7 March 2019 – Tomica Kristić has always dreamed about traveling, distant lands and adventure. And just over three years ago, he decided to embark on a journey hitchhiking from his home town of Varaždin in Croatia, all the way to the other side of the world to New Zealand.
After over three years hitching more than 25,000 kilometres, Kristić is one step away from his final destination of New Zealand.
He is currently hitching around Australia and expects to arrive ‘across the ditch’ in New Zealand in a few months to complete a mammoth hitchhiking adventure.
Tomica, who is documenting his adventure on his blog ‘Journey to Middle-Earth’, left Varaždin on 13 October 2015, sticking his thumb out on the side of the road looking for his first ride.
That first person to stop took him as far as Slavonski Brod. He then walked through into Bosnia and Herzegovina before hitchhiking through places like Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Oman, Dubai, India, Vietnam, Napal, India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia and the Philippines.
“At the start, I thought it would take me two years to get to New Zealand, but here I am, two years are well behind me and I am into my fourth year. I write, take photos, cry, love, be sad, I’m living life to the full,” he wrote on his blog.
Tomica told 24sata that whilst a big part of his financial survival comes from kind-hearted people who offer transport, accommodation and food, he did save up some money before he left on his trip. He also has been doing some work, like teaching, in some places on the way for extra money.
He says that he has met a lot of people and has plenty of special memories but one that stands out on his trip is the hospitality he received in Iran.
“The hospitality from an Iranians when I was travelling through Iran is a special memory. Although I was guest in their country, they treated me like a God,” he said.
When he arrives in New Zealand, Tomica plans to hitchhike up and down the north and south islands. After three months there he will return in the summer home to Croatia and will work on writing a book about his adventures.