Hitchhiking in the USA

Hitchhiking in the USA

Apart from a couple of short, cheap flights and bus rides, I covered all my miles in the US in cars, either hitchhiking or ridesharing through Craigslist (the US second-hand website, where you can find anything). Very simply, hitchhiking/ridesharing is slow and cheap; but most importantly, it’s a very interesting way of doing things. Above all, I feel as alive as I think it’s possible to feel when I’m out there, thumb out and waiting for a ride, or jumping in a car and meeting new people. There’s nothing else other than you, your bag, and your intent to get the next ride. No choices to be made, no screens to distract you, nothing to shield you from the constant rejection of hundreds of cars passing right by you. This choice-less focus and full exposure is a beautiful thing, and one that forces you to stay present. I definitely want to do more of it. Here’s what I managed in the US so far! Journey 1: Craigslist rideshare from San Francisco to Portland (11 hours) Get picked up in the morning by Lee, who I quickly discover speaks very little English indeed despite having lived in Canada and the US for 10 years (he’s Chinese). We get on very well anyway. It’s amazing how well you can communicate with people without using words. We can certainly both agree that the scenic hills of Northern California and Oregon are “beautiful”. 11 hours later, he drops me off at a bar in Portland. Success. Journey 2: With a hostel friend from Seattle to Vancouver (3 hours) Having met Zach at the...