“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”
~ William Butler Yeats
Hitch-hiking has been demonized throughout our culture.
Through the horror movies we’ve all seen or been influenced by; laws that made it illegal; and other cultural beliefs we have inherited.
When did sharing the road with another human become wrong, and how can we make it right?
I’ve spent the last two winters on the island of Maui, Hawaii where hitch-hiking, or hitching is commonplace. At first, I did not know this. I showed up my first winter with a backpack and a smile. I was naive, thinking I could walk everywhere and would not need a car.
I learned quickly that a car was necessary and I would need to use the ancient art of sticking out my thumb to go anywhere at all.
My first few hitches were with others and I thought nothing of it. But, as soon as I, a young white female, was getting ready to hitch alone, I noticed I was frightened, felt ridiculous, and that I was potentially threatening my safety.
I kept thinking that each male truck driver would want to sleep, rape, or take advantage of me in some way.
Yes, these were my deepest fears but what I surprisingly learned right away from my drivers was, they were just as intimidated by us hitch-hikers. And would even have the same thoughts!
We are so disconnected from each other in today’s culture. Yet, we are so connected with what is between our hands on our cell phones and on our keypads that we forget how something as simple as giving someone a ride is an act of kindness and of service.
Also, how a simple thank you with a smile and handshake can brighten someone’s day. The mere presence of you, filled with joy alone can change someone’s day or even life.
I have shared more laughs, adventures, stories, networked, found new friends and felt more connected through my hitching adventures.
And, I have also learned how to say no to rides and when to get out of a car or protect myself. I think it is time to re-claim hitchhiking as a helpful tool for us all.
So here are seven tips for a safe, easy, hitch:
1) Before you set out to hitch a ride, say a prayer that resonates.
You can ask for your angels, your guides, to protect you, ask for white light and love to surround you, or, if you forget and are already in the vehicle, ask for the transmuting violet flame to enter and surround you. I find that prayer not only sets you up for incredibly loving and peaceful individuals to swoop you up, but it also calms your mind of any fear stories that may have arisen.
2) Watch your thoughts, watch your energy.
Do not hitch if you are angry or scared. Your thoughts are your biggest attractors and if you are in a very fearful space, you will attract the following: men who want you to be their wife, psychiatric patients, drunk or high women and men, or people looking for money. These types of rides are rare, but do exist. The more you can remain calm, peaceful, say a prayer and stay in your heart-space, the better your ride outcome will be.
3) Have fun!
Be excited about your ride! Bring crystals, flowers, business cards, food, anything you may have to offer! You may meet someone willing to employ you, a new housemate, a new friend, or even a husband! I’ve been offered a place to stay, a job, and connections to people I desired to meet, I’ve been given fresh fruit and countless amounts of good advice!
4) Connect with your driver!
Often times the driver is excited to meet you, you looked interesting standing there on the side of the road with your backpack, flower of life tattoo and hands full of musical instruments. Conversations are fun, and break down the wall between driver and passenger.
Opening yourself to fully hearing them! Share a bit about who you are and your journey. This is an incredible opportunity to see the other as self to be able to connect with all walks of life. I’ve laughed so hard with some of the people who have picked me up for their quirky sense of humor or the stories they tell—it makes the situation comfortable.
You, fellow hitchhiker, have been picked up by this person for a reason! To heal, to advise, or to learn and grow. This is an opportunity to share your gifts. I met a woman who was working for Pizza Hut and was concerned about her unhealthy habits and her families unhealthy habits and I was able to share with her healthy alternatives to making her grandma’s mayonnaise—Coca-Cola cake. you never know how your presence can influence another’s lives.
6) Let go, surrender.
You may have started out on a mission to Mana Foods on Maui, but the person who picked you up was headed elsewhere. It can be fun to switch it up a bit and go on the adventure. You may find yourself at a waterfall or in the arms of a childhood friend—yes one hitch experience led me to a meet up with a childhood friend’s mother!
7) Hail trucks!
Be on the lookout for trucks as they make for the most fun of all rides, and are often the one’s that will pick you up because of the back space. Hoping in the back and checking out the sunset or rainbows or even just feeling the wind in your hair and the water against your skin.
Learn to be fearless.
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Apprentice Editor: Jessica Sandhu / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum