“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” -Jawaharial Nehru
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Hitchhiking?
I love hitchhiking! I want to meet as many new people as possible. Also, I want to challenge the notions that strangers are BAD and if you open yourself to strangers that BAD things will happen. I want to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ so to speak. I want to WOW! people with all the good things that people will do.
I believe if you do good, then good will come your way.
2. Where did I start?
I started hitchhiking in May of 2009 around Virginia for a week or so at a time. Practicing, if you will. Then I really departed in mid-June and haven’t been back since.
3. Where do I sleep?
In your backyard!!! Hah! No, not really… well maybe. I sleep anywhere I can find.I mostly sleep with friends. I know a lot of people around the country from where I used to work. I also use Couchsurfing.org extensively. I love Couchsurfing and if you haven’t heard of it, check it out. I stay with people, whom I meet along the way and offer me a place to stay. OR I camp anywhere I can find. I have a tent (thanks to my parents) and I have put it up in city parks, near garbage dumps, on property of very wealthy people, in alleys next to stores, or anywhere that I think will not bother anyone and on one will bother me.
I think our property laws in the USA are overly restrictive and inhibit sharing and traveling. I don’t follow them. That being said, I won’t camp in your front yard and leave a bunch of junk. I camp places that I don’t think will bother anyone and no one will care if I am there. I also try to leave every place better than I found it. I pick up trash mostly.
4. How long will this journey last?
I am committed to at least a year on the road and then to rethink what I want to do next. June of 2010 will make a year. I could end right then or I could never stop. I will know when it is time to stop.
5. What does my Mother think of this?
She is surprisingly supportive. She is jealous and at times. She worries some, like most mother’s but has beena huge support as I travel.
6. How does someone Hitchhiking help the world?
I try to leave everyone I meet, better than I find them.
This is my dream. I am very happy while doing it. I hope to spread that happiness in my everyday interactions with people whom I meet.
I also, want to be a breath of fresh air for people whom are in routines or think commonly held beliefs, like “Don’t Talk to Strangers” or “Why don’t you get a job?” or “Just fit in!”
Bag that! I say live your dreams and GO BIG!!!!
7. How do you make money?
So far I haven’t made much money. I technically ‘lost’ my job before I started traveling so I collecting unemployment for a few months. Since then, I have been using savings from working for 6 years after college.
But I am currently looking to become a professional hitchhiker. I have started freelance writing. I accept donations from people, whom feel good about giving. I am a photographer and sell my photographs. AND everyday I am constanly in search of how I can make a living doing what I love.
8. Aren’t you scared?
HECK YEAH! I have an active imagination, so sometimes I will be trying to find a place to sleep in a somewhat dangerous place and my brain will think some crazy stuff. Or when I am looking for a ride, my imagination gets the best of me as to what could happen.
Here is how I handle it: One I recognize when I am scared for a good reason and notice the difference between that and an irrational reason. I use fear to help me make good decisions. If I am scared to get in a car, then I don’t get it. I give a reason why I don’t want to ride. Or if I am in a bad neighborhood and looking to camp. I use the fear to get me moving and to a spot that I feel good about.
If I am irrationally afraid, like before I hitchhike I start having visions of bad stuff that could happen. I stop what I am doing. I do something else, like read, nap, or visualize positive things, until my brain gets it’s mojo back. I only hitchhike when I am feeling good. It helps me make good decisions.
9. What is the Craziest/Scariest/Funniest/Hardest thing that has happened?
A. Craziest: Halloween night in New Orleans. I was Waldo and the streets were jammed. I lost all my friends and wandered alone, taking photographs of strangers, and making new friends. Check the video.
B. Scariest: Two rides that I caught I felt like the person was interested in more than just giving me a ride. But nothing happened.
C. Funniest: A lot of people I meet are hilarious. Hard to say.
D. Hardest: I spent a week in the wilderness of California by myself. I didn’t talk, write, use any electronic devices, eat much, or really do much of anything. I tried to just sit. Think. Feel. Breathe. Toughest things so far, but I learned much about myself, had a moment of enlightenment, and felt really connected after the experience.
10. What can I do to help?
If you want to share more, you can donate money, buy a photograph or postcard, or buy a product that I have reviewed.
11. How do I (that’s you) Hitchhike?
I have a lot of articles with advice on how to hitchhike. Start there. You can also read Digihitch, a website for hitchhikers. Or I have just started offering my services as a Hitchhiking Guide and/or Consultant. I will show you the way, just send me an email and we can discuss the logistics.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein