To travel is always fun, certainly when you get in touch with local people, maybe by staying, eating or travelling toghether, and thats one of the most fun ways to travel. It’ll bring you to the most suprising
places, you’ll meet great persons and you won’t know where (or how) to end your
travel. Unlike the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, it s fun if you keep some
small advice in mind, it’ll make your trip more fun, you will remember it later
and you will have the greatest souvenir you could wish.
After all,travelling is the biggest luxe you will have in life. Hitchhiking will make it
more affordable, adventurous and memorable. When you are young there are not
much worries about later and even when you are getting older you realize that
giving your own legacy to your children, friends or family is one of the most
rewarding souvenirs you could bring from travelling.
Hitchhiking is all about the thumb, but also about finding directions, trust people and
communication. For other ways of travelling is also use my sketchbook as an journal. I try to share some of my advice in the following steps,
including how to sign directions, an easy conversation-maker and collecting
Step 1: The Book
First of all: I take a sketchbook. I prefer the Moleskine http://www.moleskine.com/en/collections/model/pro...
I started with some bigger models, but they got too big and heavy to carry. For me, this model does just fine...its solid and not too big, after all you want to keep your luggage small.
Yelling at some cars, shouting some directions or saying 20 times in a row “we would like to go the other way” is not comfortable, neither is searching piles of dirt to find an cracked cardboard to find out u don’t have a marker. Keeping a sketchbook allows you to write down (when needed) directions. It will make it easyer to find a hike.
I also take two black markers to write and sketch. Two, because I always lose one.
When you want to follow some directions u can use that book to write them down.
Afterwards it will give u a reminder of where u were (or would have been).
Personally, I also sketch some small maps to
mark the route. I think it’s fun and it’s a nice way of reading the book
Finally add some small reminders to the book, those can be tickets, papers, leafs... anything that will remind you of the great time u are having.
And one final hint: write down your contact info in the book so you'll get it back in case of loss
Step 2: The Story
Think about later when you are back at home, desperate in need of some relaxing thought and some inspiration for the next travel. U know there was so much fun in a travel, but forgot about the little details. Write down some small moments in your trip, it will help you to remember, enjoy and tell about your travels. Do you think you will remember that rainy day in that shed 15 years later? Your book will, and your children will laugh about it.
The story is also an easy conversationmaker. If you find a hike and the driver is not the well-speaking machine as you are, this book easily starts the conversation. Write down their names, addresses or phonenumbers, you never know when you’ll need them.
Step 3: The Sketches
You don’t need to be an artist to make sketches, but it brightens up your book. And after all, it’s your book, you don’t need to brag about it.
Also keep some of hour receipt, scratches, leafs, ... All the memorys, just le them..'
When returning home it’s also a fun way to tell about your travel without transferring and developing pictures.
Connect your book to your pictures. In a few years it will be a fun way to remember moments and places.
For our son, i'm planning to make a picture with the name in the book for every travel he'll make. I'm hoping he will still love it when growing up.
Step 4: Trust
Trusting people is the easiest and hardest thing to do while hiking. You will meet the most interesting people and it’s up to you to know if you can trust them. Most of the time, people are awesome, but don’t be reckless. When travelling alone keep as much in contact with friends or family as possible, when travelling together make sure each other can tell if you don’t trust anything. Be sure to make an agreement with each other not to separate or when to alarm.
If anybody doesn’t trust something, then don’t. It's a fun trip, don’t ruin it for anyone..
Step 5: Luggage
Even though u are travelling with others or use the force of their cars, u will need to lift that big bag of luggage with you. Keep it light and try to lift maximum 10 kg of empty luggage. U will need water and food as well, and that weight a lot.
U can save weight by some easy stuff: If you don’t need jeans, don’t take it. Jeans trousers weigt a lot, invest in some lightweight trousers. Towels: Big comfy towels take a lot of space (and weight). Buy some trekking towels, they are comfortable, light and they dry very fast. Don’t take too much shoes with you, search your best pair in which u can walk easily and some slippers/sandals. That should do the trick in most of the situations. Cooking: u will cook, but don’t take unnecessary goods. Cooking stuff weights a lot and u will need a lot, so try to save on weight here. The backpack: depending on where you are planning to hike it will depends what gear you will need. On a hitchhiking roadtrip u won’t need many heavy duty stuff, so also there u can save on weight.
Never take clothes for the whole trip. U are on a travel, but u can do some laundry (or give it in to wash). U are not a walk-in closet.
After collecting your stuff, write down (in your sketchbook ;-) ) what you did take non your trip, what was short or what u forgot, it will make it easier for the next trip. (no, you won’t remember!)
Step 6: Money
Hitchhiking is a fun way to travel and you can save some money. Don’t be too cheap, u have to enjoy it. Don’t be greedy as well. When finding a hike, buy him/her a coffee. In some ways u can save some money. Wildcamping is one of them, but there a strict reglementations, so follow them. In some countries u can camp outside campsites (such as Sweden, Norway, Finnland, British islands, Scotland, turkey or in the national forests in the United States). Some of those countries have specific reglementations, time limits or you need permission, be sure to check it in advance.
Step 7: Talk
Hitchhiking, camping, travelling… it’s all more fun when u can talk to local people. Language will be a problem most of the times. Since you are the visitor, try to learn at least some small words, it will break the ice. Even if you don’t want any advice local people will give you more information than you possibly could collect on your own. Ask them to join you, make It a nice chat and maybe they will give you good directions for the day after…
When talking, write down their contacts, names, numbers... you never know...