Trevor Daneliuk first started hitchhiking about four years ago, when he was still a college student studying accounting. Today, the 24-year-old Canadian has hitchhiked in 25 countries, and says he’s been picked up by generous drivers close to a thousand times.
His current trip will take him across all 50 United States — he’s been to 48 at the time of publishing — and is being funded with the money he makes through Twitch, the Amazon-owned video livestreaming service, which he uses to broadcast nearly all of his waking hours on the trek.
On day 118 of his journey, Daneliuk took a short break from "twitchhiking" (his term for hitchhiking on Twitch) in Salt Lake City, Utah on his way to Las Vegas, Nevada, to talk with Business Insider about his adventures, his online following, and how he got started hitchhiking.
Since beginning his current trip across the United States, Trevor Daneliuk has been using Twitch to live-stream his rides, meals, errands and practically every other moment of his adventure. He has about 700 viewers at a time, on average.
Trevor has roughly 21,000 followers on Twitch, the Amazon-owned live video platform.
In recent years, Twitch has become known as a hub for video game streams, and is the virtual home of Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, the best Fortnite player in the world, as well as plenty of other e-sports and gaming celebrities.
However, there’s a growing community of streamers on Twitch who don’t post gaming content at all. Daneliuk is one of them.
His travel expenses are covered with the money he earns through Twitch. His fans pay a monthly subscription fee, and often donate directly to support his journey.
Twitch uses a "cheers" system, which allows viewers to donate money to their favorite streamers with the on-platform currency, called "bits." The text in the top left corner of Daneliuk’s video feed is a list of recent donations. American dollars are converted to bits at a rate of one cent per bit.
It should also be said that getting free rides from strangers isn’t a particularly expensive way to get around.
On top of saving on air fare, Daneliuk travels with only what he can carry — while prioritizing his heavy streaming equipment — eats fast food for most meals, and often sleeps in a tent on the side of the road.
Still, Daneluik said this has been one of his most luxurious hitchhiking trips, and has included more hotel stays than he’s used to, thanks to help from generous viewers.
While this reporter was watching his stream earlier this week, Trevor mentioned needing to find a room for the night, and within minutes, a generous viewer donated $140 to cover his stay. Shortly afterward, another viewer donated $25 with the message, "Don’t forget about dinner."
Daneliuk says he first got started hitchhiking simply because he got tired of taking buses from city to city in college, and he says it’s not nearly as dangerous as people might think.
"It’s great, because I never know where I’m going to end up at the end of the day," Daneliuk told Business Insider. "You just end up in really cool situations that you would never get to experience otherwise. At the end of the day in a new city you get to sit there and go, ‘How did I end up here?’"
Lot’s of people ask him if he’s ever worried about his safety while hitching for rides, but Daneliuk isn’t too bothered by the risks involved. In the thousand or so times he’s been picked up, he says he’s never met a bad person.
"People who pick up hitchhikers are some of the kindest, most generous, and most amazing people you’ll ever meet," he says. "Plus, they’re usually local, which is great because they can help you get around and tell you where to go. Sometimes they even offer you a meal, a guest bedroom, or things like that."
from SAI https://read.bi/2AVOrFU