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Twitchhiker: How One Man Travelled the World by Twitter

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  40 reviews
One man's attempt to travel the globe in 30 days, depending solely on the generosity of strangers through Twitter


There were five rules of Twitchhiker. I can only accept offers of travel and accommodation from people on Twitter. I can't make any travel plans further than three days in advance. I can only spend money on food, drink and anything that might fit in my suitcase
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Summersdale (first published February 8th 2010)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  292 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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May 11, 2012 rated it it was ok

First impressions of this book were good - it seemed to have the dry wit and humour that the likes of 'Yes Man' entertained me with, and I was really looking forward to getting stuck in. It seems like a fascinating idea, to travel the world with nothing but the good-will of others to help you on your way.

And so you would expect really interesting cultural observations, crazy characters and heart-warming, funny tales. And you get very little of any of this. Paul Smith tells us mainly about him be
Hilary Atkins
Jan 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: travel
Great idea shame it was not followed through by someone who would have made the most of the experience and written about it well. As it is this is a poorly written book which told me nothing I did not know about Twitter or the places visited. I usually love travel books but felt this fell into the same category as The Shipping Forecast which also failed to make the beat of a brilliant idea.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
I bought this book because I thought Paul Smith is similar to me - he loves journeys and keeps away from big cities and expensive hotels. Unfortunately, he turn out to be my opposite.
I read 408 pages and I don't remember places he had been, views he has seen and people he met, because he was too focus on his computer.
For me this book isn't about hitchhiking, but about complaining, stupid jokes, drinking, eating fast foods, vomiting and once again - complaining.
If you like American Pie film - yo
Big Book Little Book
This was such an original idea it made me want to read the book. How exciting to travel the world and not know exactly where you are going and where you might sleep tomorrow! It was great to read about all the people who made this journey possible and all the ups and downs that there were. You can’t expect to circumnavigate the globe without a few hassles! Smith writes really honestly about how the journey worked out, the difficulties, the things he hadn’t thought about and the things he wasn’t ...more
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
A self-indulgent man who decided to go as far around the world for free as he could using the goodwill of twitter users to do it. I shan't be looking out for another book by this author. ...more
Jennifer Ratcliffe
Sep 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable journey about how you can rely on strangers and generally forget your clothes in hotel rooms! I read this a while ago but left the last chapter as it got lost in a move, so re-read recently. A nice little way to look back on the origins of social networking now but also to remind us of a time before covid and perhaps the near future again.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to James by: Charlotte Phillips
Shelves: non-fiction
The concept of the idea written about in the book is fantastic, and as such, I expected a lot from this book. Although the story itself is both inspirational and insightful, the content of the text is far from the story I'd expected; if you want to read a book where the author gets drunk every night, is sick, complains about cramped conditions and then reminds you here and there that his plan is not as successful as he'd wanted it to be, then this is the book for you.

I was disappointed with the
Print Teach
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolute genius. I laughed, and I cried. I jealously read descriptions of cities on my wish list. I cringed at some situations, and sobbed at others. A truly brilliant book - as demonstrated by the fact that I only started it this morning!
Helen Rickards
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
It's ok a bite size chapter book written in a conversational style, I love twitter so that was a bit of a hook but if I'm honest the tweeting the the story didn't fit interesting an ok read but I wouldn't re read or recommend ...more
Andy T
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Written in the days when Twitter was fresh, Paul Smith's jaunt across the globe sponsored by Twitter is a lighthearted, fun romp involving lots of booze and a few laughs. Saying that, I was put off by the writing style pretty early on, mostly because of the gratuitous humour and phrases such as 'sweet muscular Jesus', which pretty much annoyed the crap out of me. However I was won over by Paul's spirited endeavour and his approach to life, which is pretty down to earth.

Is the Twitchhiker worth
May 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel
Written in 2010 this book seems dated now as 11 years later social media isn't the novelty he makes it sound back then. I liked the concept of putting himself in the hands of fate and he yes man attitude to offers he got to aid his travel round the world. However I thought it would be funny, but for me it was only ever mildly amusing. His schedule was punishing and he rarely saw anything in any of the places he visited so as a travel book it lacked something for me. I also found it slightly irri ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Good read for the most part but it was heavy with witticisms that got tired and annoying after awhile. Didn't really engage with the story as much as I thought I would, probably because I couldn't relate to him, his perspective, or how he went about his journey. A bit disappointing in that aspect but the social experiment side of things was interesting. ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this quick read. Liked the sense of adventure by relying on the kindness of others and the force of Twitter. A real life adventure.
Rachel A
Jul 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Starts of super witty so you think it'll be a hilarious journey to follow- it isn't. Felt weary of the travel probably more so the the writer did.

