Summer of 2012 was no less than awesome. My friend and I gallivanted freely throughout much of Western Europe with little money, enough food and supplies to stuff into 1.5 backpacks, and ambition to see and experience as much as possible before running the bank accounts dry. We cut costs significantly by tent camping anywhere we could, hitchhiking and walking often. Often, most people balk at the idea of hitchhiking, so I’d like to make a case for it:
1. Drivers are just as scared of Hitchhikers, but even the skeptics will pull through.
In Northern Italy, a man picked three of us up, and drove us into rural somewhere. In the car, we discussed why he chose to pick us up, and uncovered that he thought it was very likely we were going to mug him and take his car, and that he would be left with nothing. He still picked us up, and all parties involved were safe 🙂
2. You may get to listen to Muse, riding through the Alps at 120 miles per hour in a Land Rover
3. What? A ride in a Maserati?
4. You will be fed.
There were dozens (literally, dozens) of different people who randomly gave us food along the way. While we never asked for it, the outpouring of support from total strangers happened nearly every day. We’re talking loaves of bread, free pizzas, fruit, entire dinners, the works. As if giving free rides wasn’t enough!
5. You will be clothed.
Out of the 100+ rides we hitched during the summer, one was a precarious story. This goes to show, you have better odds of getting bitten by a shark than getting attacked by someone accepting your hitch. AND, it’s a free way to experience places 🙂