I have been roaming western and central Europe, staying in different places, sharing various things, learning, letting things go and happen, looking for directions and inspirations. Now I stay in Barcelona participating the least possible in the money exchange. It feels terribly good and sane.
Travelling with a buddy was too problematic for me, so I was hitchhiking mostly alone. But lately I have found my perfect hitchhiking companion, now we travel always together.
For two years I have been involved with hospex networks, such as HC at first (not any more!),CS and finally - hopefully for good - with BW.
I love the idea of free, alternative education.
Over those two years I hitchhiked around 40 000 km in countries like Spain, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania.
Lately I got a car (Renault4) so it might happen that I pick you up one day ;)
See you on the road!
- Wroclaw - Paris 1280km (still not sure if it was really hitchhiking)
- Mulhouse - Praha 717km
- Amsterdam : 9.30 --> Avignon : 23.00 It makes 1150km in 13.30h, including one hour waiting on gas station.
- Berlin - Amsterdam (656km) in 34 hours
- Braunschweig - Amsterdam (427km, but we did 888km finally) in 29 hours
- Montpellier - Barcelona (343km) in about 30 hours
The Art of Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking is about free transport. All the philosophy around it is an addition which makes it an Art.
There are obvious profits we shouldn't miss. Like getting to know locals - best source of local information. Or facing different situations - learning flexibility. Ecological aspect. Best opportunity to learn patience and overtone singing. Possibility to meet kinds of people we wouldn't meet normally, from all social classes and backgrounds. Although they have always something in common - the will to help. It depends on us how curious we are, what questions we ask and how much of it we learn and understand. Lately I see that every ride can give something away.
Driver provides us with a ride. We are there to offer our attention. Of course, some can only listen or only talk. But usually it is possible to have a descent conversation. At the beginning of my hitchhiking I tried not to enter serious topics, I thought that just an entertaining blablablah is better as more polite. I was afraid to ask questions.
With experience I realised that hitchhiking gives possibility of creating very special and unique relation. Close space, short term, already existing trust, fact that you are probably not going to see each other - all that creates space for open and honest interaction. Hitchhiker is like a priest or psychologist listening to confessions. Driver has no interest to lie. Often after getting out of a car, my co-hiker says: "How could you ask so direct and personal questions?!".
These are very simple questions.
Making those people see their lives from a perspective, overall, faire le point. It is not that easy with day-to-day hustle.
Sometimes I have a feeling that my driver was never before so honest with any one. Including him self.
After such rides I feel richer myself and I feel driver got wiser as well.
- If there is a road, there will be cars. If there are cars, one will eventually stop.
- Sooner or later there is always a driver stopping in the most terrifying spot, saying "I know no one would take you from here". Sometimes Bad spots are Fast spots. But sometimes first car stopping is a police car...
- Don't rush, Enjoy
- Don't wait, Be
Trust and simplify.
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