Unlocking Adventure: The Thrills and Risks of Hitchhiking Explained

Hitchhiking is traditionally characterised as standing at the edge of a road, facing traffic, with one’s thumb extended/upwards, and asking for a ride.

Won’t we all agree that trips, especially backpacking trips, are the most fun and adventurous ones? And one of the most amazing, exciting and yet cheapest adventures one can take while on a trip is hitchhiking.

What is hitchhiking?

Hitchhiking is traditionally characterised as standing at the edge of a road, facing traffic, with one’s thumb extended/upwards, and asking for a ride. It’s a wild, thrilling adventure where you get to meet a lot of new people and make a lot of new friends. It’s a wonderful feeling to finally catch a ride after a lengthy wait and people who pick up hitchhikers are usually quite pleasant. 

Hitchhiking is one of the most thrilling experiences that any traveller can have. It is an experience that is rare and teaches you a lot when you move into the world. Taking rides from random strangers is a risky move and one has to be extremely bold and brave to be able to take such a risk whilst making sure they stay safe.

There are so many reasons why hitchhiking is such an amazing concept and for travellers seeking for adventures in their life and want to explore the world as much as possible. 

Why is Hitchhiking exciting?

To begin with, hitchhiking demands a lot of courage. For a person to get out of their comfort zone and try the most random adventure, the traveller needs to be bold enough to face any challenge that comes their way. Hitchhiking is not simple, and you should consider it more as a walking adventure with the possibility of catching a ride more than anything else. You should be prepared to walk long distances and even wait since you never know when you will catch a ride or who will provide it to you.

Hitchhiking as an adventure is more of a learning experience for an individual. It builds your confidence and this is possibly the most compelling reason. Hitchhiking is one of those activities that people claim is impossible, only to discover that it is not only doable, but also enjoyable. Overcoming these taboos is powerful and can boost a person’s self-esteem. Conquering the fear of hitching may make it easier for you to overcome your fears, since the biggest challenge is to be able to ask for rides and it is not simple to ask a stranger for a ride when the risk involved is quite unpredictable. 

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what are the benefits of Hitchhiking

It is free. And by free I don’t just mean free of cost. Definitely, It is a cheap and inexpensive way of travelling. You can travel as much as you want without having to spend a lot because most of the time hitching is free of cost. In many countries people let you take a ride for free and hence it saves you the cost of travelling. But besides being free of cost, hitchhiking is also free of restrictions. While hitchhiking You have the freedom of taking as much time as you want. There is no schedule that you need to stick to, no itinerary that you need to follow. If you wish to, you can choose to explore places on foot before getting yourself a ride to the next destination, which takes us to the next reason why hitchhiking, according to me, is an amazing way to travel and explore places.

When you choose to hike before hitching yourself a ride, When you choose to hike instead of taking a bus, you are choosing to see nature, the area, and the people on your own terms and in their natural habitats. Hittingchhiking allows you to learn about the places you’ll have to pass by on your way to your destination by walking a particular distance.It’s the most convenient approach to meet locals in the region you’re visiting while It allows you to learn about the local cultures of the locations you’re going through as well as meet the people who live there. Hitchhiking is a terrific opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life, not just those who offer you rides, but also those you encounter along the route.

When you travel through an area, you get a fairly parochial impression of the location. When locals describe what you’re seeing, it offers you a completely other perspective and a deeper comprehension of the landscape.

Hitchhiking can also help you enhance your communication skills. When you have to ask for rides from people who you have never met, it’s hard to predict what language they speak and thus learning and being versed with a few languages helps in communicating better while on the trip. It also helps you improve your conversational skills as many people offer to give rides to people to have a conversation on an otherwise long and lonely journey and hence hitchhiking enables you to engage with people from all kinds of backgrounds, belonging to all regions and religions.

This type of an adventure makes you more flexible and helps you adapt to things as per situations whilst also making you a more responsible person besides helping you socialise. When you’re in the middle of a road, you can’t take help from any random person or you can’t take rides with people who you don’t think you can trust. You need to make rational decisions and choose wisely keeping your own safety and security in mind. It even helps you grow as a person and gives you a new perspective about life, world and people. It allows you to meet new individuals from other locations and religions, each with their own set of beliefs. As a result, you get a closer look at a variety of civilizations.

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It also broadens your mind and equips you with the ability to appraise people and situations objectively. You learn to live life with an all new enthusiasm when you get to see things that you had never seen or thought before and it helps you learn things that were unknown to you. While hitchhiking you meet different kinds of people with mindsets, ideologies, philosophies and even lifestyles that you sometimes voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily carry with yourself for all your life and hence, you keep learning, adapting and experimenting throughout your journey as you continue to move ahead. 

Most of all hitchhiking enables you to create memories that one cannot even imagine. You get the experiences that are the rarest of all. It brings you the opportunities to explore, meet new people, learn, unlearn and create irreplaceable moments of your life that you will carry with yourself for as long as you live. It enables you to have a unique story of your own, an experience that people can never share if even if they wish to or even if they themselves opt for hitchhiking because what’s the probability of someone else being in the same places as you did, meeting the same people and learning the same things or gaining the same perspective that you did on your trip? What are the odds afterall!

Therefore, if I am to conclude here, I’d like to end it with the assurance to anybody who wants to go for a hitchhiking trip and is excited about the experience they will get that it is indeed a good idea and you must definitely try it at least once in your lifetime. 

However it will be wrong of me to conclude this blog here without informing the potential hitchhikers about the risks involved in this adventure and that are as much a part of this adventure as is the excitement and thrill.

what are the risks in Hitchhiking?

  • Hitchhiking is dangerous and unpredictable. The wait might be excessive at times. People in some areas are not hitchhiker-friendly and do not stop their cars. This means waiting for hours, if not days, in the sun, rain, or snow to hitch a ride.
  • You never know what type of person you’ll be travelling with, and it may be unsafe.
  • The major disadvantage of hitchhiking is that you cannot always get to your destination right away. You’ll have to become used to the individual who provides you a ride and won’t be able to say anything about it.
  • You may have to make compromises with regards to a person’s driving skills or the fellow hitchhikers may be a little annoying.

Hitchhiking may get uncomfortable sometimes for some set of people, but if you’re sure you can deal with some of the possible disadvantages  of the trip and adjust accordingly or choose wisely then a hitchhiking trip is a must for every traveller looking to explore and experience wild adventures.

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