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.
I had thought about hitchhiking a lot, before I actually hit the road. The idea appeared in 2005 when I spotted a couple of hitchhikers at a service station in Germany and spoke with them. They were friendly and inspired me. What a nice way of traveling, I thought. I had done some hitchhiking from school to home in 1999 but this was something else. Am I brave enough for a long trip?
Two years later the idea was still there. So I read everything I found on the Internet, prepared myself and was ready for my 400km trip from Wolfenbüttel in Germany to Bonn. I took the bus to the end of town and raised my thumb...
After 10 minutes a car stopped. A young guy opened a trunk full with closed plastic boxes. Upon these boxes I placed my bag. In the car we had a very nice conversation and I asked him about the boxes. He smiled and said: "You won't believe it but they are full of baby phytons. I am going to a fair to sell them." I was shocked, as I am totally afraid of snakes. But he was so nice and took away my fear: "Nothing will happen, because they are really babies and the boxes are locked".
He dropped me at a service station, I thanked him and waited nearly 3 hours for my next lift. I was making some novice hitchhiking mistakes: standing with a sign of a town too far away, together with being in the wrong direction! A helpful guy picked me up and drove me to another spot where it was incredibly easy to get away. A journalist picked me up and we had a wonderful conversation all the way to Bonn.
It was an exciting day, I had an adventure that would stay with me for a long time and didn't spent any money for the expensive train ticket to Bonn. My addiction had started.