First time hitchhiking
If you've never hitchhiked before, you have to get over your first time hitchhiking fear. Every hitchhiker went through this. The first time, standing on the side of the road, heart pounding.
To get over this, just do it!
This is, of course, more easily said than done, but you can prepare yourself by buying a map, checking out the Top Tips, other pages on this wiki, and other hitchhiking websites, making sure you know what a "good spot" means, and that you know some good spots on the trip you're making and taking a look at your appearance to make sure you look like a hitchhiker.
First time hitchhiking doesn't necessarily mean a short trip -- but starting with a short trip might help you get used to the motions and what to expect. Take a day trip to the next town! This said, don't prepare too much. Decide where you're going, the best road to get there, walk a distance, and at a good spot face the traffic and stick up your thumb. You'll feel like the center of attention at first, but after a while you'll get used to it, and will become more concerned with trying to win a ride than your worries about what you're doing.
It might be nice and less intimidating to do it with a mate for the first time preferably someone who have already done it at least once. That way you will feel safer and you will have someone to pass the time with waiting.
Sometimes it happens that you can wait for quite a long time, due to a variety of possible reasons: Is it a bad spot? Can the driver see you clearly for long enough to make a decision? Can cars stop easily and safely without blocking the traffic? Are the cars going too fast to react? Is it a holiday and all cars are filled up with families? The list of possible reasons is long, but to calm you down there's one universal rule for every hitchhiker out there:
Somewhere out there there is someone who will pick you up. Always! The only question is when this is going to happen, but as Einstein once said: Time is relative.
My first time Hitching
A Step-by-Step Approach
You want to try hitchhiking but never find the courage to do so? Here is an attempt at providing a step-by-step method to overcoming your fears and gaining enough self-confidence to adventure yourself out of your comfort zone.
- Have you ever hitchhiked at all? What experience do you have that resembles hitchhiking most?
- If not, what prevented you from not doing it?
- What makes you want to hitchhike?
- How do you imagine you first hitchhiking day? What distance would it be? Between where and where? Where would you try to start from? Who would pick you up? Let your imagination run!
Join (more or less) organized events
It can be a good idea to participate in charity hitchhiking events or hitchhiking races - also on CouchSurfing you can often find people organizing bigger or smaller events where you can probably find a more experienced hitchhiker to hitchhike with. Hitchgathering is a great way to meet other more seasoned hitchhikers.