A Dumpster Diving Community in New Orleans

Dumpster Diving in New Orleans

Is dumpster diving disgusting you might ask?

Yes I guess, but if you spent even a day with the dumpster diving community in New Orleans your perspective would be subject to a sharp u-turn.

Think about all the food thats wasted in the US, all that out of date food which is really still very much edible. The pizza no-one collected. The bread with one tiny spec of mold.

I was familiar with the comcept of dumpster diving for a while before New Orleans. The book “Evasion” by Crimeinc gives a great introduction.

I was a rookie at the sport however compared to Tom and Marc.

Tom has built a hut out of materials he has found in dumpsters and bamboo while living on dumpstered food and rainwater.

Marc had a job as a delivery driver. At the same time he constantly scouted the best dumpsters such as whole-foods to provide himself with a healthy three meal a day diet of free food. A soda could be got as he demonstrated in Burger Kin by finding an empty cup in the bin and availing of the “free refills” policy.

Did they ever get sick? No

Did I? No

And they arent the only ones availing of free food, the punk concert are full of dumpster divers who group around campfires sharing their finds from their eveing diving in dunpsters with headlamps on.

On top of all this they both drank rainwater.

A way to eat good food for free, and it helps the enviornment too with all that reduced waste. Probably dosent work so good in less wasteful countries though of course.

Tom´s property is even on Air BnB, come stay in a tent and the food is free.

Hut made from dumpster dived construction materials with mud walls
Hut made from dumpster dived construction materials with mud walls
Dumpstered Food
Dumpstered Food
Dumpstered Drinks
Dumpstered Drinks
Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted

 

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Driving into Turkey with UK or Irish car.

Driving a UK Car into Turkey.

Driving to Turkey with a UK car was not much trouble. I had an Irish driver’s license and my friend Connor had a British License (the car was under his name).

The car was a Peugeot 206 by no means flash or fancy.

We were clearly two young guys who could be carrying lots of alcohol or weed too in the eyes of the border police.

Vignette

This is some sort of road tax, required in some European countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary included). We got caught out at the Romania Bulgaria border for not buying one. The fine was over 200 euro, a 50 dollar bribe sufficed though in our case.

It’s better to get one though at the first petrol station you find (usually less than 10 euro for a month).

We never bought one in Turkey and I don’t think you need one, instead you pay motorway tolls.

Motorway Tolls

These can’t be paid by cash or credit card. Instead you register your car registration at a PTT (Yellow Post office in Turkey) to enroll in the system and credit your account. Then every-time you pass a toll the cameras will charge your account.

At least that’s the jist of what I was told.

I was told in theory that every-time we passed through the toll without this set-up we were receiving a fine, the cameras had the registration after all. If my friend didn’t receive the fine by mail we would be charged when we drove the car over the Georgia border.

In reality we drove though many tolls on our way across Turkey to Georgia, setting of an alarm every single time. In reality also much to our relieve the Turkish police’s computers at the Trabzon to Batumi border did not know that we had skipped all the tolls across the countries northern coast. We never paid this fee.

I would recommend you do visit a PTT if staying in Turkey a while though, we could of just got lucky in the smaller 206 which didn’t catch attention.

First Aid Kit, Fire Extinguisher and Two Warning Triangles

Never checked at the border but you might aswell buy these bits, we got them all as a kit in a Practikar in Bulgaria for about 15 euro.

GB Sticker

Nope, I’m Irish and Connor is Scottish (the failed referendum was soon) so we decided that we could talk our way out of this one if we got caught, never did get questioned about the sticker.

Headlamp Converters

Seen this mentioned on a sign, ignored and never questioned. Can’t see the point once your dims work fine.

Certificate of Ownership

Something that will prove you own the car, like the log book with your name written on it just the same as on your passport.

Home Insurance

Something that will prove your insured inside the EU, probably not needed but bring it anyway in-case.

Cash is King for Insurance

Cash (Euros) to buy Turkish Insurance. Pounds are probably good too but not Scottish pounds for some stupid reason. Best to just have Euro at the end of the day.

The cost will vary depending on your car size, we got the diesel 206 insured for 6 months (no shorter period allowed for us) in Turkey for around 60 euro. This was cheaper then the signs suggested so be sure to try chat with the border police, I’m sure it’s a bit at their discretion to give a good price.

