Yesterday between noon GMT and 01.00PM the Twitchhiker project took off. Sunday 1rst of March in the evening The Twitchhiker will leave Great Britain with a ferry and he will arrive in Amsterdam at approximately 11.30hr AM in Amsterdam Central Station.
I admire the initiative and am fascinated by it.
I picked it up at the Guardian and posted about it earlier. In general the idea is that the Twitchhiker, Paul Smith, a gentlemen from Newcastle upon Tyne in North East Great Britain travels to the other side of the world solely relying on the hospitality and help of his followers on Twitter. As an aside he has decided to have Charity: Water as the beneficiary of donations which you can make at JustGiving.com/Twitchhiker. As of the moment I write this there are already donations of over UK pnd 1,800 of a targeted UK pnd 3,000.
Paul used to have a proper job in radio, but now writes about media for the Guardian, and blogs about radio, TV and tech for several other websites.
There are 5 rules to observe:
The are five rules I have to follow throughout the 30 days. Obviously Iâ€™m at liberty to bend them if certain death or amputation will otherwise occur, but Iâ€™ll do my best to stick to them. If I find myself in a situation that follows the letter of the rules but goes against their spirit, Iâ€™ll ask those following me for guidance:
I can only accept offers of travel and accommodation on Twitter, from users who are following @twitchhiker
This means if a Twittererâ€™s sisterâ€™s boyfriendâ€™s father has a spare train ticket, I canâ€™t use it; the help the person has to be a Twitter user, and they have to be able to directly action the offer of help. This may be too restrictive, but I want to draw on the support of the Twitter community, not to use Twitter as a search engine to find third party services.
I canâ€™t make any plans further than three days in advance
Itâ€™s entirely possible that before I begin this challenge, I could have my entire route pre-determined and that would be no fun at all. So unless an offer of transport or accommodation is made within 72 hours of it being applicable, I canâ€™t accept it. Damn.
I can only spend money on food, drink and anything that might fit in my suitcase
All travel and accommodation must be offered to me through Twitter. If I canâ€™t, then Iâ€™m sleeping rough.
If thereâ€™s more than one offer on the table, I get to choose which I take. If thereâ€™s only one, I have to take it within 48 hours.
Iâ€™m not entirely happy about this bit. If any part of this challenge is going to see me dead in a ditch or under a patio, itâ€™s this part.
If Iâ€™m unable to find a way to move on from a location within 48 hours, the challenge is over and I go home.
I hope my fellow Twitterers wonâ€™t let that happen.
If you follow his blog Twitchhiker you will see a description of all things involved in such adventure.
A similar experience on a one day trip is described by Guardian journalist Benji Lanyado Paris TwiTrip The Verdict who did find it a very positive experience.
See also Indie Travel Podcaster’s Interview of today.
The start was an amazing Tweetup where #twitchhiker reached no 1 hashtag status. He could choose to go to Amsterdam, London, or Paris and let the Twitterati vote:
This is the outcome of the poll:
As per my credo “You should Party in Amsterdam, but you should Sleep in The Hague” I’ve offered the Twitchhiker a night at our Haagsche Suites monday night, which he hasn’t accepted (yet?), as he has adopted the plan to go directly to Paris from Amsterdam. Apparently even without even spending a couple of hours in Amsterdam. I believe he could reach the other en of the world in 5 days….so in my view he could spend some time sleeping a bit here and there…maybe he will rethink his provisional decision and take a wiser decision on sunday.
I’ve also tried to wake up the Dutch Tourist Community to throw something in the throng, but they seem sound asleep (as usual).