Hitchhiking makes me sing, ‘musafir hoon yaaron, na ghar hai, na thikana.’
Can you believe that a cup of coffee can twist your brain nerves and land you into a bucket of travelling thoughts? This is just what happened a few moments ago when I penned the itinerary of a ‘coming soon’ journey using not-so-regular transportation, hitchhiking. Yeah, I know, this is something I want to escape from my monotonous schedule and explore “self.”
The concept of hitchhiking concludes when a Musafir travels by the journey mostly free from passing vehicles. One of the modes of transportation is that a traveller asks strangers for a ride.
Scroll through the end to know more Musafir:
1. Hitchhiking Objective
“But, currently I have no funds or pence…I’m scratching my head each day…I am concerned about how I will make this journey a success.” But this is hitchhiking, as I discovered!
Hitchhiking is meant for chill seekers who dare to stop by any dhaba or any other cheap place without any second thoughts.
2. Pack Your Stuff!
The most important thing is to make up your mind and be prepared for every situation that may come across while hitchhiking. Keep all the necessary items like eatables, medicines, energy drinks, torch, knife, mat, extra pair of each cloth item, ropes, pen, diary, etc.
3. Signs Used To Seek Attention Of Passing-by Driver
Hold a texted placard saying any phrase that directs for “Need a lift.” If you are standing in the middle of the highway or somewhere else, you can extend the thumb for the lift. Since bright coloured clothes are catching enough to draw attention, make sure you wear such clothes.
4. Hitchhiking Is For Those With Low-budget
“Hum jo chalne lage, chalne lage hai yeh raaste,
Aahhhh, manzil se badhkar lagne lage hai yeh raaste…”
A week passed in planning the trip to Meghalaya without money. Being a wanderlust, I make sure the trip has to happen, either by hook or crook. So, you have to be rough & tough.
Before hopping into the seat of the pillion, have a clear baat-chit about your unpaid travel ride. Be kind to the driver and discuss your destination to stay assured. You may offer yourself for driving the vehicle.
5. Commutation via Cheapest Modes
(a) For Longer Routes
Thanks to the Indian Railways, where there is a scope of travelling without tickets. Yes, I am talking about unreserved general coaches here. It might be possible that you need to stand near the toilet area as well. But, this is a go-go situation when you lack money. So, take inspiration from your fellow travellers, and enjoy the ride.
(b) For Shorter Routes
This is where the “local is vocal” theme is followed and will work out too. Look for bikers or car drivers who may ask you to pay them a little for the ferries. But be open to this option all the time while travelling.
(c) Walking and Hiking
This is the freest short-distance ride you can experience to complete your journey. Walking is life in itself. Therefore, you need to stay fit and healthy throughout your journey. You may experience small villages where people are all ready to help you without in return. They are really kind-hearted. They even offer you a night stay where they serve you food.
I love the power of the relationship that Indians do share with everyone. The small town people wait for such travellers to visit them, spending a good time for a while. The more you talk, the more valuable you are to these villagers. Apart from villages, there are ashrams, monasteries as well that offer free stay.
(a) Staying in a Worship Place
There are no restrictions for the worship places to any category of people. All of them are lively and real. Such a place offers the public overnight stays for long with food and providing service to needy ones. No one questions you about your stay.
7. Some unknown circumstances you may meet during hitchhiking.
● It is possible that you may/may not find some food stores. So, carry all the essential dry food items along with you.
● Experiencing hitchhiking will introduce you to yourself, your body and your mind. The whole journey will make you learn to become an independent individual.
● It is for sure that you will meet and talk to new people every moment.
● Be prepared for unwanted danger if you meet. Carry some extra essentials along.
● Hitchhiking is just a way to survive in an extreme situation, like knowing the importance of the life that you are gifted with.
● There is no rocket science behind the “Real Hitchhiking”. Just stand on the highway or the roadside, visible enough to passersby.
● Follow your guts, stick your thumb out and wave it up and down to an approaching vehicle. There is no harm in becoming a shameful person. It is a gesture of help that travellers need to ask others, and yes, it is exciting!
● The truckers are actual travel saviours. They would indeed become friends. Preferably, it is the best form of commuting when you are very low on budget.
Once back from your Hitchhiking experience, you will turn into a completely new individual. There will be a wholesome makeover of your body, mind and soul. So beat it! “Safar ke musafir se seedha zindagi ke musafir bano.”
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A dedicated educator and writer, a humble colleague, an understanding friend, advisor to many, yet learning from many more. All this defines a young lady named Anushree Warulkar as she has earned every word mentioned here.