Hitch hiking alone as a boy can be much harder
You are deciding to take a small risk, but, I guess, a very dangerous one, in putting your thumb out. There’s no better way to feel the beating pulse of a place though. You can wind up anywhere. Eating bee larvae in a cliff-top restaurant, watching girls audition to study opera in a musikschule in Cologne - who knows. Of course, you could also end up chopped into pieces. Here are some of my guidelines to successful hitch-hiking.
- To avoid that, travel in pairs; a girl and a guy. Approaching cars are a bit wary of single blokes, but they figure that mass murderers don’t have girlfriends… so a duo will get rides that much quicker, and you’ll feel safer. I know a guy who, before getting in a stranger’s car, sends a text message of the number plate to a mate. And he shows the driver that he’s doing it, to discourage funny business. That’s a bit overboard for my tastes, but anything in the interests of safety.
- When you are finding a spot by the side of the road, make sure there is a place for the cars to pull up. Vital! And give the drivers a long time to see you, be at the end of a long straight run, so they have time to mull over the idea of picking you up.
- I have found most success standing out front of a service station. The people see you as they first pull up for fuel, and can consider giving you a ride the whole time they are filling up their cars and going in to buy smokes. Although few things could be so grim, as being trapped with no ride at a suburban servo in some foreign country.
- Travel light - a tent and sleeping bag and a bit of food and drink are good to have. These keep your mind at ease - let’s say you don’t get a ride, the worst that can happen is a tent pitched somewhere by the side of the road.
When you get on the side of that road, and raise your thumb, you are getting in contact with the world again. When you wake up that morning, you have no idea where you will be when the sun sets that night. It usually ends up being somewhere pretty sweet.