The rules of the road take on similar characteristics as “maritime law” does for sea rogues. There’s an outline, but there’s no one policing. The only ones playing by the rules, or not, are the ones participating in the hitch. This can go both ways. Facilitating a hitch, or being the one to pull over, you are in charge of holding the divine rules of the open road. Proceed,… proceed with vigor, verve, and respect. For at some point we will rely on a stranger to do something kind for us, and at some point we are that stranger. We have a decision to pull our lives over and be of assistance, or we drive on…
Good Rules for Picking Up a Hitch
Intuition Picking up the hitchhiker is usually a situation that happens in a flash. By the time you see them you must consider: Your traffic situation, are they somebody you would like to be locked in a small space with, are you prepared and have time for possible unexpected situations. All three questions can best be answered by your intuition. In a flash your intuition will scream loud and you won’t have time to question it.
You Are the Captain No matter your personality, when you pull over the vehicle you are driving and invite a stranger in , you are the captain of that vessel and so you should keep the role. On the road there are all types looking for a ride. Some are grateful, some are righteous, some are mousey and some demanding. But you are in the driver’s seat and it helps define newly founded relationships when you set the stream in its place.
Ask right away “where you headed”? Even before you exchange names. This sets the tone. If everyone is hitching and picking for the right reasons, getting somewhere down the road is the priority!
Don’t expect anything from offering a ride –The hitchers and pickers world was created and formed out of altruistic circumstance of helping your fellow human. If you pull over expecting more than this experience, most likely you will feel unfulfilled and put out.
Agree to only what is convenient for you –If it ends up that you are not headed in the direction of the hitch, or they need to go further than your original plans, do not feel as though by letting them in the car that you must take them to their destination. They are hitching. They can just as easily keep the thumb in the air and there will inevitably be others going their way. Make it clear right away what your geographical boundaries are. Ask the destination before they get in the car, and if it’s not on your way, then you avoid the awkwardness of them having to collect themselves back out of your car.
A GUIDE FOR THE RIDER
Keep any desperation on the D-L – Goodness knows I have hitched in some desperate situations. Generally it’s one or the other. You have either decided that you want to travel this way or you are in a situation that is forcing you to rely on others for a ride. If the latter, try to keep this contained.
Desperation will make drivers push the gas pedal right past you in their split second decision. Also, fewer people want to pick up a hot mess, so keeping your version of cool will set the tone for your adventure. By the time someone pulls over you will feel the elation rise in your body. Make sure to take a moment, and either through the window, or by opening the door, talk with your hitch. You have just as much right to deny the ride as the driver does. Be wise and quick. Once you decide to get in, let your graciousness spill.
Being a Guest in a Strange House –Extend the same manners as you would walking into a stranger’s home. Keep your belongings tidy, offer something of yourself. Even if this is only your good vibes. If it’s a longer trip, its awesome to leave some gas cash. Don’t ask, just leave behind some cash or offer to get there cup of coffee.
Let them know your story: short form- Everyone will feel more at ease if you offer some info as to why your on the side of the road. Not too much, not too little…it’s a divine balance. Ask them questions as well. Try to make a genuine connection. This can make the pick up soo worth it for the driver. After all isn’t that what we’re all after, a connection!! Genuine compliments are always welcome. What can be your gift to someone who randomly pulled over to do something nice for you.
Circle of protection Because you are actively inserting yourself into someone else’s four walled box, it’s a good idea to put a level of protection about yourself before raising that thumb. Know what you want, where you want to go, and your boundaries. Hitching is fun, adventurous, and spontaneous, but of course in a world full of choices, not everyone has the best intentions in mind. Be mindful, not fearful.
Expect the best and hold space for personal protection. If you’re a novice, try hitching on purpose and gain some perspective. The more we all know, the more safe, beautiful opportunities we’ll all have on the open road.
Full Circle –If you hitch, don’t ditch. Next time you’re in the luxury of the driver’s seat, pick up your fellow hitchers or find another way to help the roaming road warriors you may meet.
The dusty road is always calling, and hitching can make the big vast world feel like home wherever you go.
Happy trails you wild wanderers. Leave your stories and advice for hitchhiking. The stories run vast and furious and I would love to hear your adventures. If you’ve never done it, tell us why. Let’s have a BLOGVERSATION and share our DIVINE
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