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The Advantages and Risks of Hitchhiking

4

Hitchhiking has definitely been having a comeback in the last few years. It is a way of travelling by catching rides from passing drivers to go to different destinations. Sometimes you need to change a few drivers to get to your destination, but still, after all, it is free. Some people embrace the adventure that hitchhiking offers, while others believe it’s scary and holds unnecessary risks. Be careful when deciding what luggage you will be carrying: a backpack is perfect and should be enough, since you do not want to overwhelm yourself! However, it is important to mention both the pros and cons and maybe, only maybe, you will change your mind.

Hitchhiker

Image:  © lassedesignen Fotolia

Advantages:

  • If you are a sociable person who is interested in meeting people from different backgrounds, hitchhiking can be a very pleasant experience. For a driver to pick up a hitchhiker, he is usually friendly and open to communication. Hearing stories from people from completely different backgrounds can change your outlook on life even and teach you lessons that you may not be able to encounter if you remain in your comfort zone.
  • It is cheap! Usually the point of hitchhiking is that you do not pay any money to transfer from one place to another. However, you need to be familiar with particular norms if you are hitchhiking in a foreign country since there are places where you need to pay your driver, like Nigeria or Argentina.
  • The possibility to travel to places that you did not decide on initially is part of the fun. Someone might recommend a new destination, or take you to a new place, where you can learn new things, create special memories and simply enhance the experience of travelling!

 

Pretty young woman hitchhiking along a road.

Image :  © T.Tulik– Fotolia

Disadvantages:

  • The most obvious and mostly mentioned risk of hitchhiking is the danger of a driver who does not have good intentions and is not as friendly. It is best if you travel with someone who is more experienced in this area, since such people may be able to read the drivers and quickly decide if someone is good or bad news. Girls, never travel alone!
  • The possibility of a driver stealing your stuff remains, of course. Be careful and keep your trust at a minimum, because, after all, those are strangers! Don’t put your belongings in the trunk of the car and carry them with you when you stop at gas stations, for instance.
  • You may have to wait for hours in bad weather (whether it is rain or heat) until someone picks you up. Possible delays should always be predicted and even expected. If you decide to hitchhiking, you need to chill, be as calm as possible and just enjoy the journey
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4 Comments

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  3. The people out in their cars with bad intentions, who are just plain crazy, or who are dangerous/careless drivers, etc., don’t have to be in the majority to present a risk for anybody who hitchhikes, or even picks up hitchhikers. The real risk is not knowing who one will either get picked up by while hitchhiking, or not knowing who they may pick up, either. Many people with bad intentions put on a whole different facade and come off as being good, decent and honest people, in order to lure unsuspecting victims to danger and/or physical harm.

    Even people who really know their way around and have it together, and are tough, independent individuals can and often enough do get into situations while hitchhiking that they’re totally unable to cope with, or simply can’t get out of. That whole slue of young women here in the Boston, MA area who went missing and turned up dead while hitchhiking to school, work, or wherever, back in the early 1970’s, were perfect examples of this.

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