Tips for an unforgettable hitchhiking in India
Hitchhiking is a discovery by those numerous travelers who want to conquer the world but are short of money. Yes, hitchhiking is the current trend among travelers in India who are looking for budget travelling. In literal terms, hitchhiking is a ride by standing at the edge of a road, facing traffic, with thumbs up. By this way, you come upon to meet a lot of people and thus gain new friends everywhere you put steps. At the same time, this may lead to you heights of frustration; in fact you may encounter risks on the trip; because normally in road trips, there are few grey shaded characters present which may look like a friend but not necessarily be. Also, you feel extremely satisfied when you finally get a ride after waiting for a long time and this long time may also exceed for a couple of days or more. Hitchhiking in itself is not legal, but it’s not so common in India, people are not used to, to give lifts to the strangers. Go for it only if you are strong enough to take the unseen challenges. Here are the few tips to the new blood that is up for hitchhiking:
- Gear yourself up to walk for the entire day. It’s not at all simple and you should accept that it is more of a walking voyage with merely a chance of getting a lift more than anything else. Have a mindset like this only before you commence your journey. Have a map of the area(s) you are going to travel, so that you can determine the reality and plan accordingly.
- Learn the language of the place where you are rushing to, this will help you in many ways. Hitchhiking can also be helpful to improve your conversation skills. More frequently it has been seen that drivers pick up hikers to have some conversation on a lonely trip.
- Stuff you bag pack with more food and water than clothes as this will secure you from starvation crisis. As in long journeys there is lack of stop spots.
- Pre-arrange sleeping place by finding a friend where you are going in advance. In case, if you cannot organize a place, always keep a tent with you and a warm sleeping bag.
- Foldable bicycle might help you out if you can’t walk more often, plus they can get adjusted anywhere.
- Always have a towel, sunscreen, knife, pen-diary, power bank and most importantly a set of pepper spray ready in your pockets to get rid of encounter with unwanted anti-social people.
On the Way
- Be very choosy while choosing your ride. Never rely upon the person above whom you have a little doubt.
- Highways are the best place to take lift from, as there you can find long distance travelers other than those in cities, who have to go only for a short distance. They can take you in a longer way.
- Be very friendly and speak your heart out to people, they never mind. In fact, anybody would feel great to help a friendly person who is speaking to them in native language.
- In India, you have many cheap travelling options such as railways, local bus services etc. Also, you can get lifts in trucks, bikes etc. Learn to use the all available resources completely without giving a second thought.
- Sleeping outside is absolutely normal in India, uncountable poor do so. If you need a place to spend night, head to the nearest railway station, where you can spread sleep anywhere and no one will bother you. But, don’t forget to have earplugs; they are useful in Indian railway station.
- You can rush to any nearby gurudwara run by Sikh community, as they offer daily langars (food to mass). Here, there is no religious restriction, and everyone eats the offered food sitting in a row on the floor.
Above all, the journey itself is the best teacher. You will gain new experiences, new friends; also, sometimes you lose hope and then will learn to recollect the same and move forward with a new zeal. You will also learn to let go things and learn a lot about human behavior along with keeping a close tune with nature. Go Hitchhiking!