Solenne Horellou

School Teacher (Hitch-hiker)

In August and September 2018, I spent 6 weeks traveling in Pakistan, first with a male friend from Europe, then on my own.
Pakistan was a country I wanted to visit for a long time, for many reasons. Firstly, I am always more interested in non-typical destinations, where most tourists do not even think of going. Also, in the past years, I met many Pakistani who made me want to visit their country. Then, I heard only good things from my travelers-friends who went there.
So, in August, I landed in Karachi with my friend and our trip started. We both are hitchhikers so there was no reason why we shouldn't hitchhike in Pakistan too. After 3 days in Karachi, we started heading north.
hitchhiking in Pakistan was awesome! We met a lot of different people, made a lot of friends, were offered a lot of tea and food. For instance, Pakistani National Day was about to come a few days after. Drivers offered me badges, hats, bracelets, all what is needed to celebrate Pakistani Day.
We never waited long on the road. Drivers always stopped very quickly for us, very often wondering what we were doing - because most of them don't understand the concept of hitchhiking - and inviting us, or sometimes squeezing us, in their car.
Let's say that we also hitchhiked... police cars! Pakistani police is sometimes too zealous and feel that travelers need a special protection and policemen to follow them everywhere. This was not something I liked or enjoyed. I would have preferred crossing some areas on my own, without police escort, especially because there is even not one single moment when I did not feel safe in Pakistan. For sure, traveling with Pakistani friends or guides helps to avoid or minimize these troubles.
But, there were also some great moments. Most policemen were actually friendly, just asking us for selfies and simply following the orders they receive. There is no doubt that Pakistani are very hospitable and they love seeing foreigners visiting their country, talking with them, taking selfies with them, offering them tea... We have been invited to spend the night at the home of random people so many times and there has never been any trouble. And, as a woman, I also haven't experienced any trouble. People were all super respectful with him, even sometimes too much. Well, I got hundreds of friend requests on facebook, from some guys I never met and will never meet, but then it was my choice to accept them or not.
Pakistan truly has a lot to explore, wherever your preferences go. History and culture lovers will find a lot of forts, ancient places, historical buildings, especially in Sindh and Punjab. Nature, sport and adventure lovers will fall in love with the north. No need to mention that Pakistan has beautiful mountains, even very high ones, with which no other country can compete. Pakistan also has some other fascinating features to discover like food, culture, way of life, mentality.
It is a destination which can only satisfy the persons curious to discover a new destination, ready to get a lot of smiles and to see astonishing nature! I am actually planning to go back to Pakistan in a near future. I want to explore some more places, still hitchhiking and this time only alone, and to spend more time in the mountains. For the best ;)