How do you define “home”? To me, it is going back to my childhood home in Bicol, where I get to see my mom everyday, and feel a little less like an adult. It’s also the rare moments when my sister is not on-call at the hospital, when we just watch random Youtube videos while lying in bed. I lived away from my parents in high school, in a dorm room that I shared with three other people. In college, I lived even farther away when I decided to study in Manila. Home was never about one place. It has always been more of a feeling. The same goes for Krysten Boado, a 22-year old hitchhiker who has been travelling across Asia for the past year.
I met Krysten when she interviewed me for her undergraduate thesis on mental health. I volunteered to be a part of her study when our mutual friend posted for an open call on Facebook. I never saw her again after that one afternoon. Fast forward to a year later, and I see her posting photos of her travels abroad. I think, Wow, she must really be rich to be able to afford all that.
A few weeks later, she shares a story of her hitchhiking adventures, of how she’s travelling almost for free. She shares photos from far-flung places that aren’t usually featured in travel guides. She tells the stories of the people that she meets along the way, of her struggles with borders, and of how her travels have shaped her to who she is today.
In an online interview, we ask Krysten about her life as a hitchhiker — her struggles, her favorite moments, and what keeps her going everyday.
Editor’s note: This interview had been edited for clarity.