How Hitchhiking Changed This Filipino’s View on Life

We know how it goes: a foxy lady stands on the side of the road, hikes her skirt up, and raises her thumb. Shortly after that, comes a stud with a nice set of wheels to give her a ride. At least that’s how we see it on TV or in the movies.

The closest practice we’ve come to hitchhiking is when some Filipinos jump off a speeding jeepney in the Art of Conning called ‘1,2,3’. (You know, when some men hang onto the back of a moving jeepney until they’ve reached their stop and then leaps off without paying or without so much as a simple thanks?) I’m not saying that the 1,2,3 is legal, but it’s a common practice for some. That’s because nobody gets a free ride these days. It’s either you risk a suicidal attempt of getting on and off a moving jeep that runs recklessly along a busy highway or just do the normal way which is pay for the ride. Nobody would even slow down just to let a stranger hop into their cars because the end result might not be pretty. However, for our fellow Filipino Marco Ilagan, the danger that comes with hitchhiking and the joy of connecting with people are things that a world traveler like him has to experience.

At the beginning of 2018, Marco decided to tread on the wild side and do what most of us wouldn’t dare do: give up the corporate life and get out of his comfort zone. In the ‘real’ world, Marco had everything figured out: he was a Senior Manager at Accenture for 15 years, earned $120K a year, and lived in a nice condo; but maybe this life is not what it’s all about. He dreamed of the thrill of the open road and the freedom that comes with it. As such, he saved up for a year and sold all of his stuff. Then, he packed that stuff up and traveled the world with his Argentinian girlfriend Francina Cassaniti, and created a travel blog called Map the Unknown.

Filipino & Argentinian Couple Traveling The World [English/Español]

ESPAÑOL DEBAJO ?Like and Follow our page to see how we're able to travel the world! We're very excited to help and inspire you to also follow your passion for traveling and to live a lifestyle of freedom! Let's map the unknown together!.¡Dale me gusta y seguí nuestra página para ver cómo hacemos para viajar por el mundo! ¡Estamos muy emocionados de ayudarte e inspirarte para que vos también sigas tu pasión por viajar y vivir un estilo de vida lleno de libertad! ¡Mapeemos lo desconocido juntos!.#exploremore #travel #aroundtheworld #viajar #viajeros #porelmundo #dreaming #aroundtheworld #traveler #rtwtravel #viajarelmundo #ilovetravel #theglobewanderer #inspiration #motivation #igworld_global #exploretocreate #adventurethatislife #lifeofadventure #wanderlust #maptheunknown #lifestylevlogger #glomad #peoplescreative #filipino #filipinotraveler #argentina #argentiniantraveler #viajerargentina

โพสต์โดย Map The Unknown เมื่อ วันเสาร์ที่ 1 ธันวาคม 2018

It’s not that they were sick of being slaves to the clock. This free lifestyle still involves a lot of work, like building an online business and travel blog, creating social media content, figuring out accommodation, work location, and transportation; but instead of a 9-5 job routine, they are able to define how and where they want to spend their days.

For these two nomads, traveling the world gives them a clearer meaning of why we all live. Instead of turning into a corporate zombie, they feel that they owe it to themselves to experience a different lifestyle and feel alive again! The excitement of meeting new people, the rush of new adventures, and the high of experiencing something different are some of the things that a traveling lifestyle can offer you.

But there is more to that than the buzz, too.

A Minimal Lifestyle

Veering away from first world privileges opened Marco’s eyes. Mother Earth has a lot to offer and he learned that he can grab all of these opportunities the moment he changed the way he looked at the world. He formed a new relationship with the world, and with this connection, he has more respect. He has become more conscious. He resolved to a more ethical way of traveling, such as going on a plant-based diet, consuming zero plastic, carrying his own reusable utensils, and checking in at eco-friendly hostels and accommodations. These are some of the few things that he does to give back to our planet now that he sees it in a different light.

Everything they need are in their knapsacks

Meeting Strangers

While he isn’t an advocate of hitchhiking, Marco decided that this is an experience that he needed to try after their first year of traveling. They started their second year by doing something different transportation-wise to help stretch their budget. Aside from that, the root of the excitement that comes with hitchhiking is connecting with people.