You will get a printed certificate of insurance, keep it with the car at all times. In our case either of us could lawfully drive the car (both full license) but a crash would be liable to Connor (the owner).

Good Bulbs

You always have your dipped lights on here, even during the brightest days by law.

The Search

Be prepared for a search of the car, they didn’t look rigorous but don’t be bringing tonnes of Alcohol into Turkey (even though it’s a good idea since its far more expensive than Bulgaria). No recreational drugs either, Marijuana is a big deal in Muslim countries, a prison cell big deal.

The Driving

Turks are dangerous drivers, be careful on the roads and expect that 30 foot truck to over-take you on the bend. Good idea to always have a passenger to help you with over-taking since you will be driving on the right-hand side of the road in a left-hand side car.

Istanbul is insane to try drive around with a population of like 20 million, bring a sat-nav.

stray dog bulgaria
Meet this stray dog near the Bulgaria-Turkey border, throw him a bit of bread if you see him. 🙂

Hitchhiking from Poznan to Wroclaw

Hitchhiking from Poznan to Wroclaw

My end destination was Budapest so I wasn’t bothered howHitchhiking Poznan to Wroclaw I got there once I went south.

I only got to Wroclaw that day however probably because of a late hungover start and the fact I didn’t have the best luck in Poland.

I began hitchhiking at the Rataje roundabout recommended on Hitchwiki but had no luck what so ever, I even made a big sign out of a plank of wood cast nearby for but no-one stopped.

Overall Rating : Bad

Waiting Time : 2 Hours, no lift
hitchhking poznan

After this attempt I got tram 5 (8 and 14 are good too) until Górczyn then caught bus 103 to Szreniawa (the bus number seem to change often though so make sure and ask). I got off at the bus stop Szreniawa (it looks like the middle of nowhere) and began thumbing.

Overall rating : Averagehitchhike poznan

Waiting Time : 30 mins

I got collected by an elderly guy who only spoke Polish but he took me as far as Steszew.

In Steszew I walked through the village keeping left towards Leszno and hitchhiked again at a bus-stop.

After 10 minutes another old Polish guy collected me and dropped me off in Leszno. I began walking out of the town towards Wroclaw immedietly looking for a hitchhiking spot but didn’t see one. I kept walking along the motorway maybe a km or 2 (there’s forestry on either side and no room for cars to pull in) and found a restaurant.

Here there was two cars pulled in and a lumberjack having a fag, I began talking to the hitchhike lesznolumberjack. He used to work in Dublin and was very friendly. He spoke to the people who owned one of the cars, an elderly couple ( who I doubt wanted to take me) and convinced them I was a decent fella.

The old couple agreed to take me to Wroclaw with them, by then it was getting dark so I decided to find a hostel in Worclaw for the night

Overall Rating : Good (but maybe I was lucky)

Waiting Time : 5 Minutes

 

After : Hitchhiking from Wroclaw to Bratislava

 

Ljubljana (Slovenia) to Zagreb (Croatia)

I hitchhiked this route in the summer of 2013. Although relatively quick and easy I would hitchihike ljubljana zagrebrecommend starting in the morning as getting out of Ljubljana in the direction of Zagreb can be tricky.

To get out of Ljubljana I took the bus 1 or 1B is good in the direction Mestni Log from the city center. Get off at the second last stop called Koprska.

Continue straight along the road (don’t follow the bus which turns) after 2 minutes you will cross a bridge over a small river. Continue straight and cross the motorway over the bridge, and on the left side the petrol station is about 500 m away.

There is a golf course between you and the service area, which you can cross by climbing its hitchhike ljubljanafences (or other means) if the personal see you then just talk your way out of the situation. You are just crossing after all it shouldn’t be a problem. Try and stay unseen though to avoid issues.

Overall Rating : Good, in fact the best spot for Zagreb.

Waiting Time : 30 Mins (Zagreb direction)

I got speaking to a pair of Slovenia guys in their late twenties at a picnic table by this petrol station. They agreed to take me further along the motorway and even rolled up a nice joint on the road to smoke.

