When I was 19, my older brother took me to a HospitalityClub gathering in Berlin. Travellers from all around the world came to this place for a weekend to meet each other and to have a good time.
That is where I have met many travelers from all around the world telling me how eventful and adventurous their travels by hitchhiking actually were. Being green behind my ears with travel experience, but eager to learn more, I decided to give it a try. I have taken the train to Amsterdam over the weekend and hitchhiked my way back to Berlin on Sunday. It was such a great experience that I have decided to make a longer trip, this time to Paris and I have made it amazingly well and fast.
It felt like I found the key that opened the door to the whole world for me. Travelling from A to B was no more a problem. I could go wherever I wanted to go and I didn't even have to pay a dime for it. I took a liking into meeting all these people that I would have never met otherwise and hitchhiking became not just a way of getting from A to B, it became a passion.
Since then, I have made many trips by hitchhiking. I even participated in hitchhiking races like the 60 hour race which was organized by the guys from https://tramprennen.org/: Hitchhike as fast as possible, as far as possible, and come back within 60 hours. An ambitious project but also quite stressful since being on the road for 60 hours takes a toll on you.
In 2011 I have completed one of my travel goals in life and hitchhiked to the South of Iran. I made it all the way to Shiraz without taking a single bus or train.
I have met so many people coming from so many backgrounds, working in so many different areas of life. For example I have met:
Nowadays I don't hitchhike anymore, I've grown much more comfortable since I turned 30 and I now ride my own campervan, trying to pick up hitchhikers rather than hitchhike myself. But having had this passion for hitchhikers for so long, I still would like to support this community.
Hitchhiking gives you a chance to meet people you would never meet otherwise and I wanted a way to write these experiences down. A way to document it, generate statistics about hitchhiking and to share it with the world. This is why I have started this blog, the Hitchlog.
What an intense experience it can be to hitchhike in a country where you don't speak the spoken language. I chose to hitchhike over the three hour bus for this. The first ride was awesome, a rider who spoke good enough english, but this ride was gonna hit my nerves. A big bus with blackened window stops. The bus has room for 11 people and inside sit three teens with their parents. "PAI??? Cha Cha! Come in!" They didn't speak english and I didn't speak Thai and so our conversation was limited, but they tried it. It was a pity and made it so apparent to me once again, that the ability to communicate is what makes us understand and respect each other.
I arrived by boat from satun and decided to take one of those little taxis to get a little bit out of town. I tried to explain the driver with the help of a map and my body language that I want to go out of town to hitchhike and NOT to the bus station. Of course he drove me to the bus station. I repeatedly tried to explain him that I want to go out of town and he drove me at least to the street which leads to Krabi.
Bus full of children picks me up. But unfortunately only for 5 minutes
From Singapore I took the bus to the border (see hitchwiki for details) and walked over the bridge towards Malaysia. There's a very nice spot for the cars to stop in the middle of the bridge, but it's kind of difficult to hitchhike through Johor Bahru from the border because all cars are going into Johor Bahru and not going anywhere else. If you try it make a sign! About 8 cars stopped, but none was going out of Johor Bahru so I accepted one into Johor Bahru and he drove me to the bus terminal
Took the Bemo out of town, which cost me 5000 rs, so not really a real hitchhike
Hitchhiking in Java works! Once you are on the main road which leads to the main cities like Surabaya, Yogyakarta or Jakarta, you easily find good cars, which have space to take you. It took me about 15 minutes to get picked up from just behind where the ferry is stopping from Java, but in those 15 minutes I needed to get rid of about 10 bemos and several motor cyclists offering their services as a taxi to drive me to the bus terminal. This was so annoying that I only put my thumb out once I saw a good car and hid for the rest of the time pretending to wait for someone :)
Aboriginal guy who told us about the lost generation in Australia