Sarnia man hitchhiked across the globe, publishes book

A Sarnian who has traveled to nearly 100 countries has written and published a book based on his travels in Europe.

Steve Hunter, 42, said the book tells the story of a character named “Freddi” who finds himself at a crossroads in his life and decides to walk across Spain.

“The road trip through Spain was amazing! He met so many wonderful, random people from different parts of the world,” Hunter said.

(Sarnia author Steve Hunter, photo submitted by Steve Hunter.)

“It’s also a very commercial walk (Camino de Santiago) with a lot of people and a lot of drama that ensues. He finds this pilgrimage important and makes him feel close to it again, Something that wasn’t there before. [his] Travel early. “

After following the trails across Spain, the main character decides to walk from Rome to Istanbul.

The book is based on Hunt’s own trip to Europe spanning five years around 2012.

“After Europe, I hitchhiked all the way around Europe from Istanbul, I walked through Portugal and then hitchhiked all the way – before I ran out of money, I hitchhiked all the way to Ghana,” he said. “I circled back to Gambia, flew back to Europe, did some odd jobs, then flew to New Zealand. I worked there for a while, then hitchhiked all the way back to Europe from Singapore.”

Hunt said it took him 15 years to move from country to country in pursuit of his goal of walking around the world.

His books are essentially snapshots of his travels.

“I chose this part to write initially because of the pilgrimage aspect and minimalism,” he said.

This is Hunt’s first published book. He had previously written an article about his travels in Canada, but it was never published.

“I put it on hold. It was a very important first try, and it taught me a lot about writing,” he said. “It made me want to write something more impactful, more literary, something that people would actually enjoy and benefit from.”

Hunter has traveled to 88 countries so far and intends to continue traveling.

Hunter was traveling through Asia when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and he was staying in Kazakhstan more than expected.

“I’ve done part of what I want to do, but if it wasn’t for COVID, I could easily be in 100 countries,” he said. “That number gives me an idea of ​​how far I’ve traveled, I guess, but the 125,000 kilometers I’ve hitchhiked is 12 times the length of Canada, so I think it gives me a better idea of ​​how far.”

Hunt said he started traveling with the intention of having a “good time” and exploring different regions and cultures. His travels later aroused curiosity about the similarities between different countries and about “people’s movements” or colonialism.

His travels have also evolved into a more immersive experience in which he engages more with locals and does small jobs.

“I didn’t see it at first, I just went to the tourist area,” he said.

“I hiked a little bit, but I didn’t really get exposed to the culture, and when I started to get exposed to the culture of Europe, I became really, really fascinated.”

Some bookstores in Sarnia, Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex have agreed to sell his self-published books, including The Librarian and Houde Family Books, Hunt said. He said the hardcover will likely hit local shelves by the end of April. The paperback should also be available on Amazon.

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