They dropped me off at one of the petrol stations along the motorway to Zagreb, because I was high I can’t really remember where. I do remember however getting my next lift easily enough. Once you are on the motorway to Zagreb it’s safe to assume most traffic and especially trucks are driving there.

I caught a lift with a Croatian truck driver to Zagreb, he agreed to take me to the border but we had such a great chat about the history of Yugoslavia that I didn’t mind waiting at the border 2 hours. Once his paperwork was done he continued to Zagreb.

Nădlac (Romania/Hungary Border) to Memmingen Airport (Germany)

hitchhke romania munich

I needed to get to Memmingen Airport and quickly for my return flight home to Ireland. I had began this journey in Istanbul and will describe my journey from the Romania/Hungary border at Nădlac to Memmingen Airport via the lovely Budapest.

I walked across the border at Nădlac after hitchhiking a ride there with a local Romanian guy. I should of approached the car’s at the border queueing to cross but I reckoned I could just stand with the thumb up on the other side. A bad decision really as this border proved to be a difficult one to hitchhike.

Upon crossing the border by foot (no issues or search) I began thumbing on the other side immediately. There was a long line of truck drivers queued to cross the border into Romania and a few crossing into Hungary but all of them waved me off. I suppose it was getting late (around 6pm) and they were planning on napping. Many car’s with German registrations passed but none would stop, most occupants looked Turkish also and I have had luck travelling with Turks but people seemed wary here.

The reason for this must of been the amount of Gypsys at the border in French and Spanish registration Tranist vans. They were collecting kids and sending kids back to Romania it seemed but for some reason the adults weren’t going to cross the border. From here in Hungary they could get back to France or Spain without crossing a border so the likely-hood was that they were iillegal living in the Schengen area. This created an air of suspicion around the border. There is also a petrol station a kilometre from the border but it was relatively quiet. So I stood at the border for 3 hours with a sign reading BP for Budapest.

hitchhike nadlac

 

Nadlac (Romania) and Nadylak (Hungary), the red marker is my hitchhiking spot, the yellow marker shows the petrol station. It’s worth a try at the station but I had no luck.

Eventually a Hungarian guy pulled over, he was in his late thirties and was happy to bring me to Buda, he told me all the stories of his life as a hobo travelling the world. He had worked in Israel, Spain, England and France just to name a few. Don’t know what I would of done if it wasn’t for him.

Overall Rating : Bad spot, dosen’t see much useful traffic. I reckon I got lucky considering I arrived late.

Waiting Time : 3 Hours (Budapest)

Once I arrived in Budapest late I rang a Hungarian friend of mine, she agreed to meet up and I stayed a couple nights.

When it came time to head for Germany I was hungover, like every time I wake up in Budapest. I headed for the petrol station/Mcdonaldshitchhiking budapest. This was my second time hitching here and by far the more successful. The more you hitchhike the easier it gets. Description on how to get here.

After about 10 minutes of standing around a Hungarian kid approached me of around 13 years of age. He asked of I spoke English and chatted a while. He asked his Dad to take me to Gyor with them, I was amazed at the kids intelligence and confidence.

Overall Rating : Best option for Vienna, Bratislava or Balaton direction.

Waiting Time : 10 mins (Gyor)

I got dropped off beyond Gyor at the first petrol station (my second time here), a spot frequented by hitchikers. I soon found another ride  with a Hungarian man who spoke English. He told me the story of the time he Hitchiked across East Germany to Berlin as a teenager in the seventies. He lived in Austria now so his kids would learn German aswell as Hungarian and English (from him) growing up. He believed his effort to make them trilingual was a gift to them.

Overall Rating : Good, there are no busy petrol stations after the Austria border so getting a direct lift to Vienna is highly recommended and worth a wait.

Waiting Time : 20 mins (Austria)

My Hungarian driver took me past the Austria border and to an area where truck drivers park off the motorway about 25km from Vienna. Put “ASFINAG Raststation Fischamend, 2401 hitchhike viennaFischamend, Austria” into Google maps and you will find the exact spot. It was dark now and I couldn’t see anywhere to camp, it was a little car park beside the motorway with toilets and a couple Gypsys. Not sure what I could do I struck some luck when a Swizz car pulled in, and out got a man in his forties.

