I started hitching when I started having girlfriends living further away than I could ride my bike. My dad refused to drive me to my love, but gave me some good advise instead; "...get your thumb out boy!"
The quiet roads in rural Lincolnshire (UK) were easy enough, and for several months I hitched to and from art college everyday (before managing to fake a student bus pass).
While at university in Hull I regularly hitched to London and back, just for the weekend to see friends. Since then I've hitched in Denmark, France, Sweden, Sudan and South Africa.
I love the way that hitching cannot conform to a time-table, and all you can do is relax. Having said that I got a real buzz when I was hitching from Sheffield to Heathrow Airport, to take an afternoon flight to South Africa. I had total faith (in the laws of hitch-hiking) that I would arrive in plenty of time, which I did. It was great to stand on the M1 in Yorkshire when a driver pulled over and asked 'where are you going?' I could answer 'Johannesburg!'
My current plan is to hitch from Sheffield though France and Spain to Algeria, Tunisia, and back through Italy, all in three weeks. If anyone has tips from trips in North Africa I'd be greatfull.