Robino has hitchhiking experience in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Wales, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey and Portugal. The first time hitching was in '98 with a girl from Nijmegen to Amsterdam. After four rides they got stuck somewhere in Utrecht and he took a train. A year later he hitched around the UK twice and - apart from that day he took a wrong car out of London - he happily never gave up again.
Since February 2009, Robino also started to hitchhike from his home to his office, once or twice a week, and writes about that in Dutch at Liften werkt. Due to his unfitness to work in an commercial office he had to quit this job just 6 weeks later. But ironically, on his final hitch to the office, he was offered another job by his driver.
Hitchhiking for me is above everything a sport (as in mental exercise and endurance). It is not about cheap travel but about persistence, creativity, sharing, strategy, interpersonal skills and meeting random people - of whom some never turn out to be so 'random' at all.
I believe also in 'hitchhiking inevitabilities', especially if you surrender to the road. If you hitch like this, many times you are ending up getting specifically those rides which - in one way or another - have a significant correlation with your life, experiences or mindset. You can also make rides happen but you should be wise enough to listen very carefully to what the road is trying to tell you. Things that are out of the ordinary do happen.
I used to believe in a hitchhiker with an active attitude; walking up to drivers and talk to them to ask them for a ride. Whether you are waiting at a service station, rest-area or simply at a roundabout or traffic lights where cars stop. One of my favourite approaches is to wave and make them stop and then make the driver understand what I am actually doing: hitching.
But over the last couple of years, I more and more believe in mixing it with taking it easy, lying down in the grass with a sign next to you, reading a book, writing notes, taking a nap, and just waiting for a driver to wake you up, even without putting up your thumb all the time. The "right driver" will recognize and stop for 'that relaxed person'. Try it. I got rides of 1,000 km like this with wonderful connections. Just by doing "nothing".
I have a collection of photos of people hitchhiking (mostly female hitchhikers). Check it out!
These were my missions as I wrote them in 2010. None of these has been accomplished yet ;-)
- To hitch the complete E40, 8500 kilometer long from Calais to Ridder in Kazakhstan, and further into China.
- To cross one of the Oceans by boat hitching
- To have a copy of Random Roads in my hands before 6-8-10
Currently I live in Amsterdam. I also lived in Barcelona, Istanbul, Huizen and Newcastle. If you're coming to Amsterdam, Be Welcome. My house is regularly visited by other hitchhikers. You can also have a look at my personal my website and send me an e-mail.