I asked him as nicely as I could to take me further because I didn’t want to be stuck here. I was lucky he spoke English given the fact he had his two young kids with him and a car full of luggage. He asked if he could see my passport (never happened before) but then its rare people with young children collect hitchhikers. Once he checked over it and was satisfied he rearranged his luggage so I could fit in, we chatted for a while but I soon fell asleep.

I woke up outside Memmingen Airport. Seen as the guy was driving to Zurich he was passing by Munich and Memmingen anyway. I really struck lucky here. If anything this highlights the importance of knowing what registration cars to approach right away.

Overall Rating : OK spot, not recommended as such but it has potential if you want to skip Vienna. Arrive early as there is nowhere to camp.

Waiting Time : 20 mins (Germany)

 

 

 

Hitchhiking from Romania to Germany

Hitchhiking from Romania to Germany

hitchhke romania munich

I was hitchhiking from Romania to Germany because I needed to get to Memmingen Airport quickly for my return flight home to Ireland. I had began this journey in Istanbul and will describe my journey from the Romania/Hungary border at Nădlac to Memmingen Airport via the lovely Budapest.

I walked across the border at Nădlac after hitchhiking a ride there with a local Romanian guy. I should of approached the car’s at the border queueing to cross but I reckoned I could just stand with the thumb up on the other side. A bad decision really as this border proved to be a difficult one to hitchhike.

Upon crossing the border by foot (no issues or search) I began thumbing on the other side immediately. There was a long line of truck drivers queued to cross the border into Romania and a few crossing into Hungary but all of them waved me off. I suppose it was getting late (around 6pm) and they were planning on napping. Many car’s with German registrations passed but none would stop, most occupants looked Turkish also and I have had luck travelling with Turks but people seemed wary here.

The reason for this must of been the amount of Gypsys at the border in French and Spanish registration Tranist vans. They were collecting kids and sending kids back to Romania it seemed but for some reason the adults weren’t going to cross the border. From here in Hungary they could get back to France or Spain without crossing a border so the likely-hood was that they were iillegal living in the Schengen area. This created an air of suspicion around the border. There is also a petrol station a kilometre from the border but it was relatively quiet. So I stood at the border for 3 hours with a sign reading BP for Budapest.

hitchhike nadlac

 

Nadlac (Romania) and Nadylak (Hungary), the red marker is my hitchhiking spot, the yellow marker shows the petrol station. It’s worth a try at the station but I had no luck.

Eventually a Hungarian guy pulled over, he was in his late thirties and was happy to bring me to Buda, he told me all the stories of his life as a hobo travelling the world. He had worked in Israel, Spain, England and France just to name a few. Don’t know what I would of done if it wasn’t for him.

Overall Rating : Bad spot, dosen’t see much useful traffic. I reckon I got lucky considering I arrived late.

Waiting Time : 3 Hours (Budapest)

Once I arrived in Budapest late I rang a Hungarian friend of mine, she agreed to meet up and I stayed a couple nights.

When it came time to head for Germany I was hungover, like every time I wake up in Budapest. I headed for the petrol station/Mcdonaldshitchhiking budapest. This was my second time hitching here and by far the more successful. The more you hitchhike the easier it gets. Description on how to get here.

After about 10 minutes of standing around a Hungarian kid approached me of around 13 years of age. He asked of I spoke IMGA0398English and chatted a while. He asked his Dad to take me to Gyor with them, I was impressed with the kids confidence.

Overall Rating : Best option for hitchhiking from Budapest to Vienna, Bratislava or Balaton direction.

Waiting Time : 10 mins (Gyor)

I got dropped off beyond Gyor at the first petrol station (my second time here), a spot frequented by hitchikers. I soon found another ride  with a Hungarian man who spoke English. He told me the story of the time he Hitchiked across East Germany to Berlin as a teenager in the seventies. He lived in Austria now so his kids would learn German aswell as Hungarian and English (from him) growing up. He believed his effort to make them trilingual was a gift to them.

Overall Rating : Good, there are no busy petrol stations after the Austria border so getting a direct lift to Vienna is highly recommended and worth a wait.