Marco having fun flying a drone with kids at Maricaban.

This is why they started traveling in the first place: to experience real culture and learn from it. When you take the traditional way of getting around, such as a plane or a bus, try to strike up a conversation with a stranger sitting next to you. It won’t always end in a pleasant exchange of Facebook accounts. When hitchhiking, when strangers stop for you, they alter the atmosphere in their car. They create an open space for you to exchange stories and create a more enjoyable road trip.


Romancing the road won’t always stay in the honeymoon stage, though. Roads are sure to turn rocky. Still, when they do, Marco remains positive and grateful. The weather may be harsh and unpredictable; not everyone will stop to give you a lift; there will always be other hitchhikers competing for a ride; and in Marco’s case, there are some Visa problems, too. Still, after starting last December 2018, they have hitchhiked a total of 4,000km with plans to hitchhike until the second of week of April, which will give them around four months to explore Argentina.

Ushuaia, also known as End of the World, where their hitchhiking adventures began.

They started their adventure hitching a total of 5,800 kilometers beginning at the southernmost city of Argentina, Ushuaia also known as the End of the World, until the border of Bolivia. The four month-long road trip would give them ample time to experience Argentina’s 11 provinces. 4 months and 11 provinces would be just the right time to establish some solid rapport with the citizens, as well as with the country’s beautiful places. This also means that there will be enough time for them to prepare their bodies for different climates: from dry to humid, from cold to hot, from mountains to lakes to deserts, from sea level to 4,000 meters above sea level.

They have gone on 40 rides since they started, which totals to about 4,000 kilometers. The adventure just keeps getting better and better as they meet different people and it seems that almost everybody they meet is amazing. They are now on their last phase, which they talk about on their social media accounts. New videos are posted every Monday and new photos are constantly uploaded to showcase the beauty of Argentina.

Follow them and see how they are hitchhiking around the entirety of Argentina.

S2:E3 – Hitchhiking the Whole Argentina [English/Spanish]

ESPAÑOL DEBAJO??We made a BIG DECISION! Something we never done before, something challenging! Watch the whole video to find out how and why we made this decision! ? It was a mix of emotions! Please send us your positive energy and support by leaving a comment below. Will you join us with this adventure? .Follow all the episodes of this adventure at #MTUinArgentina.Tomamos una GRAN DECISIÓN! Algo que nunca antes hicimos, algo desafiante! Mirá el vídeo y descubrí cómo y por qué tomamos esta decisión. Fue un mix de emociones! Por favor envíanos tu energía positiva y apoyo dejándonos un comentario debajo. Te unís en esta aventura con nosotros?.#travel #viajar #argentinaadedo #hitchhiking #findelmundo #viajar #traveling #instatravel #FinDelMundo #Argentina #Patagonia #ElijoUshuaia #travel #travelcouple #creativetravelcouples #travelgram #roundtheworld #visitargentina #porelmundo #rtwtravel #ilovetravel #exploretocreate #lifeofadventure #nosgustaviajar #viajaresvivir #travelinspiration #tripinargentina #travelarg #turismoargentina

โพสต์โดย Map The Unknown เมื่อ วันศุกร์ที่ 15 กุมภาพันธ์ 2019

The Ultimate High

It is understandable that fear always hovers around, especially in the beginning before deciding to up and leave the traditional lifestyle. However, you will also realize that every fiber of your being is alive when you march out into the unknown and that everything will be worth it when you learn how to live with that uncertainty. That is the whole reason why they made this decision: to show everyone that traveling really isn’t about money. How can you move when you’re strapped for cash? It is about courage – courage to take on a different lifestyle, courage to take on all kinds of challenges, and courage to approach a stranger and bond.

First Pinoy to Hitchhike around Argentina

Hopefully mastering the art of 1,2,3 in this case would be to count the number of strangers that slow down for you and become your friends. There will always be a question of finances and trepidation of the unfamiliar, but that didn’t paralyze them from doing what they have always dreamed to do. Just take the plunge. If they can do it, so can you!

Map the Unknown



Instagram: @maptheunknown


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