Hitchhiking first class

Hitchhiking doesn’t exist in America, except maybe in some rural parts. We are all taught as children to never talk to strangers. As a result, we’re socialized to be paranoid as adults. Common sense dictates that in the USA, you don’t hitchhike.

I’ve found that people are generally friendly and curious about foreigners everywhere you go. This applies especially in areas where there isn’t a lot of local interaction with the rest of the world. It also applies in places where the culture is more collectively oriented.

You have to do your homework first and get a feel for the local culture before you can hitchhike. I always prefer hitchhiking over taking public transport and here are some of the reasons why:

  • you get cultural interaction
  • you more likely to have a seatbelt
  • you’ll be more comfortable (especially if you can ride shotgun or in the back of a pickup truck)
  • you’ll reduce your transportation costs

The best way to find a ride is to ask around.  Ask local friends if they no anyone going your way.  What also works is hanging out a gas stations, road junctions, or on the road on the outskirts of town.

This is guy Annuar picked me up in San Gil as I made my way north to Cartagena, Colombia. (August 2010)

I later got to meet Annuar’s wonderful family and friends in his hometown of Aguachica. I promised to return to see them and I will fulfill that promise this year in 2011! (August 2010)