So you didn’t have any money and had to travel miles. This didn’t get your hopes down. You reminded yourself that money isn’t everything, sometimes having a thumb that can point skywards is enough. You rolled up your sleeve, raised your thumb towards the heaven, and tried to lure any vehicle that passed by making an innocent lamb-like face. One gracious little truck driver stopped at your signal and allowed you to get comfy at the back of the truck. He lovingly gave you a ride until the point he had to go in other direction and you got off. You prepped yourself for another lift. This time it was a car that stopped. You got in the front seat and thanked the driver. In return, the driver pulled out his 9 mm semiautomatic and thanked you for getting in. You woke up with a shudder and thanked your stars for this was just a dream.
A few serial killings ago, hitchhiking was thought upon as more than just being a cheap way to travel. It was a trip for the hikers who let themselves to be carried along with the flow. It was a journey of self realization; a journey that was sometimes sweet as honey and at other times, felt like a poisonous sting. It was a hammer that shattered the confines of the routine and made one feel alive. Although hitchhiking is still about all of the things above, including a cheap way to travel, safety still looms as the biggest concern. Absolute necessity is one thing, while traveling just for the sake of feeling alive is a different thing altogether, for the dangers pertinent to hitchhiking can’t be played blind to. Doesn’t matter if you are in dire need due to a broken vehicle, no money, or if you are in an unknown place; read this article about pros and cons of hitchhiking, before you feel the urge to raise your thumb in order to hitch a ride.
Advantages Of Hitchhiking
- First and foremost, it is a cheap way to travel, sometimes even a free way to travel, if the person giving you a ride is gracious enough.
- It is almost certain that you won’t have to drive because nobody will trust you with his/her own vehicle.
- Hitchhiking gives you an opportunity to meet a lot of different and interesting people from diverse backgrounds with different psychologies.
- If you’re hiking for just for the fun of traveling, it’ll give you a feeling of being free as a bird.
Disadvantages Of Hitchhiking
- These days, with the criminal activities on the rise, chances of you getting hitched are thin as hair.
- There’s no way to know what level of psychotic personality you may come across. You may get mugged, conned, kidnapped, raped, and may even end up losing your life.
- You may have to comply with standards or orders set by the vehicle owner which may be outright outlandish at times.
- You can get stuck in the middle of nowhere without being picked up by anyone or have to walk for miles before getting picked up by anyone.
- Make yourself look clean and presentable if you want yourself to get hitched. Don’t cloth yourself like a hobo. Wear nice and clean clothes and maintain a proper hygiene.
- Also, you may have to wait quite a while before getting picked up, so dress according to the weather; lest you get a sunburn or catch cold. Wear bright clothes at night to make yourself visible to be picked.
- Don’t stand in the middle of the road with your thumb up or arms wide spread, no matter how desperate you are. Doing so will only project you as an attacker. Stand away from the road but in visible distance of every vehicle that passes by. If possible, hold a signboard that clearly states where you want to go.
- Carry in your backpack - raingear, food and water, and sufficient amount of money if you think you’re going to be traveling for long. Always carry a cell phone with you in case there’s an emergency and you need to inform someone.
- Make a note of the vehicle’s make, model, and color before entering into it. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and watches. Have your bag close to you in case you need to get out of the vehicle quickly.
- Start conversing with the driver in order to make him/her feel comfortable and at ease. Let him/her know that you’re only a hitchhiker and not a robber or a serial killer. However, don’t get too personal in conversation.
- Hold a sign that says “Need to go to so and so… Can drive too”. Although it’s unlikely, but it is not out of the picture that some tired legs may be going that way and may pick you up and allow you to drive.
Although hitchhiking is considered more risky for the hitchhikiee than the hitchhiker, it’s still recommended to take care of the precautions. It doesn’t matter what your reasons are, these hitchhiking tips will definitely come in handy when you’re in a need to hitchhike.