to get to know each other rather well in the space of a few minutes, hours, or sometimes even days. To my taste, travels are only interesting if they are punctuated with meetings with the local population. Hitchhiking allows these encounters to happen. I have often considered that each one of the some 1,300 drivers who picked me up during my 5 years of hitchhiking around the world (plus the more than 100 who picked me up during my previous tour of Europe ) had something to teach me. By hitchhiking, I was able to compare my point of view with that of people with very different pasts from mine. Further, I was able to learn many things about the countries I crossed and see them through the eyes of the locals.

But beyond hitchhiking and after 5 years of touring the world, the 2 words that I most want to say today are: NEVER AGAIN.

NEVER AGAIN

Never again, will I act without thinking of the consequences of my actions for the environment, and never again will I allow my government to ignore the challenges of preserving this planet. From the sight of deforestation in Honduras, Brazil or Indonesia to the sight of the glaciers melting in Antarctica or the great Canadian North, I realized during my journey to what extent human beings are in the process of destroying this beautiful planet. The English weekly "The Economist" recently wrote in one of its columns, "Will individual ignorance and selfishness lead to collective doom?" That's a question that I frequently ask myself today... Every one of us has a role to play to avoid this collective failure. To this end, one of the greatest priorities, which will at the same time help with other sensitive subjects, is the promotion of alternative energies.

Never again, will I complain about what I don't have. This tour of the world allowed me to meet with people who have nothing (neither drinking water nor electricity, etc.) and who nonetheless kept smiling, offered me hospitality, and never complained about their lot in life. I will ensure that, from now on, I will never forget these people who brought me so much and helped me gain perspective on my personal problems.

Never again, will I forget the fabulous achievements of all the people working in the shadows (often on a voluntary basis) trying to make the world a better place. Before leaving, I didn't even know what the words "NGO" meant. After visiting around a hundred of them, meeting formidable individuals trying the change the destiny of the underprivileged, I have but one single desire: Make my modest contribution to their efforts and encourage each one of you to do the same.

Never again, will I forget the luck I had to be born in France. Thank you, Papa, thank you, Mama. How many people have reminded me during these 5 years how lucky I am to have had access to a quality education, to have a passport which permits me to move freely throughout the world, and to have a strong currency which makes such a trip possible. I would like it if, in the not too far future, there could be some reciprocity in travel opportunities for the people of the world. It's not the case today and I hope we will soon understand that lots of the world's problems could be solved by fostering more equality between the different countries of the world.

Never again, will I judge anyone based simply on physical appearance, nationality, religious beliefs, or on stereotypes. If my tour of the world taught me one thing, it's that we are all the same, regardless of the colour of our skin, our religion, our race, or the football team we support. Every one of the 6 and a half billion citizens of this world (or the vast majority anyway) share the same basic needs and desires. Every one of us is searching for happiness, security, love, the ability to have children, and the will to allow them to live the best future possible. Diversity is enriching, and we should all learn about each other.

Never again, will I let myself be brainwashed by sensationalism and bad reporting in the media. My recent stays in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, or in Colombia, showed me to what point the perception I had of the inhabitants of these countries was totally biased on the insistence of the media that the activities of several national characters represented the majority of the population. It's simply not true.

Never again, will I refuse to offer hospitality to a traveller passing through, or to a friend in need. Apart from the fact that I am indebted for a while to everyone who has offered me hospitality during these 5 years of travelling, I can see at what point the western world has to learn from Latin America or the Middle East in this regard. Thank you, by the way, to www.hospitalityclub.org (http://www.hospitalityclub.org) and www.couchsurfing.com (http://www.couchsurfing.com) that made my tour of the world much easier and much more interesting.

Never again, will I buy products without thinking of the consequences of my act of buying. During the presentations that I gave in various schools and organizations, I often tried to promote fair trade and explained how to be a responsible consumer. "To buy is to vote." From now on, every time I buy a product, whatever it may be, I will ask myself the question ,"what kind of enterprise am I supporting?"