Waiting Time : 20 mins (Austria)

My Hungarian driver took me past the Austria border and to an area where truck drivers park off the motorway about 25km from Vienna. Put “ASFINAG Raststation Fischamend, 2401 hitchhike viennaFischamend, Austria” into Google maps and you will find the exact spot. It was dark now and I couldn’t see anywhere to camp, it was a little car park beside the motorway with toilets and a couple Gypsys. Not sure what I could do I struck some luck when a Swizz car pulled in, and out got a man in his forties.

I asked him as nicely as I could to take me further because I didn’t want to be stuck here. I was lucky he spoke English given the fact he had his two young kids with him and a car full of luggage. He asked if he could see my passport (never happened before) but then its rare people with young children collect hitchhikers. Once he checked over it and was satisfied he rearranged his luggage so I could fit in, we chatted for a while but I soon fell asleep.

I woke up outside Memmingen Airport. Seen as the guy was driving to Zurich he was passing by Munich and Memmingen anyway. I really struck lucky here. If anything this highlights the importance of knowing what registration cars to approach right away.

Overall Rating : OK spot, not recommended as such but it has potential if you want to skip Vienna. Arrive early as there is nowhere to camp.

Waiting Time : 20 mins (Germany)

IMGA0400
My lift to Germany

 

 

 

Bratislava to Oradea (Romania)

Bratislava (Slovakia) to Oradea (Romania) via Budapest.

This journey began in Slovakia in Bratislava. Getting out of Bratislava just likehitchhiking bratislava any city can be difficult.

The method I choose was to use Google maps and Hitchwiki to locate a petrol station on the edge of the city and get there in the early morning. By using bus 93 or 95 from the city centre, I got 93 (without paying) and jumped out at the last stop called Vyšehradská.

 Keep walking south and cross the big road Panonská Cesthitchhike slovakiatowards the fields and away from the city. Then cross the immediate field towards the motorway as shown in the second map. Follow the black line and you will find a hole in the fence by the motorway and a manky pair of old shoes, a bit further south is a bridge to cross the motorway.

The very first car I approached at the station had a Hungarian registration so the odds were stacked in my favour. It turned out to be a Hungarian couple both fluent in English. They were expecting a child soon  and had been visiting a Doctor in Austria. They were happy to drop me off at a petrol station near Gyor even though they seemed a bit nervous at first. A little bit of conversation and flaunting my basic Hungarian phrases did the trick though.

Overall Rating : Great spot but not so easy to get to. The best for heading South East to Hungary.

Waiting Time : 5 minutes (Hungary)

I got dropped off at the last petrol station before Gyor on the M1. I ended up here again a few months later again hitchhiking from Budapest towards Vienna.

You can expect to meet other hitch-hikers here from Germany and Poland as its the last station for quite a while. It is a good spot but not very busy, have a  little patience and a direct lift to Budapest is very likely. I caught one with a Hungarian business man and girlfriend.

Overall Rating : OK spot, the truckers are usually sleeping here since its close to the Austria and Slovakian borders. Approaching is necessary.hitchhike gyor budapest

Waiting Time : 30 minutes (Budapest)

I didn’t however take the lift all the way to Budapest. I decided to jump out before getting there and try the last petrol station before the city’s suburbs on the motorway.

I was hoping for a lift direct to Romania as I had seen some Romanian registration cars on the motorway. My attempts were futile though. Two Romanian registration cars pulled in, one was a man who wouldn’t take any hitchhikers and the second guy was very friendly. A young guy who had made his money working in construction in London driving a nice BMW. However he was driving his family home to Romania so had no space.

In the end I took a lift to Budapest instead of waiting around any longer. Getting a lift to Budapest was simple, a young Dutch couple took me, they were driving to Budapest for the Sziget Festival.

Overall Rating : Good for getting to Budapest centre, bad for travelling beyond Budapest, especially on a Sunday (no truckers).

Waiting Time : 2 hours and fail (Romania), 15 mins (Budapest).

I was in a hurry to get out of Budapest (even though I love the city) since the Sziget festival was starting the following day and so all the Hostels were booked out and I had planned on finishing the day in Romania.

I quickly caught the metro line 3 and caught the bus to the airport, I figured this would drop me at the edge of the Eastern side of the city and I would find a hitchhiking spot. I was wrong, the motorway can’t be walked and the nearest reachable petrol station really only served local traffic. To people looking to hitchhike east from Budapest I can’t recommend starting at the airport.

