Help Twitchhiker tweet his way around the world

What a great way to put social media to the test.

In just a few days, Paul Smith will travel the world with little more than a computer, a Twitter account, and the goodwill of 5,000 people. All he knows is that he’ll leave his home in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) on March 1st, find out who has offered him travel and accommodation, and see where that takes him over the next 30 days. As a modern-day hitchhiker of sorts, he goes by the name “Twitchhiker.”

Maybe you can relate as someone who has needed hospitality before? Why not follow him on Twitter and see if you can help him out? As he puts it “this will be the start of a beautiful relationship because frankly I can’t do this without you.” Twitter is all about building community, and it’s fascinating to see him build his—now more than 4,300 people strong.

So, what will his trip look like? Even he doesn’t know (and that’s half the fun, actually), but his five (self-imposed) rules are:
1. He can only accept offers of travel and accommodation on Twitter, from users who are following @twitchhiker
2. He can’t make any plans further than three days in advance

3. He can only spend money on food, drink and anything that might fit in his suitcase

4. If there’s more than one offer on the table, he gets to choose which he takes. If there’s only one, he has to take it within 48 hours.
5. If he’s unable to find a way to move on from a location within 48 hours, the challenge is over and he goes home.


Beyond helping him with travel, you can also support him with money—but it’s not for him, it’s for Charity:Water, a non-profit that brings clean drinking water to people in developing nations. So far, he’s raised about half of his £3,000 goal.

You can already find his posts on Twitter—counting down the days to his departure, detailing the side effects of immunization shots, and admitting to a case of the nerves. You can also find him on his own website and track his progress on Google Latitude.

I’ll definitely be curious to see where he ends up. He’s living proof that you can survive (and thrive) in the unknown of the journey.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | February 25, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind


2 Responses to “Help Twitchhiker tweet his way around the world”

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    […] be time to stay closer to home right now. And if you weren’t brilliant enough to come up with the idea to have other people help you travel for a month by offering you accommodation or covering …, then you might have been tempted to agree with […]