In Loving Memory


Patrick Joseph Falterman II

March 16, 1990 – September 3, 2016

On September 3rd, 2016 we lost a magnificent person. Patrick Joseph Falterman II, The Modern Nomad, passed away at age 26. To view the Eulogy written by Patrick’s father, Pat Falterman, click here.

All are welcome to leave a message of remembrance or condolences in the comments.


Click the above image to view a beautiful tribute comic from our friend at Things In Squares!

This site is a story. It is not fiction, nor is it an autobiography. It is a collection of tales, told as experienced by me, the author.

Hitch the World was originally made to document my hitchhiking travels — hence the name. But as I grew and changed, it evolved into a place to delve into my travels in a vague, literary format — travels which, over the course of five years, have shifted from starry-eyed hitchhiking to long, drawn-out expeditions by canoe in the Amazon. Some posts read like pieces of a book; others are written in journal format.

I oftentimes heavily incorporate character dialogue. The dialogue found here is written in English, but more often than not it has been translated from Portuguese or Spanish. Character accents and dialects in such translations are invented, and are a product of my imagination — meaning, that is how I imagine they would have spoken, had they been English-speakers.

I still live the life of the indefinite traveler — but my methods have changed somewhat over the years. Not every trip has been documented here, but I try to find the time to write down the majority of my experiences, and the tales I hear from others along the way.

The information found on this site can usually be separated into two categories: The Amazon, and Hitchhiking. Several of the drop-down menus are divided as such.

Find recent stories directly below this text, or scrutinize the Archives.

For additional information, peruse the About sections. If you’ve arrived here via HitchWiki or other hitchhiking sites, and are in search of hitchhiking information, have a look at the Hitchhiking and Vagabonding Tips drop-down menu. Emails are also welcome. If you find this site interesting, don’t forget to subscribe by email using the form found below the list of most-recent stories (keep scrolling…it’s down there).

Enjoy the stories, and please, leave comments about what you think.




22 thoughts on “

  1. Thank you for living like you did. I moved to south korea because I couldn’t work in the kitchen anymore in San Francisco. I wanted to teach. I have been here a year and wills tay another year. Then I think I will go to France to receive formal training in pastries. I was wavering.. thinking maybe I should just get an administrative job… but hell. When will I get the chance to just get up and move to France again without anything tying me down. Ill keep you in mind man, rest in adventures up there and hear the sounds of the animals and see the stars forever.

  2. Patrick, your stories are beautiful, your ambition admirable. You did things in life that few have the gall, the drive, or the open-mindedness to do. I am saddened to hear of your passing, but, to reference the Spielberg film, Hook: death, too, is a great adventure. I hope you’re sailing free and wild on the rivers winding on the other side.

  3. Death is nothing at all.
    It does not count.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    Nothing has happened.

    Everything remains exactly as it was.
    I am I, and you are you,
    and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

    Call me by the old familiar name.
    Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was.
    There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
    What is this death but a negligible accident?

    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
    somewhere very near,
    just round the corner.

    All is well.
    Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
    One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
    How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!


  4. Just stumbled upon this through Stefan’s the around-the-world hitchhiker’s blog (, while thinking about hitching through Japan. I spent the past few hours reading many of Patrick’s articles: the tips, gear, Amazonian adventures.

    Though reading this after death, I’m glad this was all written, and still available! Perhaps this is the first time realizing I could be reading something written from someone who passed away. The digital format is rather strange compared to say a written diary or auto-biography (he does have notebooks and pens in his gear list), but it works! I wished his writings or photos were available, but maybe that’s too much information, hah.

    Though I’m more interested in people, culture, human minds, and social development, reading his lifestyle just makes me worry much less about the infinitude of human problems. Thanks! Now I’m quite excited to go about asking for farm work in Taiwan, hitching through Japan, and, perhaps, go after that old idea in the back of my mind for some time: travel through South America. The culture of Patrick is a great one. :)

  5. I am sorry to hear that Patrick died in a plane crash back in September. You have my sympathy. I used to read his hitchhiking stories on Digihitch.

  6. Thank you for all that you did Patrick. You were the single biggest force that convinced me to take my own adventure through South America, I even met your buddy Tony by chance during that trip. Adventure forever my friend!

  7. Very good. Also a very cool gesture from his friend(s) to keep the momentum of Patrick’s philosophy going. Patrick was indeed a bright shining star.

  8. Thankyou Patrick for sharing all of this with all of us, your stories have cracked me up at times, inspired me and had me yearning to get out there and experience life the way you did. I never knew you, but I can tell you certainly were a bright soul.