Overall Rating : Waist of time.

Waiting Time : Dont care to remember.

Since it has gotten late by the time I got back into town from the airport I merely dumped by bag at an Irish pub I used to frequent when living in Budapest and hit the clubs. Luckily they are open until the early morning. I partied through the night then headed off again hitchhiking the next morning without any sleep.

My new tactic to get east was to head to Nyugati train station and catch a train right outside the city. A 2 euro ticket got me to Üllő in about 30 mins, from here I walked through the village until reaching the main road and heading left (east) until I came to a roundabout (past two small petrol stations). There is a petrol station by the roundabout but its clearly never busy.hitchhike budapest romania

From here I began hitchhiking with the thumb out, I figured the fact I was away from a motorway meant I would be better off hitching with my thumb for some farmer type guy to pull over probably mistaking me for a local.

I got picked by Andras, a farmer (I presume) with no English. Nice guy in a banged up old car, the worst moment was when he stopped the car to share a shot of his homemade Palinka with his new (extremely hungover) Irish friend. Somehow I managed to hold in last nights largers and kebab and smiled gratefully before tanning a shot.

Overall Rating : OK, but local traffic mainly, could be good for Debrecen and Romania with patience and not looking hungover.

Waiting Time : 30 mins with thumb out.

Unfortunately Andras was only driving locally as most of the banged up cars usually are. He dropped me off at Pilis a village on route to Szolnok. I didn’t see a petrol station so just kicked back on the pavement for a while watching the traffic. I was contemplating taking a nap in a nearby field but decided to give hitchhiking an hour.

I decided to make a sign from cardboard and wrote RO for Romania, I tought my chances were unlikely since I was still far from the border but I needed to rest badly and a long car trip seemed ideal. One or two Romanian registration cars passed amongst the Hungarian cars without paying me attention. The traffic is quite slow here seen as it’s not a motorway so they definetly saw my sign. I was getting depressed

After a while I spotted a Romanian taxi approaching (I knew the yellow Dacia taxis from being in Romania before). I started waving the sign and smiling estatically. He nodded and pulled in down the road.

Overall Rating : OK again not much different to the previous spot, possible to get to Romania or Debrecen with a sign and patience.

Waiting Time : 40 mins thumb out then 30 mins with sign.

The taxi driver had no English but he spoke Italian like most Romanian men, which wasn’t much use to me but he understood I wanted to get to Romania and he was destined for Oradea. From what I understood of his story he had been at the Budapest airport that morning dropping off a wealthy Romanian and was returning home. I don’t care to imagine what a taxi fair from Oradea to Budapest is (over 300km) but I bet the guy would be pissed off if he knew I got back that way for free in his taxi. The taxi driver managed to get lost on the journey too, seriously Romanians have to be the most random drivers.

Hungary and Romania have a border as Romania isn’t Schengen, it’s relaxed enough although the possibility of getting a quick search on either side is high.

I want to mention an odd Hungarian town I passed through near the Romania border called Berettyóújfalu. Nowhere else was like this place because everyone was cycling here, I didn’t even see a single regular pedestrian on foot. Thought that was weird to be honest, maybe it’s just me.

Why Hitch-Hike?

It was close to midnight and I was stranded at the side of a motorway near the Austria-Hungary border. I was standing in an area for trucks to pull in and take a nap, and there wasn’t a petrol station in sight to say the least. The only other people at the spot were two Romani gypsy’s in a Spanish registered Transit van, paying me no attention. Times like this I curse the road and wonder what I’m at in my life to be here, nowhere and down to my last cigarette. In the pitch blackness I couldn’t see anywhere ideal to camp and I was depressed, cold and hungry. It all can change so fast though, and suddenly a gesture from another person can bring you onto a whole new high, making the stress all worth while.

I saw a Swizz registered car pull in and out gets a Hungarian looking man to take a piss, he looked in his early thirties, bald and wearing a business shirt. I make my way over.

“Excuse me but I’m trying to use autostop to go to Munich?”

“Hello, where are you from?”

“Ireland, I’m a tourist”

“Yes,  Munich is no problem get in, I am driving to Zurich” .

