”Put your thumb up and just look happy when they come round the corner, alright?”
We wanted to get up North, actually so far north that we couldn’t take another step before falling of the off the edge of New Zealand and in to sea. The only problem was that we didn’t have a car, bike or any kind of local transport that could take us there. But there was one option that everyone kept talking about – Hitchhiking.
Basically, you go out to a busy-ish road and stand in a good spot where the traffic will slow down and can easily pull over to the side of the road. You then put your thump up and smile when the cars are passing while hoping that one is feeling kind enough to pull over and pick you up. In the beginning, it can feel a little bit humiliating and embarrassing to ask people for free rides, but if you have ever been to New Zealand or somewhere else where this method is well known and accepted, then you’ll soon realise that there’s nothing to worry about.
On our very first day of hitchhiking, we manage to bring ourselves all the way to the top thanks to five different cars. It took us a whole day of socialising – another word for distracting the driver so they take us as far as possible – before we reached our goal. Sometimes we had to wait around one hour before someone stopped but at others times we didn’t have to wait longer than five minutes.
We have now been hitchhiking for four days which has taken us 560 kilometres with 23 cars. We have met so many different types of people with different jobs, personalities and stories. A fisherman, pilot, logger, Indian restaurant owner, French travellers, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ and Christmas shoppers are only a few of them.
Hitchhiking is part of our daily routine now, and the best thing is that it takes us from A to B, for free!