    You will have experienced more in a cruelly short 26 years than most do in their very long lives. You had the courage to seek out and find your dreams and for that you have my utmost respect.

    I would say rest in peace, but I’ve a feeling you’re restlessly wandering, amongst the stars

    Travel forever, friend.

  9. I was fortunate enough to met patrick in 2009, doing some illegitament newspaper job in California. And then i found him through Digihitch and starting peeling this fucking complex onion, and wrapping my mind around how he was putting foot to pavement and making the life i fantasized about a reality..
    Immediately what struck me was his tenacity. I saw so much of myself in him, the yearning, the constant questioning, the stance on life, here was a man who had committed himself to his pirsuit wholeheartedly. I would exchange messages with him throughout this period, working my way from runaway/juvenille delinquent to a drop out who had a minimum wage gig and was saving to leave, leave everyting, and try my hand at this adventure i was planning. Long story short the backpack and I never left town and I tried to construct my life in a way that would help me leave under better circumstances. It never happened. And i dragged it out for months/years. This is the first thing i learned from him, that if i didnt just do it, and i waited for the “right time” i would be waiting forever. (Im still waiting) Fast forward a year and he’s already made it around the Darien gap, another few months and hes living inside a shipping container in Puntas Arenas, a few months later and hes traversing the Rio Negro in a canoe. He talked to me about his life in Texas, but simultaniously was stoking my fire to travel and see something. The lack of bullshit he provided was immensely appreciated, this guy chewed nails and spit fire, his conviction was so powerful, anyone reading can still feel what he was going through atveach phase of his travels. He left his writing in the same manner that he lived his life, Unadulterated, undiluted, in the veign of authenticity and truth. Thats what i respect most about him. When we lost contact almost a year and some change had passed. The next time i talked to him he was bavk in the states,
    I had to ask him ” what in the hell could´ve cured your itchy feet ? ”
    He replied ” im having a kid”
    Well goddamn. It was hard for me to even think of a domesticated Pat but in reality his stance had evolved and he was ready to take the next step. He always seemed so ready, for whatever situation.
    I cheersed him and we bullshitted about stuff and he tossed up the idea of me going to Texas to see him agaim after all this time. It seemed bizarre at the time for some reason and i know now its because its the last time we spoke.
    He had a new path and i was still working on mine . I realized a few months later that i had neglected to check his blog which at one point was like a religous thing to me. I would feed off of these stories and fuel my stoke for life.
    The next post notified me of his passing
    And I still find it hard to grasp. Especially after hearing through the internet. Patrick was an empathetic, existential at times, practical as shit at others relentless,stubborn, sand baggin, tenacious, brilliant, wild, mule headed mother fucker who gave me so much hope and helped me through one of the hardest times in my life, and i will always be thankful that i had by chance encountered him and his tale. He gave up everything to find more, and did it with a shit eating grin which was so awesome.
    So to Pat senior, to Cindy, and to his brother and sister and family and friends I just want you to know that meeting Patrick literally changed and enriched my life and who i am in a way that 17 year old or even 25 year old me cant even conceptualize. The modern nomad. The original deviant. The harmonica master.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Thank you.
    This beers for you buddy
    -Nick “Skywalker”

  10. I found this blog while doing a bit of research on best places to hitchhike from in Chile. It made me laugh immediately and I recognised a voice with a unique take on life and a writer searching for his voice to express that take. I was sorry to hear about Patrick’s death. I have dedicated my latest post on a new blog to his memory. The writing style is a mix of my own and Patrick’s in homage to his work and his life. Thank you.

  11. Pat, although I never met you personally, I really don’t know how to express my gratitude. The amount of laughs, hope, confidence, affability and just general motivation you gave me through your travels I read about on here over the years, is something that I still return to when I need inspiration. I just finished reading the entire Hitchtheworld archives for the fourth time.

    Thanks to your ramblings both on pavement/water and then onto digital parchment, in 2019 I completed my own 28 months of hitching South America. Thank you to Patrick, the travel community as well as his lovely family for continuing to keep such a space to leave a remembrance. Here’s to a great human whose traveling spirit has inspired and still continues to inspire so many to this very day. A legacy which continues to inspire me daily through many of my own struggles.

    Un abrazo grande desde la distancia amigo!


  12. I was just telling Patick’s story, or part of it to a friend on FB and referred this page to them.
    Shit, it’s been 7 years now since he left. Man, of all the people that I’ve known in my life, and I’m 71, I think I miss him the most…

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