NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — He calls himself ‘America’s First Traveling Taxi’ and he’s just arrived in Hampton Roads.
Daniel Shachory is on a mission to see the world. Originally from Los Angeles, he’s made it his goal to work as an Uber driver in all 50 states.
“I have traveled extensively throughout the world by hitchhike,” Shachory explained.
It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that Shachory decided to continue his travels by Uber. So far, he’s visited 35 states.
“My goal is to hit all 50,” Shachory told 10 On Your Side.
It was the people he’d meet that sparked an idea and inspired a YouTube channel documenting his experiences and the stories of those he’d drive across the country. His channel is called “MyThumbLife,” named after his hitchhiking experiences.
“I was having funny, interesting, deep conversations with people from all walks of life, all kinds of jobs, everything. During the rides, I ask my passengers different questions. People are a lot more similar than they are different,” Shachory said.
Along the way, a passenger who works as a psychologist suggested that Shachory have the people he meets write anonymous secrets on slips of paper.
“‘I’ve never been loved and I am scared to be,’ and ‘many people tell me I’m beautiful but I never see that,'” Shachory read aloud from two slips of paper, “Struggles, insecurities, dilemmas that people are dealing with. One, it gives them an outlet to talk about their issues. Two, if somebody is dealing with the same issue, it comforts them. Many people feel like they’re alone in their struggles, that they’re the only ones in the world that has it.”
Shachory tells us the experience is highly rewarding. He’s been on the road for the last year and a half.
“You learn a lot by just sitting here and just talking to strangers. Getting to know them and their stories,” Shachory concluded.
After exploring Hampton Roads Shachory has plans to see Richmond and Roanoke.