The world according to… Steve Dew-Jones

Hitchhiker and author, Steve Dew-Jones reveals why mountains are a must and how he constructed a fake Burmese passport stamp (not recommended)

Team Wanderlust
12 January 2011

Mountain/ocean/desert/jungle – Which are you and why?

SDJ: Mountain. There is nothing quite like the great outdoors and few things take my breath away more than a vast array of mountains. I love the sense of space that they bring, and the feeling of being incredibly small by comparison.

What was your first great travel experience?

SDJ: In the summer of 2007, I hitched with a couple of friends from Italy down to Macedonia – via Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania – and there were certainly some interesting moments along the way, such as being told in Montenegro that we would be shot if we hitched through Albania. The very first driver on that trip was a German guy called Jurgen, who drove us from Turin to Florence. He was completely crazy and drove his flashy BMW at an average pace of 180kmph. It was terrifying, but at least we made it to Florence in record pace, and were even invited to stay with Jurgen in his swanky apartment.

What has been your favourite journey?

SDJ: No doubt, the hitchhike to Malaysia. More specifically, it would have to be our experiences in Iran, which proved to be a country full of warmth and hospitality, and in which we stayed with one family who put us up in no less than five locations across the country with their relatives and friends. Two of them even hitched with us between various towns to make sure we were OK!

Which are your top five places in the world?

SDJ: Iran – Esfahan (stunning city with magnificent bridges)

Afghanistan – Badakhshan (beautiful province with multiple mountain ranges and hosts of warm-hearted hosts)

Turkey – Kapadokya (incredible rock formations like nowhere else I’ve seen)

Malawi – Lake Malawi (peace… and pesky baboons)

France – Les Gorges Du Verdon (awesome natural beauty in the country that sparked my love of different cultures)

Which passport stamp are you proudest of?

SDJ: It has to be the fake Burmese stamp which we had made up in Dhaka. 1. Borrow the passport of someone who has been to Myanmar. 2. Take it to a stamp-maker in a market in Dhaka. 3. Tell him the rough date you’ll be entering Myanmar. 4. Voila!

Which passport stamp would you most like to have?

SDJ: An official overland entry stamp into Burma (for more than one week).

Where or what are your guilty travel pleasures?

SDJ: I cannot cope without a morning shot of coffee.

Steve Dew-Jones hitchhiked across the globe to Malaysia in 2008. His book, The Rule of Thumb details his adventures. For your chance to win a copy see our competition pages.

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