Hitchhiking is an adventure itself. If you’ve never done it because of fear that the stranger will kill you, you’re not alone. Hitchhiking nowadays is a rare thing. With all those movies starting with a hitchhiker who is actually a murderer, many car owners and individuals are hesitant to try it.
However, I understand the urge to try new things, even just for once in your life. Hitchhiking is free and could be an exciting, amazing, and unforgettable experience. Believe me, some of my unforgettable and funny experiences were with a stranger I hitchhiked with. You might get hooked doing it, just like me.
Calming Your Nerves
Just thinking about hitchhiking could give you anxiety and that’s normal. Heck, the first time I did it, I was so nervous and sweaty like I was trying to hide something. Good thing I was given a ride by a retired police officer who’s currently working on his farm and can’t stop talking about his chickens. That calmed me down a bit. We talked and I opened up about it being my first time to hitchhike. He let out a loud sigh of release as he thought I was very nervous because I was up to no good.
So you see, being too nervous also gets drivers suspicious. Try to calm yourself down and don’t overthink that the stranger will kill you or harm you. However, do keep your guard up at all times for safety reasons as well.
Once you’ve done your first hitchhike, there would still be some nervousness because of the unknowns but you just have to trust that nothing will happen. Eventually, you’ll be able to control your nervousness. Just don’t ignore your instinct. If you really feel that something is off, it’s okay to refuse their offer.
How Do You Hitchhike?
There are a few simple things to remember when hitchhiking. The first is to find the right spot. Next is to make a sign. The third is to make sure you look decent. You should also prioritize your safety and lastly, enjoy the experience.
The Right Spot
The right spot to hitchhike is in a place where the driver can see you even from a distance. Think about long stretches of straight roads. If you’re at a turn or after a tunnel, there is a huge chance they won’t see you.
Additionally, you should also make sure that you are in an area where the car can actually pull over safely. If not, they won’t risk stopping their vehicles just to talk to you and give you a ride. When you plan to hitchhike for long distances, make sure you’re on the edge of the city in the direction where you are headed. Those in the middle of the city may go to different places and some may not be leaving the city at all.
Hold Your Sign Up
If drivers can see exactly where you are headed, it would be easier for them to decide to pick you up if they are headed the same way. Sometimes, you’d end up just where you want to go but other times, they can just get you half-way. That’s okay, it’s all part of the hitchhiking adventure.
For your sign, make sure that it is clearly visible. You can simply use cardboard and some markers. Sometimes, you can even write additional messages to get the driver’s attention. Got extra cookies in your bag? You can give them away as a thank you gesture.
My fellow vagabonds, although we love this lifestyle, sometimes, we’d have to look decent enough so that people will pick us up. Tidy your beard up a bit, comb your hair, and wear respectful clothing. Make sure you don’t smell too much or risk getting kicked out. Also, don’t forget to flash that smile.
Prioritize Your Safety
Although you are hitching a ride, that doesn’t mean you should just go with whoever offers you one. Trust your instincts and choose your drivers carefully. If you can, you should also try hitchhiking with a friend. Also, keep your pepper spray in a place where you can easily get it, just in case.
Enjoy The Experience
My first hitchhiking experience is unforgettable and so will yours be. Just enjoy the experience. Get to know people and socialize with them. Some people love to talk while driving so they can’t fall asleep. You might even learn a thing or two from them or their experiences in life.
Hitchhiking doesn’t have to be dangerous, it can be a fun an rewarding experience, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s some other great article from our absolute favorite online hitching resource on how to hitchhike safely…