Stop doubting, stop looking for some kind of permission or magical sign, stop waiting – just go for it. You will make the most amazing and unexpected experiences, you will learn and laugh a lot and meet the greatest people imaginable. You will do mistakes and develop. But avoiding is not an option.
Still hesitating? Look at this. Here I am, that oh so young girl who just hitchhiked without any experience, all by herself, first from Berlin to Wrocław to Kraków, and back within a day 700 km from Kraków to Berlin. And I had the most adventourus and fun trip ever! Keep that smile going, keep an open heart and a positive mind, and life will hold surprises for you that you would never have expected.
Cheers to all the kindness I was lucky to experience 🙂
But – this trip held so many more small and big adventures. For those wondering about hitchhiking, how I got started and the glamourus days I had in Krakow – here you go.
So, basically I had no clue about hitchhiking. Once took someone with me, that’s it. So I used that amazingly helpful website called hitchwiki.org. It gives general advices (also some for girls alone), information to most big cities and maps with different hitching points judged by other people – this has been incredibly helpful and basically my whole preparation.
The day came, I took my backpack with only few clothes and some food, my bright pink waterproof jacket, and there I was standing with my sign, next to the road and waiting…
The most important thing: Keep reminding yourself it’s all gonna turn out good in the end. Cause what I experienced: I waited more than 3 hours to get picked up. I changed spots several times until someone finally took me to the next gas station on the highway. I guess it was just a bad timing. Anyway, got a nice ride there, the next one took me just 10 minutes, the one after that as well, and then I already found a polish guy (who didn’t speak any English or German – hey you gotta be inventive) taking me all the way to Wrocław. He dropped me off just 10 minutes from city centre. Generally, if you feel insecure, you send the licence plate to a friend who knows about your trip. Or just don’t get into the car at all, there will be others for sure.
For the night I stayed with a couchsurfer who cooked me a typical Polish soup when I arrived and then showed me around the city – such a pretty place! Went for some traditional food, then began what Germans would call Aprilwetter – worst snow storm I experienced since deepest winter in Finland. Anyway, we had fun!
After quick breakfast I discovered the city and the fantastic food by myself. Due to the weather I however decided to head to my next hitchhiking point quickly.
This time I was able to start straight away from a gas station next to the highway (reachable by foot) and it took me only ten minutes until someone took me until a gas station near Katowice (one hour before Kraków). Long story short, wandering around a bit through heavy snow and asking for the next ride, I randomly walk up to a German car – and meet a colleague from work in the middle of Polish nowhere. The funniest most crazy awesome incidence ever. They took me right to the doorstep of my friend in Kraków. The day was finished by the best burger of my life (no joke) and a fancy vodka tasting.
The amazing days I had in Kraków where filled by a lot of walking, sightseeing, city tours, sleeping, eating (!), photography, street art, culture, cinema, funny weather, parties. And the people I ended up talking to in the club were – of course – Swedes. And having had a beer or two already I of course spoke fluent Swedish.
And eventually I headed back home. Many things went wrong that day, regarding hitchhiking. I could have said no to the first rides to wait for someone who takes me further down the road. I could have gone directly to Berlin instead via Dresden. But hey, that’s life and I enjoyed the journey. It took me the whole day, but I arrived safely, made 700km that day, and having been on a 6 days trip, eating out every day, going to the movies, for drinks, partying, the whole holiday – I spent less than 80€. And would never ever have had such an awesome time by taking the train and staying at a hostel. A huge cheers to life as it is!