From Seattle to the Shetlands! Former US Air Force pilot hitchhikes around world for THREE YEARS (and even cycles the length of the UK)

January 5, 2015 11:11 AM

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A former US Air Force pilot has spent the last three years circling the globe while hitching rides with strangers or taking in the sights on the seat of a motorbike or bicycle.

Aaron Freed may well be the ultimate traveller after hitchhiking his way around the world on 22 different boats and working odd jobs to scrounge enough cash to continue his travels.

His epic journey has taken him from Alaska to Florida on a motorbike, he has cycled the length of the UK and he has sailed across the ocean with an Australian audiologist.

The 43-year-old nomad, originally from Seattle, left his home three years ago and opted to spend his life on the move after service 12 years with the US Air Force, where he reached the rank of major.

He works online as a freelance consultant in business strategy and marketing as he circumnavigates the globe.

Aaron was left penniless a year into his travels when he arrived in Tunisia and had to spend four months working in a hostel to raise funds.

He recently arrived in the UK after sailing from the Netherlands and cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats - opting for the scenic route to take in Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Aaron spent Christmas in Shetland, Scotland, and is gearing up to continue his incredible journey by cycling from Cairo, Egypt, to South Africa.

He said: ‘I thought to myself that I've got to get in shape. I'd been eating my way through Eastern Europe before arriving in the UK.

‘But in all honesty I didn't get in shape cycling the UK because of cream tea and sticky toffee pudding.

‘Prior to arriving in the UK, I had limited experience of sailing before the trip but it was enough that I could leverage for someone to take me.

He left the US Air Force in 2005 and tried his hand at real estate and running an internet start-up business, but his ‘life became a bit of a broken record’ and he decided to travel.

His original plan was to travel to Beirut and return home to the US, but he decided to go around the world while he was ‘somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic’.

Aaron said: ‘I've had 22 “pass-offs” on private boats, from accompanying couples to solo sailors and an Italian woman with a dog that bit me three times on a 14-day sail to Spain.

‘I think I can find kindred spirits anywhere in the world. That doesn't mean we are all kindred spirits but I do know that language profoundly separates us.


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