February 19, 2010

Worldwide Hitchhiker

One man’s dream has taken him from France to Naperville and everywhere in between. 25 year-old Jeremy Marie from Caen, France is currently touring the entire globe…hitch-hiking everywhere he goes.

Marie says hitchhiking is the best way to meet people. “You have to talk to your driver. So you get to meet different kinds of drivers, rich people, poor people, students, workers, anybody,” he says. “So for me it’s a good mean to discover the place where I am from the point of view of the driver.”

The young journeyman has traveled more than 5,000 miles so far and has taken a ride in more than 900 vehicles and has seen almost 40 countries. He recently visited Naperville, where residents Jerry and Wendy Gross welcomed him into their home. The couple said they learned a lot from the traveler.

“I think we build up walls and we don’t meet as many people and our lives are not as rich then. We have material wealth but we don’t have that social wealth,” said Jerry Gross. “He showed me a lot of that in his experiences and talking with him.”

His wife agrees. “I’m actually really impressed by the fact that he has no fear when he goes anywhere. He goes around the world not knowing anyone, not knowing where he’s gonna put his head at night and yet only good things have happened to him,” said Wendy.

Marie’s travels have brought him from the Pyramids of Egypt to the villages of Africa to the lights of Las Vegas. Wherever he may roam, he lends a helping hand along the way. For instance, he volunteered at an orpanage for children of AIDS victims.

Marie says the goal of his trip is to gain a broader view of the glob, and he’s sharing his experiences with the world through his blog.

“If I give all of this information about the humanity in people it may be we have less problems in the future. By knowing your neighbor, you’re less scared about not knowing him and it leads to friendship, not to war, not to violence,” said Marie

Hitchhiking is illegal in many states, including Illinois. Marie’s been stopped 35 times by the police but so far that hasn’t put the breaks on his journey.


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