I’m living a simpler life, rich in experience.
I recently left the smoggy dissolution of a big city to travel through open rural towns, without money or means of transportation. I’m practicing the art of giving and taking, relying completely on connections with others.
The first time I had to stick my thumb out to catch a ride, I couldn’t. My pride told me not to, my self-image forced me back into its ideals and my fears were on repeat in my mind. My internal chatter got really loud and I convinced myself I didn’t want to trouble anyone, so I decided that walking the 200km to the next town would be a better solution.
I quickly learned that this world is full of altruistic giving people and some, who had recently crossed my path and became friends, wouldn’t let me perish in my ego-filled doubts. So, they gave me a ride to the next town. And I kept finding wonderful people that wanted to help me travel, that supported my simpler life and that relished in my stories and intentions. For the first month, I got rides from new friends and didn’t have to stick my thumb out once.
But ego had won enough, it was time to get over it and actually hitch!
After camping in a small valley for over a week, it was time to move on. I woke up, made coffee over fire, ate breakfast slowly, made my hitchhiking sign, packed my tent and waited until intuition told me it was time to go. I walked down the road with my pack on my back and my sign in my hand.
This time, instead of letting ego fill my mind with doubt, I changed my way of thinking to expect nothing. Instead of waiting for someone to pick me up, I made myself vulnerable to whatever could happen without any expectations. In the back of my mind I had assumed I’d be walking to the next town.
Someone did stop about 10 minutes into my walk—it was a blessing, a gift from the universe. With ego gone I made myself vulnerable to the wonders of this world, and I learned that if you are walking your path with intention and heart, the universe will help you along your way.
This summer, I covered over 1,000 kilometers while being the passenger of some fantastic souls and saw parts of my home country I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Hitchhiking was a bigger teacher than I could have imagined.
From hitchhiking I learned to quiet my thoughts and let my heart lead—not many other activities allow us to put this into practice.
I learned how tightly I hold onto my self-image, how I preserve it with every decision I make, but also how little it serves me.
I learned to expect nothing, and that that in itself fosters an attitude of gratitude, and happiness.
I learned how to put myself in the way of the beauty.
Author: Melissa Denuzzo
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Christiaan Triebert