Hey there! Thanks for your interest in getting to know us a little more. In this page, I tried to introduce our family and I gathered the most frequent questions people asks us and combined them into one long post.
Who are we ?
We are HiuYing, Maxime and Darian, a little family of 3 travelling endlessly around the world. HiuYing & Maxime met in Hong Kong in 2016 through Couchsurfing thanks to their passion for travelling. They’ve been rapidly and unexpectedly joined by Darian, their first son, in their journey around the world.
Our first member is Hiu Ying, a rebellious Hongkonger, who discovered the freedom of being abroad while on her first trip to the UK. This eye-opening experience led her to start hitchhiking alone in Taiwan and Europe. She made good use of her ability of “sleeping anywhere anytime” that she learnt while riding the HK’s subway as a student. After meeting Maxime, she impatiently waited the last day of her university lecture and joined Maxime’s round-the-world journey. Since the beginning of her full-time travels, she has overcome her mysophobia, walked more in 2 years than in her first 20 years, lost more kilos than ever, introduced herself to many new things and continued to pursue her dream to explore life to the maximum. Perfect demonstrator for the Cantonese saying “傻人有傻福“, Hiu Ying is always blessed by the god of fortune.
Our second member is Maxime, he’s a simple guy who just wants to be happy. Lucky enough, one day he realized that travelling was making him really happy and he has been roaming around the world since then. Hitchhiking might be his specialty, since he’s counting more than 70.000 kilometers on his belt. Most of them came when he started in 2015 an overland hitchhiking 1€-a-day journey that took him from his home country, France, all the way to Indonesia (why Indonesia? Article coming soon!). His current dream is to go to every country of the world, slowly but surely. Crazy about sports, he never misses an opportunity to hike whatever is around. He’s also very keen on discovering new food, studying the history of countries is in and playing board games.
The third member is Darian, the traveling baby! Born in the toilets in France (this by itself is worth to write a book about haha), he’s been following his parents’ footsteps around the world since then. By the age of 2, he has already been to 15 countries, hitchhiked about 4.000 kilometers on 3 different continents, kissed a few girls in buses, hiked to an altitude of 4.600 meters in the Peruvian Andes and slept in hundreds of different places. He flew for the first time when he was only 5-week-old from France to Mexico, where he stayed for 6 months before overlanding for 8 months in South America. It’s probably the friendly attitude of people in Latin America that led him to becoming a very out-going baby. He’s being raised as a bilingual French/Cantonese kid so far and has been exposed for long stretches to 5 languages (English, Spanish and Mandarin). He’s very receptive to music, less to vegetables.
How long do you stay in each country ?
To answer this question I’ll show you a graph of Darian’s first two years.
How long do you stay in each city/place ?
As you can see on the chart above, we’re not into weekend trip. Ideally we like to stay from 1 to 3 months in any country we’re going to. Inside each country, we tend to stay at least a couple of days in each city, but most of the time we stay 3 or 4 days, and if it’s a capital or an interesting city then we stay longer. The chart doesn’t say it, but we stayed for a week in Rio de Janeiro and Kyoto, 2 weeks in Buenos Aires and Medellin, a month in Taipei, almost 2 weeks in Lima, Seoul and Bogota.
How do you afford to travel so much ?
Since Darian was born, Maxime has been teaching French & English online. HiuYing also taught online Cantonese, Mandarin & English at some point. Maxime also worked in a restaurant and a french language school in Mexico. This is enough to support our travel, probably because our greatest strength is to spend little.
How much money do you spend a day ?
Less than 10 US dollars a day for each member of our family, flights and extra included. Maxime has been living for less than 10 dollars a day for 4 years, HiuYing for 3 years, and this is the average number including every single expense we had over this period.
How do you do that with a kid ?
We don’t spend much money on accommodation and transportation. We hitchhike, we use Couchsurfing a lot, we buy our food from the supermarket or we eat out in cheap eateries. We’re mindful before spending money over a certain amount. We almost never buy anything new.
Which language(s) do you speak ?
We always communicate in English together because that’s the only language we have in common. Maxime can speak fluently French, English & Spanish while HiuYing can speak Cantonese, Mandarin & English. We can say hello, thank you, hitchhiking and no problem in around 20 to 30 languages though.
Which language(s) do you speak to your son ?
We follow the rule of one person one language, so HiuYing speaks only in Cantonese to Darian while Maxime is speaking only French to him. He’s two-year-old now, and he can say various things in Cantonese & French. Darian always speaks to mom & dad in the correct language, unless he doesn’t know the word in the parent’s language. We discovered not so long ago that he’s understanding English more than expected. We aim at raising him fluent in Cantonese, French, English & Mandarin.
Where do you sleep ?
Lately we’ve been alternating between 3 options when it comes to spending the night. The first is to find a cheap private room in a hostel/hotel/guesthouse. The second is to find a room on AirBnb. And the last one is to find a host to stay for free in its house on Couchsurfing. Nothing revolutionary here. Sometimes we have the chance to be recommended by a friend to his fellow friends. If we want to stay longer in a place we usually use Facebook to find an accommodation.
How do you move from one place to another ?
In 2018 the utmost majority of our movements were done either by plane, bus, hitchhiking or cycling. We hitchhiked in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Croatia, Taiwan, South Korea & Japan, and I’m only talking about 2018. I guess you could say it’s an important part of our travel, but nowadays we’d like to aim at using independent means of transportation such as the bicycle or a car. Bus always comes handy when it’s raining or when just don’t feel like hitching a ride.
Where do you eat ?
We love food and since we are with a baby who is growing up, we do need to eat often. We try to cook as often as possible when we visit a more expensive country such as Japan. We buy food from the supermarket and cook it at the place we’re staying in. It allows us to save money in order to treat ourselves in a restaurant once in a while. 98% of the time we’re eating out it’ll be local food, we love to eat in a non-fancy place full of locals, slightly outside of the city center. If the country is cheaper we tend to eat out very often. Not always convenient with the baby, but a very good way to know more about a country is to see how, where and what people are eating.
What do you do in a new place ?
Spending time with locals is what we love to do. Immersing in the culture and discovering the specificites of each city and country is our objective. Thanks to the combination of Couchsurfing and hitchhiking we get to spend a lot of time chatting and hanging out with people eager to share a bit of their knowledge. When we visit a new place, we always go to the main museums of the city, especially if the entrance fee is reasonable. We also enjoy spending time in a market or a park. These are two great spots to see how people are living their daily lives! We tend to do all the free stuff and spend some money on the unmissable attraction or one that we believe is very original and unique. And if on top of all of that there’s a mountain around, we’ll probably hike it.
How many countries have you been to ?
As of September 2019, Darian has been to 30 countries, HiuYing around 40 and Maxime around 70.
How did you meet ?
How old are you ?
Darian is obviously the youngest since he was born in December 2016. HiuYing was born in July 1993 and Maxime in October 1992.
When are you going to stop ?
A question that I get very often. We have no timetable, we will stop the day where we won’t feel happy traveling anymore. Or maybe to be more exact the day we will feel happier to settle than to travel.
Why creating this website ?
There are multiple reasons. First, we feel like we can help people to travel by sharing our knowledge to a larger scale than what we’re currently doing. People we met through our travels often ask us to share some stories, knowledge and tips. We gladly do, but the time we spend together can be too little, so this site could be a more complete follow-up. At some point we’d like also to find new sources of income and if this blog becomes popular it could a solid base before writing a book or else. We’ll see.