But the epic journey didn’t cost Jeremy Marie a penny. The 27-year-old has spent the past five years hitchhiking more than 160,000km (100,000 miles) across 71 countries.
He has thumbed lifts on cars, boats, planes and even a donkey. ‘My passion for travelling came when I stayed with a Polish family as part of a school foreign exchange trip,’ he said.
‘This desire to travel led me to live a year abroad, when I went to live in Wales. During this year I also had the opportunity to visit England and Ireland. It was in the green and very hilly city of Dublin I had my first taste of hitchhiking.’
The Frenchman set off from Caen, Normandy, in October 2007 and has relied on strangers for a lift or to let him sleep on their sofa during his epic trip. His favourite part was being taken on as a crewmate on a 13m (45ft) sailing boat in Colombia, which took him across the Pacific and gave him time ‘to think about the meaning of life’.
He added: ‘Hitchhiking makes it possible to meet local people, it makes it easier to make friends on your travels.
‘By being a pedestrian you have greater freedom, all I had was a bag and I had the freedom to go wherever I liked, whenever I liked.’
The adventurer met his girlfriend in Bali, Indonesia, where he is now writing a book about his journey.