Robin and Amanda are traveling the world by hitchhiking.They’ve discovered that the world is a very friendly place – and they often end up staying with the people that drive them from place to place! In each major city they go through, they also arrange The Chicken Dance with random people. We interviewed them because they embody both connection and revolution, and because we find them to be interesting, lovely people with excellent insight about people and the world. Here’s our interview; enjoy!
Pace and Kyeli: How did you come up with the idea to hitchhike across the continent?
Robin and Amanda: We wanted to express our passion and do something together. We both love to travel, and we both believe that the most interesting thing about traveling is the people that you meet. In order to meet as many people as possible, we thought that hitchhiking would be the perfect way. To challenge ourselves, we decided to go only by hitchhiking. This is our rule.
P&K: Tell us about some of the people you’ve met or stayed with recently.
R&A: In Arbil, Kurdistan we hung out with Joey, an Arab 20-something, who lost his mother and brother in the occupation of Baghdad and now dreams about moving to the states to become a singer or an actor. He was sparkling with life energy, and was happy to help us arrange the Chicken Dance. We’ll never forget him! Since we started in Poland, we’ve been hitchhiking with a great mixture of people:
* A Polish monk
* A Romanian family
* A Hungarian musical artist
* Several Muslims
* One Aussie, who in the previous month tried committing suicide
P&K: Why the Chicken Dance?
R&A: The Chicken Dance is a great dance. It is international, very funny and all people kind of think it’s ridiculous. In some countries it’s more than just funny… In Iran it’s even illegal to dance in public!
P&K: How do you respond to people who gasp and exclaim “But isn’t that dangerous?”
R&A: When people ask us if it’s not dangerous, we usually ask them why they think so. They usually respond “Don’t trust anybody.”, and then we usually say “But we trust you?” and then they usually shut up. Once we give all the good people a chance to show how good they are, they do it. Hitchhiking works just like that- it gives the good people a reason to act in a good way. So far, through 5 months and 11 countries, we’ve only met good people.
P&K: What do you believe is the most dangerous thing in the world?
R&A: Fear is the most dangerous thing in the world. Fear sets people apart, and it holds you as it’s prisoner.
P&K: How is your adventure helping to change the world?
R&A: Most people in Europe has warned us about traveling through the Middle-East. Our experience is however, that when we reached the Middle-East (Turkey), people started inviting us into their homes. And by seeing kids dancing the Chicken Dance in Arbil, we hope to shatter some of the negative images that people seem to have regarding the safety in Iraq.
P&K: What can the rest of us do to help change the world?
R&A: Everybody is affecting everything, all the time, so change is unavoidable. Start smiling! :)
You can find Robin and Amanda online, blogging about this and their philosophy. We recommend checking them out!