Hitchhike for Humanity - Prague to Dakar.
Organized by: Todd Mollenkopf
Hello, I'm Todd. I'm 45. Born on a farm in Ohio. I had a childhood instinct to make the world a better place, and in 1989 I left home to explore the world.
Today I'm pursuing a goal - to help open overland backpacker routes to/from Africa. Here's why...
By 2014 I had traveled 25 years, and stopped in Prague to rest some months. There I rented a house, and because I enjoy the company of travelers - believeing they are the most impactful people on planet - I invited anyone passing through Prague to stay a night at my place, for free.
Soon travelers from a hundred countries started arriving. Couchsurfers, hitchhikers, woofers, students, buskers, pilgrims, and digital nomads like bloggers, photographers, tutors, hackers, translators, musicians, circus performers, and arborists came here. 3200 in total. All strangers of diverse backgrounds with hundreds of talents, and one characteristic in common - tolerance.
Tolerance is the most important social quality for the 21st century, and every budget-class traveler has it.
At my house every week came travelers from places at odds back home - Iran & Israel, Turkey & Armenia, China and Taiwan, Russia & Ukraine, Michigan & Ohio. Also travelers of every faith have mixed and mingled happily here. It works because at the traveler level people get along, and moreover, they are curious, generous, empathetic.
So now I'm on a kick about opening backpacker routes to/from Africa. Always in last place on every list, Africa is the continent least visited by travelers, and the continent producing the fewest backpackers of its own.
Africa will benefit as more of its own begin to travel, and the world's other budget travelers see Africa as accessible.
I'll test the overland route myself - Prague to Dakar - to see how fast/cheaply/safely it can be done. I'll hitchhike there and fly back, leaving my tent, backpack, and sleeping bag for the next traveler.
Along the road I'll connect with the CouchSurfing and woofing communities to establish a caravan route for overlanders, update Hitchwiki pages, blog about the Saharawi people, and help Crowdrise grow their network of hair stylists in Sahara who accept impact points.
If other travelers take the Challenge I'll share extra funds raised on Crowdrise to sponsor your journey.
- Hitchhike distance 6500-7000km.
- Journey time 12-15 days (WAG).
- Seems like Western Sahara and Mauritania is the hairy bit.
- But visas for most nationalities available at border crossings in Mauritania and Senegal.