Your mom told you it was dangerous, but you just wouldn’t listen, would you?
So, you stood along some dusty road, somewhere out there, your thumb in the air, and waited.
And waited. Maybe you waited a long time, or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you hopped into a car, a little frightened at first, but then got into some conversation. Or awkward silence. Either way, you got where you were going.
Hitchhiking is a lost art, some say, but plenty of people–men and women alike–are making their way on down the road to wherever they’re headed, meeting new friends, learning to open up a little, and often getting the rarest of things…a free ride…in the process.
Articles About Hitchhiking
Long Live the Thumb
Whatever you do, don’t pick up a hitchhiker. So your mama might say. And you may believe it, until you find yourself with a thumb in the air. When I was a kid (and this was the 90’s), there was this party. And it was several towns over. I wanted to go, and so did
How to Ride the Magic Ribbon
Hitchhiking in the new age of wanderlust comes with cell phones, social media and adventure blogs. It’s different than other decades because hitchhikers and drivers are different. What hasn’t changed is that it is still the getaway for poets, artists and dreamers hungry for inspiration on the open road. Runaways and the restless go to
Hitchhiking Safety Revisited
Statistics on highway safety from the FBI, California Department of Transportation and elsewhere showing hitchhiking not as dangerous as touted.
Hitchhike the Oregon Coast
The realities of hitchhiking this beautiful, well traveled route. Spoiler: it’s safe!
Hitchhiking in Pakistan
When I was 20, I hitchhiked across the Sahara dessert by alone. I have yet to stop since. This time around, I find myself in Pakistan.
The Ridden Rail
Stories of the history of train hoppers, what the lifestyle truly is like, the different types of people who do it and where they fit, or don’t, into society.
Blog Posts About Hitchhiking
Not the End of the Road
In Jo’s last post on Wand’rly (for now at least!), she struggles with the notion of life’s changing parameters, of a traveler who stops, and what that means…
The Train to 1950
Jo, our resident hitchhiker, revisits her mother’s town of Filey in the UK.
The Adventure Travel Film Festival 2015
Jo inspired this year’s festival organizers to theme the event around hitchhiking!
Trapped in Essex
Like every service station, Thurrock Services is an alienating and frankly quite terrifying place. Crowds of people swarm around ignoring each other and giant signs assault me with information in garish colours. I have packed away my tent and wandered into the service station. I’m in need of coffee, a plug socket, and most of
The Perfect Hitch
Quintessential female hitchhikers dwindle one by one as they go off in their respective directions, until Jo Magpie eventually catches the perfect hitch from a tattooed punk rocker back to England.
Jo revels in the sheer number of hitchhikers at the hitchgathering, and finds plenty of interesting women to interview for her upcoming book.
The Meeting at the Bottom of the World
Jo’s adventures in hitchhiking, this time trying to find a hitchgathering in the dark.
The Last Hitchhiker
I navigate my way clumsily around the train station, bumbling my way onto the wrong side of a security fence and getting ticked off by a very uptight woman in uniform. Barcelona’s morning rush hour chaos engulfs me. Following the directions on Hitchwiki, I buy a one way ticket to a station just outside the
Train Ride on a Blue Moon
Goodbye Spain, goodbye Hrach as Jo Magpie heads north on her own…
The Place Where North Meets South
Granada is a city of travellers. Hippies stroll through town barefoot with long swaying dreadlocks; buskers strum on street corners. The squares and dry brown parks are filled with young people playing drums, reading books, or drinking sangria. This is a meeting point, geographically close to the point where Europe almost touches Africa, but culturally
How Capitalism Stole Hitchhiking
Jo ponders the differences between paying for rides–via sites like Rideshare–and old fashioned, free, hitchhiking.
Just a Weird Camping Holiday
Hitchhiking in Spain proves more difficult than Jo recalls from her youth…
The Stinging Nettle in Barcelona
Like the stinging nettle, this community germinated without sanction or permission, and provides healing and precious nourishment. It does so for both its dwellers and the surrounding communities, through its vast vegetable gardens that are open to the neighborhood, their convivial social and cultural activities, their full and radical implementation of sustainable practices, and by their sheer example of what the world could be like. And like the stinging nettle, it has had to and will defend itself against uprooting, if necessary.
