Wiebe Wakker is an amazing Dutch explorer who had the crazy notion to drive from the Netherlands to Australia in an electric car – and it’s not even a new electric car!
Relying on the kidness of strangers for food, shelter and of course electricity
Dutchman Wiebe Wakker is on a mission to travel from the Netherlands to Australia in an e-car, relying on nothing but the kindness of strangers.
People can offer a meal, a place for him to sleep or energy for his car
While temporarily in Dubai, Wiebe Wakker spoke to Janice Rodrigues, of the Khaleej Times, about his many adventures, the importance of sustainability and the basic goodness of human nature:
It all started with a project. To graduate with a degree in event management in his arts school in the Netherlands, Wiebe Wakker had to pick an intensive graduation project – and he wanted something truly unique. Having rarely travelled before, a road trip was in order, but it had to go beyond that. He wanted a project that would teach him more about different cultures and people, that would be challenging and, above all, would be kind to the environment. Having "thrown all these ideas into the mixer", Plug Me In was born.
"I got my inspiration from another Dutchman who had a project called ‘Let Me Stay for a Day’," explains Wiebe, who is currently in the UAE, financing the next leg of his journey. "Basically, he asked people to take care of him for one day in return for a blog post on that day."
Wiebe’s brainchild is a lot more complex. The Plug Me In project, which took a year-and-a-half to organise, has him travelling from the Netherlands to Australia in an electric car. He doesn’t carry money, so his mission is completely dependent on the support that people offer him on his website. It’s through this site that people can offer a meal, a place for him to sleep or energy for his car, and Wiebe’s route changes according to these invitations. So, he’s not moving in a straight line across countries but ‘zig-zagging’ his way through.
“There’s no country that is good or bad,” – Wiebe Wakker
"At the moment, I’ve had almost 1,200 people from 45 countries and four continents plug me in," he says, chuffed – and it is an accomplishment indeed. Since he started his journey 2 years ago, Wiebe’s supporters have sent him on adventures to Italy, Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, UAE, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar. He is currently travelling through Indonesia. About Iran, Wiebe says: "The way I was received by the people in Iran was heartwarming, You won’t believe how many people told me not to go to the country, but the people there were open, warm and always ready to help me. It taught me that all human beings are good by nature. There’s no country that is good or bad – that’s only the way the media has portrayed them."
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