So in 2008, Hoffman embarked on a five-month trip using modes of transportation that most leisure travelers would avoid at all costs but that many people around the planet board every day.
He flew on airlines with some of the worst safety records in the world, endured 28-hour trips on buses prone to plunging off cliffs in South America, took overcrowded ferries in the Amazon and Asia, and survived sweltering trains in Africa.
The goal: to experience travel not as a vacationer but as an ordinary person needing to get from one point to another as cheaply as possible.
Carl Hoffman does what others of us only think about doing: to get out there and see what the rest of the world is like. To see it from the perspective of those who live it every day.
CNN has a great interview with Hoffman that’s absolutely worth reading. I’ve filed this under the “hitchhiking” section of the site because, while not exactly hitchhiking, it seems to me somehow true to the spirit of it. This jumped out at me the most:
Hoffman: [...] But at the end of those journeys, I always was almost desperate to get to a hotel where I could have my own bed, be by myself and have a cold beer. We tend to think of affluence as the acquisition of objects, but I realized that what makes us so rich in much of the developed world is cleanliness and space.