When I first started hitching, I was 21.
An Australian in America, a girl most people assumed was dumb.
“You’re going to get hurt.” They said, their eyes to blind to see. “America is a scary place, you’re not fit to see the mean.”
I knew what they all thought of me, naive, a child, too young. But let me tell you, all females as well as men can run.
The world can be a messed up place. That we know is true. If we all lived in fear of one than what would be left to do?
Along the highway 1 was the first place I stuck out my thumb…. “This is easy!” I thought to myself as the noise from the traffic started to make my head numb.
A man so kind, his name was Juan, was the first to pick me up. If all my lifts were much like this than count me in, what luck!
He fed me cookies, though I told him no, he said I was his guest. We zoomed up highway 1 towards LA and in that moment I had to confess.
Confess to myself (and to Juan) that this was just the start. The start of something beautiful that I could feel deep in my heart.
For hitch hiking made me see the light at a time I couldn’t breathe. I felt all humans, my society had turned away from me.
But perhaps it was me in fact that turned away from them. Like those close minded people who told me to beware.
We arrived in LA, and an afternoon stroll in the park, led me to Santa Monica as it started to get dark.
I had sent out couch surfing requests to all of those around, but no one had replied to me and so I resorted to the ground.
The Santa Monica sand was quite soft and just as I started to get comfy, my phone started to vibrate and buzz and I jumped up in dismay!
A rather interesting couch surfer at 7pm at night, had messaged an accepting request not too far from where I lyed.
I picked up my backpack and set on my way, across the huge LA. When I got to Udayas place I was welcomed with hugs and cake.
Udaya lived in a bike commune, a community of freak bike lovers and artists. We sat and chatted and I started to tell them all about my travels.
“I see I see…”, Udaya said as he spoke to me. “So you’re hitchhiking through America and you’ve just arrived in LA. Correct me if I’m wrong but San Francisco is where you need to go?”
“Yes…” I said a little nervously as I saw his creeping smile.
“Well my dear, tomorrow your thumb won’t be out on that road, but rather in my car with me as I speed to SFO. You see, I have a wedding by the bay and I must get there quick. With your quick wit and my driving skills, it’s bound to be an interesting trip.”
And so I got from A to B, from south to north, from San Diego to the Fog.
And that’s the story of my first solo hitch hiking trip across the great unknown, a women on her own.
The first of many trips I’ve made with my thumb out on the road. When you take that first initial step you never know where you might go.
So screw the nay-Sayers, the people who don’t believe. They don’t know what lies behind the beauty of the streets.
Human kind very well may be doomed, but as we live our lives; are we going to be scared to breathe? To walk? To travel? To hitch hike?
“Be careful”, they said. “Because you never really know, when a physcho ex-con could pick you up and throw you in their boot.”
But it goes two ways, you see, for I could be just as dangerous. They take a chance on me, by pulling over with confidence.
So that’s the story of my first hitch hiking trip, a time I’ll never forget. As I continue to hitch hike through out other countries I thank all those for their respect. For picking me up, for helping me in a time of need. If we never did pick one each other up every now and then… Well then where would our world be?