Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Twitchhiker

Big hats off to Paul Smith, a.k.a. the Twitchhiker. This creative traveler has taken online social networking to new heights—or should I say, to faraway places. Whatever the proper wording for the metaphor, this guy is my new travel hero.

Harnessing the social power of Twitter, Smith set out to travel from his home in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK to a small island off the coast of New Zealand (the exact opposite side of the globe) within 30 days. The rules for his expedition: he had to travel strictly via free offers of travel and accommodation that he received from other Twitter users; he could only make plans less than three days in advance; and if he received no offers within 48 hours, he would have to return home.

For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter, it's a microblogging site where users post very brief messages about whatever they're doing at any given moment (as those of you who use Facebook do when you update your status). Smith set out on March 1, and he's already in New Zealand. Simply astounding. And proof positive of the sense of community that social networking sites like Twitter create.

Read more about his story; it's quite impressive.

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