Never again, will I fear starting out on a big project. The quote from Oscar Wilde, "Wisdom means to have sufficiently big dreams so as not to lose sight of them while pursuing them," is what pushed me to start out on this adventure, and it has proven itself to be the leitmotiv for me all along the way. Similarly, the quote from Dominique Glocheux, "Life is not a restaurant but a buffet, get up and serve yourself" always stayed with me, etched in my memory.

STATE OF MIND

Lots of people ask me how I'm feeling after 5 years of travelling around the world. The first answer I can give is that I feel in harmony with myself and nothing is more important than that. I've wanted to achieve this tour of the world for a long time, and now that, today, I've reached my goal, I'm very happy. As I've explained previously, this world tour was but one step in my life, a necessary step to allow me to better know and understand the world that surrounds me but also to better know myself. During the years of travelling, it was necessary to adapt myself to new people, new cultures, and new traditions. Today, after returning home, I think that it won't be too difficult to re-adapt to my own culture. From here I will have to construct a new step in my life, whether at the personal or professional level, while always keeping in mind all the people I met during all these years who influenced and inspired me.

As far as living a sedentary life after 5 years as a nomad, that shouldn't be a problem for me. I won't hide the fact that I am a bit tired of moving ceaselessly, and the prospect of having access to a comfortable bed for more than 3 days in a row, to European style toilets with toilet paper, to hot water, and to not having to explain what I'm doing every day, is a prospect that pleases me a lot.

And now? What will I do?

In a few days, I will be back in my home town of Strasbourg. After enjoying some more time with my family (who I spent christmas with, my first in 5 years!), and after profiting from a good "tarte flambée," some good sauerkraut, and a good glass of white wine, I will get busy writing a book that retraces my 1825 days passed along the roadsides of the world.

This book, probably titled, "Stop ou encore" will have as its goal not simply sharing some of my adventures and encounters, but also sharing my sense of the world's problems after all my discussions with local populations. The objective won't be to blindly repeat what is said in newspapers, but to share my impressions and dialogues with the world's people. Apart from this book, it's possible that a documentary about this hitchhiking world tour will see the light of day. More to follow. I promise you one thing, I will keep you up to date as soon as the book is published. If anyone among you wants to make your contribution by reading the book before it's published and giving my your comments, I will be more than happy.

Once the book is finished, I will continue to give presentations and make media appearances in order to share my adventure, pass along important messages, and promote the book. After that, I have several paths and projects in mind, but I prefer to take things one at a time. I'll be sure to let you know in good time how it all turns out.

Figures of the tour of the world by hitchhiking

Below, I present to you some interesting figures from my hitchhiking tour of the world.

0 – Cents spent on transport to complete the world tour (apart from urban transport and two-way trips with a return to starting point). Goal realized.

59 - Number of countries crossed during the world tour (see the list by clicking the following linkhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

170,000 – Number of kilometres covered between January 1, 2003 and January 1, 2008

1,300 – Number of cars and trucks that picked me up during the world tour

20,000 – Estimated number of hours spent waiting in service stations and on roadsides

28 – Maximum number of hours spent thumbs up waiting alongside the road to get a ride

25 – Estimated minimum number of seconds spent waiting for someone to pick me up (first car in Tarragone in Spain)

5 and a half – Maximum number of days spent in a single car (crossing a part of the Sahara)

1,700 – Maximum number of kilometres travelled in one car (between Florianópolis in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina)

20,000 – Estimated number of people who refused to pick me up as a hitchhiker at service stations (for all kinds of reasons)

1,000,000 – Estimated number of cars that passed me without stopping while I was hitchhiking (excuse me for not counting)

10 – Number of boats I worked on in order to continue my journey (Canary Islands to Cape Verde, Cape Verde to Brazil, Ushuaia to Antarctica, Colombia to Panama, Panama to New Zealand (3 1/2 months), New Zealand to Australia, Australia to Indonesia, Yamdena Island to West Timor (Indonesia), West Timor to Flores (Indonesia)

22,000 – Number of photos I took during the world tour

450 – Number of different places I slept in during these 5 years of travelling the world, and therefore also the number of times I had to unpack and pack my bag

1 - Backpack for carrying my clothes ... it lasted till the end despite numerous operations ...

25,000 - Total cost of my tour of the world in Euros (including visas, insurance, food, admission tickets, internet connections, camera, portable computer, and fees). More details about how my world tour was financed are available at the following link: http://www.sekoyamag.com/nouveausite/SPIP/breve.php3?id_breve=386. I will now take out a loan in order to write my book that I will pay back later.

10 - My daily budget in US dollars.

300 - Number of presentations I gave during my travels - in schools, universities, Rotary Clubs, and Alliance Francaises for an estimation of 50,000 people.

0 – Number of violent incidents. Yes, it is certainly possible to travel around the world without being attacked, robbed, or mugged.

7 – Number of kilos lost. Today I weigh 73 kg. The minimum was 70 kg in Indonesia; the maximum was 80 kg at the time of my departure.

1 – Planet - it's superb - preserve it!!!!

For more numbers, click on the following link: http://www.sekoyamag.com/nouveausite/SPIP/breve.php3?id_breve=531.

For more details about the other missions achieved during my tour of the world, click here: http://www.sekoyamag.com/nouveausite/SPIP/breve.php3?id_breve=519.

For more details about my mentoring project in collaboration with the CHU Strasbourg-Hautepierre, click here: http://www.sekoyamag.com/nouveausite/SPIP/breve.php3?id_breve=518.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Many have asked me about my favourite places, my favourite moments, the most memorable encounters, and the most difficult parts of my world tour. In order to try to answer these questions, I prepared a retrospective of the most memorable moments of my tour of the world. All you need to do is click on the links given below to reach the commentary and photos.

I wish each and every one of you an excellent year in 2008, in the hope that it will be filled with hope and with the achievement of your craziest projects.

See you soon!

Ludo"

buzzsaw1939
01-08-2008, 08:08 PM
This is a great post Aimail, thank you for lifting my spirits.

But I'm puzzeled, it seems a little out of character for you! What gives? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Worf101
01-09-2008, 06:04 AM
Bravo!!! Congrats on completing your walkabout. I'm both jealous and awestruck by your achievement. I assume a laptop was in tow cause you were always posting here. Very interesting thread. Enlightenment is a wonderful thing.

Da Worfster

Insuber
01-09-2008, 08:08 AM
Thanks a lot Aimail for sharing this, you're really a sensitive person.
Your post lifted me up after the depressing sight of the 1'000'000th thread on 109 vs. spitfire turning ability.

Regards,
Insuber

joeap
01-09-2008, 09:48 AM
Fabulous, a modern day Marco Polo with a message for us all!! Nice change from the usual.

T_O_A_D
01-09-2008, 10:02 AM
It was not Aimail101, it was someone in corespondance with Aimail101 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Lucky he was French, as an American, I'd of been shot, stabbed, beaten, etc. somewhere along the line, regardless, of my good intentions.


Originally posted by Worf101:
Bravo!!! Congrats on completing your walkabout. I'm both jealous and awestruck by your achievement. I assume a laptop was in tow cause you were always posting here. Very interesting thread. Enlightenment is a wonderful thing.

Da Worfster

buzzsaw1939
01-09-2008, 01:12 PM
I'm not sure he was in corespondance eather Toad, it looked like he was following a link about this guy.
Sense he hasn't come back yet, maybe it had some effect on the angry little rascal! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Airmail109
01-09-2008, 01:19 PM
LOL no it was an e-mail, he had a newsletter going but does reply to any questions.

"Sense he hasn't come back yet, maybe it had some effect on the angry little rascal!" LMFAO

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I am planning my own nuts excursion at the moment, now I have funds....I love having a job http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Shame about the "being American" bit TOAD, a few years ago it was a totally different story.

Airmail109
01-09-2008, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by Insuber:
Thanks a lot Aimail for sharing this, you're really a sensitive person.
Your post lifted me up after the depressing sight of the 1'000'000th thread on 109 vs. spitfire turning ability.

Regards,
Insuber

No problem!

DuxCorvan
01-09-2008, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by T_O_A_D:
Lucky he was French, as an American, I'd of been shot, stabbed, beaten, etc. somewhere along the line, regardless, of my good intentions.

Being French, he surely avoided Cádiz. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif