California Fisherman on a World Hitch-Hiking Crosses India

Jon, a fisherman from California who aims to hitch-hike all continents accepts travel by car, bus, boats or even two wheelers.

27 year old Jon Macaluso, a fisherman from US has been hitch-hiking around the world since 2017. Now in Puducherry after hitch-hiking across India from Delhi to Dhanushkodi, the young man has been taking free rides across 30 countries and even staying at homes of strangers he meets. His dream is to hitch hike across  all continents.

Born and brought up in California’s Buellton, a small city, “This adventure started when I was in college in Los Angeles after I hitch-hiked in the city when someone stopped to give me a ride. I liked it and did it in weekends curious to see who I’d meet. Later when I studied in Japan for a year in 2016 I hitch-hiked across the country” says the history student. 
Jon who has  so far covered Australia, North America, Europe, Asia and South America  shares incredible stories of adventure, love, compassion, humanity and dangers he experienced hitch-hiking. While in China’s  Quinghai mountain range he  had collapsed on the street due to altitude sickness. “I thought I was dying. Some strangers stopped their truck and took care of me. They stayed awake the whole night taking care of me. They told me if you sleep your heart may stop” recollects Jon. 
In Poland, when Jon wanted to visit Auschwitz, the largest concentration camp,  an old timer who hosted him revealed his mother was a holocaust survivor. He showed holocaust documentaries that night and took him to Auschwitz the next day. “When we visited Auschwitz it was a powerful moment for him. He gave me a beanie (cap), which I carry everywhere” said an emotionally charged Jon.
In Thailand Jon got to stay with monks for five days. At the end of it, “the Head Monk gifted me a golden bag the King had gifted him. It was a special experience for me”

Jon shares numerous stories of human kindness he experienced hitch-hiking. This Head Monk with who he had stayed for five days in Thailand presented him a golden bag, the King had gifted him.


He had a terrible moment with security agencies in Russia last year. He was forced to fly back home from Russia when the pandemic struck. However the lockdown and the huge loss of life didn’t dent his spirit to explore the world hitch-hiking. “I didn’t want the dream to die” Jon says. But when he returned to Russia in 2022, this time the country was in war with Ukraine and security agencies took him away. “I was suspected to be a spy. We were just 20 KM from the border, very close to Rosto-On-Don. I saw trucks heading to Ukraine. I told them the truth and they let me go”. 
Jon does fishing in Alaska for five months in a year to fund his air travel and stay. On his Indian experience he recollects meeting a 93 year old man at the home of a man at Vaijapur in Maharashtra who opened his place for him. “The grand father shared with me memories of the British sending people from India to fight the World War II and the  mass movement of Muslims to Pakistan following the partition of India and the violence then which not many many would remember. I loved it”.
Jon has hitch-hiked on cars, two wheelers, SUVs, school buses, recreational vehicles and boats. He either camps out at night or stays at the homes of the people he meets and checks into hotels only 10 to 20% to keep costs low. 
Winding up his India leg at Chennai, Jon would return to his  parents, brother and sister in the US before  hitch-hiking in Africa later this year. He also wants to explore Antarctica but says “I don’t know how to go about as there are no roads”. 
On what’s his message for the world community, Jon who aspires to become a Professor in History or Geography said “This is a proof most people in the world  are good. We shouldn’t be afraid of each other”.  He added “Fear is profitable and many forces try to divide and get us scared. Polarisation makes the world unstable. But  the world has been largely peaceful since the world war II and we should maintain this. I hope faith in humanity is restored”.
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