The Official Premiere of our Long Way Home – Hitchhiking-Cultural Relay Project 2015

The Long Way Home 2015

The Long Way Home – Hitchhiking-Cultural Relay

The Long Way Home aka the Hitchhiking-Cultural Relay 2015 is our forthcoming travel project aiming at hitchhiking over 27,000 km from Turkey to Europe via Iran, Central Asia, China, Mongolia and Russia, while discovering local culture, learning, teaching and gift-giving.

To make it happen we are giving up our jobs, selling all our possessions and setting off on an 11 month epic journey.

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Check out our promotional video to learn more about the project:

About the trip

Project aims

1) Cultural Relay – Learning local customs (dishes,games,music) from local people and passing this knowledge on – proving how wonderful different cultures can be.

2) Cover 27,000 km by thumb in 10-11 months, visiting 13 countries (Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania).

3) Get home, to Europe. Whenever we hitchhiked in the past, we always set off for a trip and took a plane or a train back home when we reached our destination. This time we want to reverse this order and aim for home.

Our travel philosophy

We are avid hitchhikers who have been travelling by thumb for a number of years. During our next trip we want to prove that everyone can travel on a budget and explore places off the beaten track.

We are slow travellers and like to linger a bit longer in the places we’re visiting. During our hitchhiking trips we like to discover interesting customs and traditions, pick up the basics of the local language, learn how to make local dishes, play local games and listen to local music. And we try to make use of this knowledge in our daily lives. At home in Barcelona we drink Armenian coffee, eat the Turkish breakfast Sucuklu Yumurta and Macedonian Tavče gravče; we smoke shisha, play backgammon and listen to Balkan music. And we believe it’s worth discovering all the quirky little things every culture has to offer.

The Long Way Home 2015

What is the Hitchhiking Cultural Relay?

During our next trip we want to learn something new (food, game, music etc.) in every country we visit and pass this knowledge on. People who we meet on the way (our drivers, CS hosts etc.) who agree to participate in this project, will receive a small gift that would represent a tradition and help them cultivate it (i.e. to make traditional Polish pierogi, they would be given a pierogi cutter). In return they will teach us something that comes from their culture and we will pass this knowledge onto another person/family, again with a small practical gift.

We are planning to film the whole learning & teaching process and publish it on our blog to show you what interesting and exotic traditions you can incorporate in your daily lives. And we are going to have a lot of fun doing it!

The Cultural Relay has one more objective. During our trip to the Caucasus we were struck by the animosity that exists between neighbouring countries. While hitchhiking we met hundreds of hospitable, helpful and kind people who were absolutely wonderful to us (outsiders, visitors). But when we spoke to them they warned us against people living just across the border, calling them murderers and thieves, discouraging us from even travelling there, let alone hitchhiking. However, once we crossed the border, we were welcomed and surrounded by the same familiar kindness as before, although they were also surprised that we had managed to survive coming from that country.

When you hitchhike and cross many borders, sooner or later you realise that people are just the same everywhere you go and in most cases they are good, open and kind. By doing our Cultural Relay in which one person/family gives a small souvenir to another person living across the border, we want to show people we meet on the way that their neighbours are interesting and nice, and there is no reason to hate them.

Statistics

Route: over 27,000 km by thumb

Countries: 13 (Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania).

Time: 10-11 months

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10 comments

  • Great video guys! Well put together. And what an exciting and ambitious undertaking! I’m especially interested in the part about bringing music that best represents your cultures. Big call and a big responsibility!
    I hope it all goes really well and that you manage to break down some cultural stereotypes. I’ll be following…

    • Thanks a lot, Andy! Your words of encouragement mean a lot to us! It is our first ‘serious’ video and we started making it as complete beginners. Now we feel we understand the basics of video editing using professional software a bit better and we will learn the rest on the road!
      As for the music, in a couple of weeks we will ask our readers for suggestions about music influencers we should take with us on the trip, so stay tuned. It would be great to hear your recommendations :)

  • wow. what an adventure it will be! I will be following it all the way! you will be going through so many brilliant countries!

    • Thanks a lot, Andrew! You are an expert on those countries, so we will definitely refer to your blog when looking for information and inspiration.
      Thanks for following and your tips and advice are always appreciated!

  • Amazing project! Good luck and I’ll be following you guys :D

  • Wow this project looks so cool! I’m an American living in China and I write my own travel blog about my adventures. I’m sure you’re more interested in staying with locals, but if you pass by Ningbo (just south of Shanghai on the coast), be sure to let me know! I’m studying at a Chinese university for the 2014-2015 academic year, and I’m sure some of the Chinese students at my university would love to show you guys around. Chinese people love introducing others to their food, and they have some really cool dice drinking games. Be sure to let me know if you’re stopping through!

    • Hello Richell! That sounds great, thanks a lot! We would love to stop by and meet you and your friends if we have the chance!
      We will keep you posted and let you know in advance what our plans are when we are in China. Take care!

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