Rules of Thumb: Tales from the Road

“This is a good spot,” I said to Lauren. The long, straight road that stretched out before us was lined by trees but still had plenty of space either side for vehicles to pull over and stop. A steady succession of vehicles crawled along the road through the still air. Bumper to bumper festival-goers all on their way home.

Hitchhiking: Blazing the Path of Life

“I was discontent . . . ,” he states. “. . . [S]o I just threw in the towel and took off.” For a South San Franciscan city boy, this was a monumental decision. Leaving behind his hard-won position as a color-tester at DuPont Paint, he partnered up with a fellow San Franciscan named Ed, purchased some hiking boots, and set out for New York.

Thumbin' It: The Evolution of Hitchhiking

“Hey buddy, you lookin’ for a ride?”

With his thumb pointed skyward, saying ‘no’ would be an insult to the speaker’s intelligence. He was looking for a ride, just not from this bearded monstrosity of a man.

“I’m headed east on the 10 to Juntura,” the driver continued.

Thick As Thieves

The hills are filled with rust and gold.
It’s funny how one has a tendency to become the other, in a roundabout way.

One Day I Will Go To Malmo

“I usually don’t pick up hitchhikers. But you don’t look like the usual hippie… “

The 40-something man opens the door of the fancy car he drives to make an impression on his clients.
I’m in. comfortably sitting in the rear, with my shoulders finally relying on something smoother than a rock.

Not The Average Ride

Hvor skal i hen? I asked when I opened the door of the white transporter that dared to pull over on the narrow on-ramp close to Hjørring, in North Jutland.

Hitching to Zion

I sat in the back of the speeding pickup surveying the desert in the direction the other hitchhiker was pointing. “There’s water in those mountains,” he said.

I wasn’t so sure. There wasn’t anything green as far as I could see. The truck was approaching a gas station where the guy wanted to be left off.

“You see this green part on the map? That means there’s water out there.”

Trains and Snow

December 14th. I spent the day today on the train, another stupid decision that weighs on my morals and will further reduce the time I spend with the people I love.

Slower Than a Caveman Rolling Down a Hill

“I will ride my bicycle around the World.” With an audible power, these words drew a fantasy into the realm of possibility.

People wanted estimates, people wanted answers. “What's your plan?” they asked.
“Plan? What plan? I told you – I will ride my bike around the world. That's the only plan.”

The Miserable Hitcher

You have to be dead broke, or a romantic, to persevere.

Am I Brave Enough?

My thumb was up but my knees were shaking in anticipation of what could possibly happen. It was exciting, like a first date with a girl who I admired for a long time. Today was my first time long distance hitchhiking.

Green Tunnel, Delirium and Recovery

It's my third day in the green tunnel and I'm exhausted, I see a big wall of entangled vegetation in front of me. I have no clock and mist has been hiding the sun since I've started walking but birds tell me the night will fall soon, so I decide to set up my tent.

Ten Different Captains

In 1989/90 I sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles to Sydney. Hitching on sailboats is easier than it sounds. I took 10 different boats, mostly on the west coast of the Americas.

Will Ferguson Updated: Winter Hitching in Japan

A ridiculously inexpensive flight from Milan to Tokyo and back, my backpack, a fluent-Japanese-speaking girlfriend wwoofing on a tropical island in southern Japan who is waiting for you (while Europe is buried in snow), and a copy of Will Ferguson's book "Hitching Rides with Buddha" [1].

On The Way to Odessa: The Road Is Life

The road caught us, flexible and free like a cat. Its yellow, silently smiling eyes followed us. Sooner than I realized, we were guided by the flow of the events.

The Importance of Border Stamps

Still filled with happiness in our hearts from the last ride, we walk up to the Ukrainian border guard. Hmmm, we could have known better. We give him our passports and as he flicks through them he says: "Where is your arrival stamp for the Ukraine?"

"We didn't get one", I answered.
"Impossible", was his simple reply.

A Train of Thoughts: Catching Up on Letting Go

I left Haydarpaşa a few hours ago and have been very sleepy during the first few hours of the ride. Waking up every now and then from my snooze, I would see large quays, harbour areas in the middle of nowhere and huge oil transformation complexes.

Butterflies Invading Rabbit Holes

I found him on a bar stall in Virginia, hanging from a noose strung from the moon, chattering obscurities, drunk as a skunk. His eyes were full of the mountain snow that reached up above us, even now, at the end of may. They licked down every woman in the room.

Random Acts of Trust

The sun was going down somewhere behind the rain clouds and we weren't even halfway to our destination. After a series of rides off the beaten path from Amsterdam to Northern Germany, my partner and I ended up in a "not-so-good" place, where nobody seemed to be going anywhere that was even remotely relevant to us.

Border crossing in Transnistria

Today started as early as possible. I had no time to waste. I was heading to Odesa (Ukraina) from Chisinau (Moldava) for the 789 hitchhiking festival, a trip of only 180 kilometers. But I was up for a big challenge: crossing the borders of a country that officially doesn't even exist and that has scary stories attached to it.


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