Great concept- just not worth the read.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is basically a social experiment, utilizing twitter as a means to travel. The author sets out to travel as far from his home town as he can in 30 days, via accepting offers of help by users of twitter. There are a few rules he sets himself and sometimes these rules threaten to end his journey, but the twitterverse comes to his rescue at the 11th hour. He starts off in England and ends up in New Zealand, with some of western Europe and the USA in between.

I was amazed that so many peopl
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Why did I want to read this book? Because the idea behind it is just crazy yet at the same time simply amazing. I love travelling but I'm a control freak and I need to plan everything when I go anywhere. And for me to think that someone was brave enough to just go with the flow and let strangers decide for him where to go next and rely on those same strangers as far as transport and accommodation goes - it gave me a headache and a fit of overexcitement at the same time :)

Paul Smith managed to tr
Leanne Hunt
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
As travel books go, this is unusual in that it replaces the conventional travel agent’s itinerary or self-directed motivation with the random helpfulness of Twitter followers who just happen to want to get involved in one man’s ambitious goal; namely, to travel to the furthest point from home in thirty days relying entirely on the assistance of strangers. Being familiar with Twitter as I am, I found this an interesting and wonderful experiment. It began with an optimistic belief in the generosit ...more
James Cridland
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story, told in a quite splendid way. There are bits that are sad, bits that are happy, and bits that are incredibly uplifting. It's an addictive book, too; rather too easy to lose hours by "just finding out what happens next". And you don't need to know, or care, about Twitter to read it either. He comes across as a splendid person to have as a house guest, as long as you don't let him cook sausages for you.

(Fessing up: I've known Paul for ten years or so. He cooks sausages very badl
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
The concept is interesting, but the writing lets the book down. The first chapter does nothing for the book or story. I want to give the author a stern kicking for being so lazy and disorganised. Writing a little turgid in places. But I'm enjoying finding ou what happens. In summary, if the same mission had been undertaken by someone else who was more likeable and better at both writing and storytelling, it could havevbeen a great book. ...more
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a jolly little book, that zips along much like the actual journey must have done. It's a shame that due to the nature of the challenge Paul Smith obviously didn't have much time for sightseeing, so you don't get much about the places he visited - it's not really a travel book in that sense, it's more about the journey, and the people he met along the way. Good fun if you like books about eccentric Englishmen doing mad things and earning a bit for charity along the way. ...more
Rachel Gilbey
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've got a real soft spot for travel books and technology and although not being a huge twitter user myself, was very curious to see how Paul's journey would occur.

I'm astounded at the kindness of the strangers he encountered, and its impressive to discover just how far Paul managed to get from Newcastle, relying on re-tweets reaching useful/helpful people.

There was a great pacing to the book, and was a very enjoyable read, especially with some of the descriptions of the places.
Alex Wormall
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The thoroughly enjoyable story of how one man embraced (& was embraced by) Twitter. Set the challenge of getting from northeast England to the southern islands of New Zealand in 30 days with only the help of tweeps, Smith encounters characters & adventure galore.

A wonderfully engaging and funny read.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Paul Smith is a great and funny writer, and he has a great idea in his attempt to rely on Twitter to get him halfway across the world. Some parts of the story were a little dull but overall I was largely gripped by his dream.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

It's a pretty interesting concept: One many travels around the world in 30 days solely through offers from people on Twitter (and raises money for a good cause, too).

It's an interesting read. It also confirms what I already suspected: Tweeps (People both known and unknown to you in real life) are pretty awesome.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it
The concept of twitchiking seemed intriguing so I was expecting to read an interesting travel story. However, as far as travel stories go, this didn't offer anything that exciting. The US parts were enjoyable, but all in all it fell a bit flat. Great idea, sound execution but as a book it's not that awesome. Certain things simply work better on the internet than they do on paper. ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I admire the endeavour - a strange modern pilgrimage - more than the book. It does have its moments but it just isn't compelling. Clearly the adventure itself - as it was happening - really was, for many people, or doubtless there never could have been a book at all! I felt like I'd missed out on the excitement. ...more
Keith Larkworthy
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Unique adventure. Very original idea and great to recieve tweets from the author when I commented on the book on, you guessed it, twitter. Just goes to show the power of social media. Thanks for a fun read Paul.
Karen Seal
May 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
I loved the concept of this book but was left quite disappointed having read it. It didn't grip me at all and as such it took me quite a long time to read. There was no real detail to anything he talked about. Such a shame for something that I thought had so much potential. ...more
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
spent the best part of today reading this and only just finished now at nearly half 11 at night. is prob the best review for a book and like all good travel writing this makes me wanna pack a bag and take off! only hopefully in more comfort.
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Entertaining account of Paul Smith's attempt to reach Campbell Island off New Zealand entirely through the help of his contacts on Twitter.

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