Two Old Friends
Istanbul is caked in white icing. It glitters in the early morning sun. Street dogs nuzzle empty plastic bags in the bus station where we arrive, bleary and sleep-deprived, after 12 hours shifting into ever-decreasingly comfortable positions on the night-bus from Marmaris. We make our way to Taksim Square as the city awakens and bustles
The Storm that Stopped the Boats
With but a day left on Hrach’s visa, Jo Magpie and her husband find themselves seemingly unable to leave Turkey.
The Most Beautiful Country
Turkey is beautiful, Jo Magpie proclaims, but “the most beautiful country”? Hmmm…
Hitchhiking Memory Lane
My friend Lisa and I lived in a small chalet in Kaş (“Kash”), the tiny holiday town at the southernmost tip of South-West Turkey, for a few weeks in the spring of 2011. Now Hrach and I are hitchhiking in that area, it feels a bit like coming home. Four years earlier, Lisa and I
The Hitchwiki Hackathon House
Jo Magpie hitches to Antalya in search of other hitchhikers, and shares the resources for their fellow thumbers being created.
Bananas, Ruins and a Campervan
We wind around mountain roads, truck by truck, car by car. One driver is particularly speedy, knocking us against the side of the car as he swerves round bend after bend. We overtake a camper van with bikes strapped to its rear, and gape as it slides from view in the back window. It’s been
Finding the Sun
Generous truck drivers and the Super Mario police as experiences on the road change very much for Jo and Hrach after leaving a war zone.
Hitchhiking to a War Zone
Jo and Hrach hitchhike into the war between Kurdish fighters and ISIS.
The City with Many Names
Even as a Kurdish city, Diyarbakır is unique. Kurdish separatist movements have always been strong here and the Turkish police recently instated a curfew on the city in order to suppress a potential uprising – in response to closing the border to Kurdish-Syrian refugees.
We hitchhiked to the city after a long cold wait on the south bank of Lake Van, with Recep, an enthusiastic Kurdish historian, who grew up in Istanbul but is originally from Kars.
Armenian Ruins and Breakfast in Van
“Let’s go that way,” Hrach says suddenly. This is my first time in Van, one of the biggest cities in the area of Turkey unofficially known as Kurdistan. Van is a university city, very modern, with a bustling air of people getting things done. We head down a side street and soon come across a
The Road to Van
“There is no work here,” he says. “At school, we learn only Turkish. No Kurdish.” It’s a story we will hear over and over again on this journey, now we’re in the part of Turkey unofficially known as Kurdistan. The Kurdish language was banned by the state until very recently. Town names were changed and Turkifised. Kurdish names were banned for children. It was illegal to speak Kurdish at school, or to print books in the language. It was a very successful campaign, most adults today either do not remember, or never learned the language.
The Other Side of Ararat
“I’m Sorry!” I tell the driver, “We’re hitchhiking. We don’t want a dolmuş.” “Ok, come, no problem!” he says, hoisting our bags onto the roof. “Teşekkür ederim!” we say, climbing in and grinning at the bus full of passengers, who murmur greetings to us. I slide past the legs and bags, past a man holding
The Coldest Corner of Anatolia
Mehmet slams on his brakes as soon as he sees us huddled in the snowy blizzard. He’s as astonished to find us here, miles from anywhere in the coldest corner of Anatolia, as our last lift was when we told him to stop the car. He had dropped us, astonished, by the place the road
Hitchhiking Georgia with Giorgis
Giorgi seems bored with his job. He tells us about his children, flips through pictures on his phone, showing us one daughter, then the other, at school, at home, in the park… He glances at the road occasionally, but seems disappointed to find it still there, still a highway, going straight ahead.
Hitchhiking Armenia in Winter
“That bus is free”, Hrach tells me, pointing towards a rusting orange Soviet minibus. We’re waiting at the bus stop outside the Opera in Yerevan city centre, surrounded by our luggage. I’m armed with four zhingali, a bottle of tan (salted yoghurt drink) and some smoked cheese sticks for the journey. I look in the
A Very Yerevan Birthday
Vodka, the Vernissage Market, and failing recollections of Santa Clause.
The Backstreets of Beyoglu
Jo Magpie extols a day in the life, from Istanbul.
How the Road Rose Up to Meet Us
Introducing Jo Magpie, the latest addition to the Wand’rly family of bloggers. The Rising Road is all about hitchhiking around Europe and beyond…