The bloody hitchhiker
We’re in Heraklion, the capital and biggest city in Crete, a spectacular Greek island in the Mediterranean. We’ve just decided to hitchhike the route to get to the other side of the island, which is 200km away. While approaching the perfect spot from which to hitch, hat shielding my eyes from the sun, I smack my head on a sign. I’m bleeding.
I know this sounds funny, but when this happened I was furious. What are the chances someone would stop for some bloody guy hitchhiking by side of the road?
Luckily there are people who will. People are generally awesome. The media machine might have frightened you by constantly sharing bad news from around the globe resulting in you, questioning every decision, and stopping you from diving into an adventure.
We were lucky to catch a ride just a few minutes after my “incident”. The driver even drove me to a pharmacy where they patched up my wound.
There are risks when you hitchhike of course, but to be honest there are risks with almost every thing we do in life (I hit my head on a road sign; I bet you didn’t think those were dangerous). Thinking negatively about every single adventurous idea you get is not a path to happiness.
Forget everything negative you know above living adventurously. The media machine painted it with negativity. They tend to overemphasize things.
The view through the windshield
The scenery in Crete is just overwhelming. The island’s only highway is an awesome guide while you’re driving along the coast, as it reveals spectacular hidden beaches, and moments later, the mountainous inland part of Crete which is a completely different world. And right there, in the mountains, was where we tried to catch the second ride of the route. It was 100° Fahrenheit (37° C) at the precise moment we realized we forgot to pack water and prepare supplies, which is an unbelievably stupid move when you’re taking these long hitchhiking routes.
Don’t panic. If happens you’re in the middle of nowhere, panicking is last thing you need. Stay positive. Things will work out.
So, we’re on the highway, with only a half full bottle of water, standing literally nowhere, when you (kind of) start doubting that anyone will actually stop in this area… I mean, we’re surrounded by mountains, there’s no house or any sign of civilization except the road, and if we don’t manage to get a ride, things will become messy pretty quickly.
“OMG, what if no one stops?”
Just around the turn, maybe a minute after my inner monologue, a huge car carrier loaded with cars appeared; we lifted our thumbs momentarily seriously disbelieving that we’ll have luck with this one, when the enormous machine started slowing down…
When you hitchhike, there are two unwritten rules:
- Look decent (clean) and
- put a smile on your face.
Bonus: Truck drivers are an awesome source of useful information on where to eat cheap, what not to miss in the destination you’re heading to and where to find the most spectacular beaches in the area. Just trust me on this. ;)
Just hit the road
We’ve hitchhiked the entire island in 4 days. Slept on beautiful wild beaches, ate in supermarkets and hung out with locals in every single place we’ve visited. Truly an unforgettable experience.
Voltaire once said that man is free at the moment he wishes to be. And so, I encourage you. If you want to live adventurously and bravely breathe in every single opportunity life offers you – do it! Freedom is every decision we make with our hearts. Our inner spirits. Our wishes to live as we always wanted to live… Completely free.