It’s that simple really, once you remain patient even when at your limit, yet without a doubt the question I get asked most is “why?”. I guess for me there are four main reasons.

1) Saving Cash: The most obvious but not only reason, sure you save money by not needing to pay for transport and if you bring a sleeping bag you might even save on accommodation too. Whether it be sleeping in a truck or in a wilderness far from cities.

2) Meeting People: It is by far the bet method to meet locals when traveling, people who don’t intend to meet tourists and aren’t trying to sell you something. Real genuine people just going about their day who were sound enough to offer a lift. I have learnt so much history and picked up words of the local languages from trying to string together a conversation with the driver and made many great friends, contacts to help find work and even got set-up on a date with one Serbian driver’s daughter!

3)Personal Growth: Every time you talk to a stranger you step outside your comfort zone a little.

“What if I get mugged?”.

All these new experiences meeting strange people will be pushing your fear to the limit. This will cause change in your perception of the world, after a while standing on the side of the road with your thumb up you will eventually lose any care for what others think of you and the people you will meet along the way will restore your faith in humanity.

“I couldn’t even imagine getting mugged.”

4)The Rollercoaster: the emotional ups and downs as perceived in the opening paragraph becomes addictive. Buses and trains will seem so uneventful in comparison to the randomness of hitch-hiking. Variety being the spice of life then you are to have some eventful stories to tell the Grand-kids someday from the road.

Why not hit the road yourself?

IMGA0102

Leave any questions about hitch-hiking in the comments section and I will be happy to reply.

 

Why I Hitchhike?

Why hitchhike alone? Most people ask me, aren’t you afraid of every possible conceivable thing that could go wrong?

It was close to midnight and I was stranded at the side of a motorway near the AustriaHungary border. I was standing in an area for trucks to pull in and take a nap, and there wasn’t a petrol station in sight to say the least. The only other people at the spot were two Romani gypsy’s in a Spanish registered Transit van, paying me no attention.

Times like this I curse the road and wonder what I’m at in my life to be here, nowhere and down to my last cigarette.

In the pitch blackness I couldn’t see anywhere ideal to camp and I was depressed, cold and hungry. It all can change so fast though, and suddenly a gesture from another person can bring you onto a whole new high, making the stress all worth while.

I saw a Swizz registered car pull in and out gets a Hungarian looking man to take a piss, he looked in his early thirties, bald and wearing a business shirt. I make my way over.

“Excuse me but I’m trying to use autostop to go to Munich?”

“Hello, where are you from?”

“Ireland, I’m a tourist”

“Yes,  Munich is no problem get in, I am driving to Zurich” .

It’s that simple really, once you remain patient even when at your limit, yet without a doubt the question I get asked most is “why?”. I guess for me there are four main reasons.

1) Saving Cash: The most obvious but not only reason, sure you save money by not needing to pay for transport and if you bring a sleeping bag you might even save on accommodation too. Whether it be sleeping in a truck or in a wilderness far from cities.

2) Meeting People: It is by far the bet method to meet locals when traveling, people who don’t intend to meet tourists and aren’t trying to sell you something. Real genuine people just going about their day who were sound enough to offer a lift.

I have learnt so much history and picked up words of the local languages from trying to string together a conversation with the driver and made many great friends, contacts to help find work and even got set-up on a date with one Serbian driver’s daughter!

Who knows what kind of adventures you can end up on with strangers.
Who knows what kind of adventures you can end up on with strangers.

3)Personal Growth: Every time you talk to a stranger you step outside your comfort zone a little.

“What if I get mugged?”.

All these new experiences meeting strange people will be pushing your fear to the limit.

This will cause change in your perception of the world, after a while standing on the side of the road with your thumb up you will eventually lose any care for what others think of you and the people you will meet along the way will restore your faith in humanity.

“I couldn’t even imagine getting mugged.”

4)The Rollercoaster: the emotional ups and downs as perceived in the opening paragraph becomes addictive. Buses and trains will seem so uneventful in comparison to the randomness of hitch-hiking. IMGA0102

Variety being the spice of life then you are sure to have some eventful stories to tell the grand-kids someday from the road.

Why not hit the road yourself and discover a new adventure every day?

 

 

Leave any questions about hitch-hiking in the comments section and I will be happy to reply.