Category Archives: Philosophy


It was april 2010.
Spring had just come to France. And so had Robin. We spent a sunny Sunday in Céret, a small romantic town in the Pyrenees. We had not seen each other in many weeks. Way to many weeks. We had written more loveletters than it had been days since we were together. Everywhere we went, love went with us.

The sun was beautiful. The buildings were beautiful. The people were beautiful, like characters in a movie where we played the leads. Amanda with a flower in her hair, Robin with the smile of a happy child. The cars stopped for us. The people greeted us.
An old man walked up to us and offered some candy. A street choir walked the main street down and spread their tones.
Céret smelled of coffee, spring and love. When we smiled, the world smiled back at us, and we said to each other,
“We have to express this passion. We have to keep expressing it, and share it with the rest of the world”.
We will never forget Céret, or the people who live there. Maybe the people in Céret won’t forget us either, who knows.

We didn’t know it by then. But on that sunny Sunday in Céret, MangoManjaro was born.


July, 2010.


India, we said. Let’s hitchhike to India. And we did. We hitchhiked – ONLY – until we reached Pakistan. As soon as we’d crossed the border from Iran, we had to get escorted by armed guards, half way through Pakistan. “For security reasons, you are not allowed to hitchhike, sorry.”

We made it to the Indian border, the very east of Pakistan. Because of some visa issues and poor planning from our side, we actually finished this journey in Pakistan. So we did travel all the way TO India, all we didn’t do was to enter it. It will be a future project, since we are quite certain India will still be there. So will we, and along with us comes a big portion of curiosity and passion.


We want to thank you all again.
All of our drivers, the people who have hosted us, all you Chicken Dancers, blog readers, donors, reporters and other Njaros out there.
Thank you for making our personal experience absolutely amazing.
Thank you for everything that you have shared with us, and for everything that you have taught us.
Thanks for all the chai and all the joy. Thanks for being brave and open minded, and for treating us so well.

Anton, one of our drivers in Bulgaria made a wise statement that we came to like so much that we copied it and printed it at some of our business cards.
“The world is a big village”. This line has really proved itself to be true during the last few months.

We started this trip with an empashis on challenging the fears that people in Sweden have. It turned out that most of the fears are shared amongst all people, across all of the countries that we’ve passed. This is our most important lesson, our most important discovery. It is not dangerous to hitchhike, talk to strangers, or stay in a strangers home. It’s rather the opposite! The most dangerous thing you can do is to isolate yourself and only trust situations where you’re paying someone to do something for you.

Fear in itself is what’s dangerous, because it hinders us from communicating with each other. And that makes us stupid.


MangoManjaro is now about 6 moths old, in other words it is still a baby who will grow and learn.
We hope to meet you all in our future projects!

Love, magical Mango energy and best wishes,

Amanda and Robin

The Fine Line

There is always a fine, fine line between satisfaction and disappointment. Between beeing excited and being restless.

When we’re at home working, we dream about traveling. We believe it would make it all easier. Not knowing where to spend the night, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. We dream about endless conversations with stangers, about endless hours on the road.

But when we travel, we might dream of being on a schedule, living with a structure, knowing there is coffee in the kitchen, that we can have a hot shower whenever we like, and that our daily work will pay our bills. All of a sudden, this life might seem like the easy version, the peace giving, the right. It is the differences that makes us appreciate. It is the challenge in both lifestyles that makes us eager to try.

When it’s too hot, we wish it would start snowing. When it’s to cold, we would do mostly anything to catch some heat.

We’ve met so many friendly people during this journey, that we almost stop noticing their hospitality.
We’ve seen such amazing things, that what we find interest in at the moment, are the most simple things.
A cup of espresso, hanging out with our siblings. Well, not that that’s “simple things”, but still, it’s very natural for us.

Until the cravings for new adventures show up – probably in a few days or so – it is time for us to go home.

The Power of Body Language

Don’t underestimate the power of body language.
What does this sign mean to you?

If you’re Turkish, you probably use this a lot.
“Very, very good!”, “Excellent!”

Though when you get down to Syria, this sign might not be as positive.
You’ll see taxi drivers using it while squeezing you through the impressive traffic game of Damascus as it means “Wait!”

And in Italy?
“What the F—!”

Don’t nod to a Bulgarian if you mean Yes.
This one is really tricky, but just shake your head and smile.
Imagine yourself in an opposite world where No means Yes, and Yes means No. That’s Bulgaria!

How do you communicate without words?
Write a comment and let us know!

You Are Constantly Changing Your World

Amanda is communicating… what exactly?

Every day has the potential of changing the course of human history.
All it takes is ideas and your actions to make them come true.

We do our best changing the world by meeting people, dancing with them and writing about it.
This is not the only way.
You are constantly changing the world somehow.
It is impossible not to communicate, and by communicating you’re automatically affecting your environment in either one direction or the other.

When you’re walking down the streets, are you smiling?
Whistling? Dancing?
What would happen if you walked in a different way?
As if you were somebody else?
Try smiling and see how the world reacts to that.
How does your action affect your world?
What results do you get?

Here in Syria, people smile a lot!
This is a major difference from how it was in Sweden or Poland.

We’re not sure why it is like this. But we know how to change it.
Just start smiling :) !

19 Hacks to Improve Your Hitchhiking Experience

Hitchhiker with a sign saying "Freshly Shower'd"
(Sign, love and photo by Peacehead)

Here are some tips that will improve your results while you’re hitchhiking:

  • Bring a girl (if you’re a guy) or a guy (if you’re a girl)

    If you’re a guy you’ll get much better results with other men if you bring a girl.
    If you’re a girl, it will be easier to dismiss the wedding proposals if you have another guy with you.

  • Smile, laugh and sing – no begging please

    Show the drivers that they’d have a much better time if they were with you.
    Convince them by being that missing piece of their experience.

  • Look the drivers into the eyes, seek rapport

    In this way they’ll feel forced to give you some sort of answer.
    If not, you’re just part of the scenery.

  • Wear whole and clean clothes (depending on what kind of cars you want to attract)

    We want to attract new and secure cars.
    Therefore, we dress fashionable and properly ;).

  • Know your way, or be prepared to ask for it

    Say you want to get to city D and you are in city A. Then it’s good to know the name of city B and city C as well.

  • Use a sign (paper or cardboard)

    Your sign is a way of saving time. Write the closest town that you want to get to, or the furthest depending on your situation.
    If nobody has stopped, then you might want to skip the sign. If everyone stops, then you want to make it very specific.

  • Write the sign using the native alphabet

    For example if you’re in an Arab country, get a friend or stranger to write it for you (unless you speak/write in Arabic)

  • Be humorous with what you write on the sign

    When we’re failing to get a good connection with the drivers, and we feel unmotivated we usually just pick up the “INDIA” sign.
    This has a very good effect: The drivers starts to smile, laugh, and often points at the sign while their mouths falls wide open.
    This makes us laugh and smile as well.
    Some people just stop to figure out what’s going on, and if we’re really going to India.

  • Use the crowd effect

    Humans are social creatures and they are attracted to – social happenings.
    If a car stops and the driver talks to you because of your humorous sign,
    then that will make it harder for the drivers that comes afterwards to not do the same thing.
    Nobody wants to miss the fun, right?

  • Never hitchhike on a “green road” or motorway – more often than not it’s illegal

    It is very difficult for the drivers to stop and it’s also dangerous for them to do so.

  • Offer the car enough space to stop

    After the point where you’re standing there should at least be a few meters for the car to stop at.

  • Stand in the brightest spot possible – you want to shine

    It doesn’t matter if the source is the Sun or a street light, the important thing is that the driver can see you properly.

  • Give the driver enough time to see you, make a decision and stop

    Make yourself as visible as possible, give them time to understand what you want.
    With this in mind, the best spots is where the cars drive slow.

  • Don’t hitchhike when it’s dark

    Don’t take this too seriously.
    The main reason for not hitchhiking when it’s dark is simply because it’s harder for the drivers to see you.

  • If you’re in a hurry – avoid trucks as they only drive top 90km/h

    Truck drivers are often really friendly and nice persons. The only problem with trucks are that they go really slow.
    So if you’re in a hurry or want to be somewhere at a specific time, it is best to avoid the trucks.

  • Remember that you’re in control – you choose which driver to go with and how far you’ll go with her/him

    When you’re hitchhiking, you’re the boss. You choose if you want to step into that car, or if you want the driver to stop it.

  • Stand as close to the cars as possible – walk down from the pavement to really get “in their faces”

    In order to get a good contact (rapport) you want to be in the drivers faces. Get out on the road and make contact!

  • If you don’t speak the same language as your driver – be prepared

    Lack of language is not a communication barrier! You can draw, make gestures and sing international songs together.

  • Connect with your driver if you like her/him

    Exchange email addresses or Facebook.
    Share a gum if you have one.
    Show pictures from home.
    Connect in some way, and you might have made a friend for life!

There you have it.
19 hacks to improve your hitchhiking experience.
Do you have any tactics or strategies that you’d like to share?
Write them in the comments!
Happy hitching :) !