When talking about hitchhiking – whether in the car or in a bar – I get asked many of the same questions. In the beginning days I had already compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ, if you’re not familiar with the term) in my dear old notebook. Since some of you might want to ask the same thing, I decided to copy these questions and more here for your benefit. Most of the answers are valid for both hitchhiking and traveling solo (as a woman).
Q. Aren’t you scared when hitchhiking?
A. No. You can’t be scared. I truly believe that fear can be smelled of you, so a potential creep would know (s)he has an advantage. My personal experience is that the times I was scared, bad shit would ensue.
Q. So, do you often flash your tits to get a ride?
A. Never. Not that anyone would be impressed.
Q. How do you fund your trips/what’s your daily budget/(how much) do you save for your travels?
A. I wrote a little piece for you right here! I know the answer is unsatisfactory, but would it really help your travels if you had a more specific answer from me specifically?
Q. Any question starting with “When…?“
A. I don’t know.
Q. Are you a feminist?
A. Of course.
Q. Where is your boyfriend?
A. What’s your motive for asking that question?
Q. But men!!!11!!!1!
Excellent question! I’m happy to elaborate…
Cheese is great. It’s tremendous. I love cheese. Yuuuge cheeses. The more cheese the better.
However, not all cheese is created equal. There’s bouncy cheese, hard cheese, and super squishy cheese. Smelly cheese and unsmellable cheese. Fifty shades of yellow, white and blue cheese. Each has their own superpowers.
I didn’t eat raw Dutch cheese for about eight years of my life. What the fuck is “raw cheese”, you ask? I don’t exactly remember, but it had something to do with the lack of gooeyness and funky texture. My life has improved significantly since I’m munching cheese again without discriminating on the very glorious state of its being. I even had a bite of vegan cheese. Whatever the fuck that is.
I could write a book on how to hitchhike with your favorite cheese.
First of, you should consider the type of cheese and the way you’d like to munch it. Go make yourself a sandwich, if bread is the vessel of choice for your cheese. Want to be pretentious AF and munch it with some wine? Do it. Just be careful with combining booze and hitchhiking. Would you like to eat that cheese just as it is? Go for it. No one can come between you and your cheese. No one.
Secondly, you have to consider the packaging. #Notallcheese responds well to volatile temperatures and being tossed into car trunks and from high trucks. Wrap it up in plastic or put it in a well-sealed box. You don’t want to end up with a smear of roquefort all over the inside of your backpack.
And finally, you have to consider your timing. You can easily eat a block of queso chacra while waiting for a ride in Spain. That’s because your ride in Spain will likely never happen. However, don’t commit to eating anything more than a humble string of Oaxaca cheese while putting up your thumb on a busy road in Armenia. Otherwise you’ll have to talk to your potential driver while choking on the glorious stringy cheese that deserves your full attention. It’s a hazard.
There’s more to all of this, but then I’d actually have to write the damn book on how to hitchhike with your favorite cheese, and I don’t really want to commit to that.
I hope my opinion on cheese was worth it.
A tent! I can’t do without my tent and related camping gear like a mattress and sleeping bag. I think backpackers sometimes look like snails, with their big fat backpacks attached to their backs, shuffling slowly into a hostel. But wait, why carry so much crap on your back and not a tent? A snail has its house so why don’t you? If you’re hitchhiking, you’ve eliminated the costs for transportation, but accommodation is always the big spending department – and one day can cost you €5 while the next day you might be forced into paying €30. If you carry your own tent, you don’t give a flying fuck about the situation. When no one hears your couchsurfing cries, when the hostels are filled to capacity, when the cheapest place to stay is quadruple your budget, you meet the situation with a shrug and pitch your tent somewhere quiet, dark and safe.
Besides the camping stuff, my most important possessions are my guitar to make money by busking in the streets of big cities, my tablet for writing this blog and contacting couchsurfing hosts and procrastinating on the internet, a swiss army knife for clipping nails and opening wine bottles, and finally, a towel!
It’s really not that hard to find things on my website. I even made an about page for really, really basic shit. I’m from the Netherlands/Holland/that country with flowers, cheese, wooden shoes, weed and legalized prostitution. None of these things reflect back on me personally (except for cheese). The Netherlands is located in the European Union (EU) and that’s why I can travel to shitloads of countries visa-free. My passport is by far the best thing my Passport Nation gave me. I’m not from Amsterdam. Not every Dutch person is from Amsterdam. I don’t know people who can host you on Couchsurfing in Amsterdam. The language spoken in the Netherlands/Holland is called “Dutch”. I speak it too, but I prefer my blog to be in English so there’s a higher chance you can read it!
Yes, I visited Morocco in the spring of 2012 with a friend. This is before I became a hitchhiker. If you want to see all the countries that I have visited and/or hitchhiked in, go to this page which shows a world map with the countries I’ve been to and some routes I have made across the world.
The issue of finding cardboard is an important matter. It’s the first time I’m publicly talking about the determination and mad skills it takes to find cardboard anywhere and my secret to obtaining forementioned skills – if you sign up for my newsletter! Cardboard is everywhere human beings are! If there’s cars, there’s cardboard. Guaranteed. If there’s no cars, you can’t hitchhike, so why and how would you be there?
On a serious note (the previous was quite serious too), I just go into shops and ask for “karton”. The English “cardboard” is one of the most pointless words ever as nearly all other languages are using “karton” or something really similar to that. Once the shop owner understands what I’m asking I usually get to slaughter a box for my hitchhiking signs. I ask if they have a box-cutter knife or scissors for that so I don’t have to grab my own which would possibly make me seem suspicious of a crime. Trash day is the best day of the week in any big city because you don’t have to ask anybody for cardboard and you can find it on every corner of the street! It’s a bummer when it’s raining though, as wet cardboard (even when dried up again) makes highly hideous hitchhiking signs. Sometimes it’s best to open a few skips (trash containers) to find the good cardboard. Even in the most desolate places, cardboard usually gets “recycled” (i.e. dumped in a designated place) which is awesome as you can find large quantities and get to find the best piece of all. Only in a desperate situation I use cardboard from a used pizza box, as they always have cheese stains. Smooth, clean and dry cardboard is the holy grail for writing up that destination! 😉