Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled


192 pages
ISBN 1-55263-477-9
DDC 910





Reviewed by Norman P. Goldman

Norman P. Goldman is a retired Civil Law Notaire (Notary) who also
specializes in Montreal history and culture.


According to William Thomas, nationally syndicated humour and travel
columnist, the difference between a tourist and a traveller is that the
former misses a lot by sightseeing, while the latter experiences a
foreign country by taking in the local flavour. In other words, “a
tourist is often a guest; a traveller is always on a quest.”

Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled is a hilarious commentary on
Thomas’s “off the beaten path” travels as he hitchhikes through
France, Spain, England, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Portugal.
Poking fun at group touring, the author repeatedly illustrates why he is
a traveller rather than a tourist. He does not care how his knobby knees
look trapped between khaki shorts and hiking boots. He simply seeks the
road less travelled, and hopefully one with a pub at the end of it. The
reader first catches up with Thomas in 1978, when he abandoned his
“real job” and travelled to Beaune, France, to become a
“vendangeur” (grape picker). The backbreaking work had one
consolation: each day began with a bottle of Burgundy wine. Thomas’s
next escapade was in Spain, where he taught tennis at the Hotel Mijasand
and, unbeknownst to the hotel’s administration, provided lessons to
the town’s less fortunate youth.

In England, Thomas stayed at a bed-and-breakfast in a room that did not
have a proper bed and did not offer breakfast. As he points out, he
“paid $280 for five days at a blank-and-blank.” After this ordeal,
he decided to check into an upper-scale London hotel where all of the
antique furnishings displayed price tags and could be purchased from the
hotel’s owners.

Unfortunately, as Thomas concludes at the end of his book, the grand
adventure of hitchhiking is officially dead. Today, due to fear and
paranoia, a roadside wall of mistrust has been created.


Thomas, William., “Never Hitchhike on the Road Less Travelled,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,