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Travel Forums General Talk Hitchhiking

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1. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 4 Apr '10 20:20

Someone asking for cheap travel in the US got me remembering the days when I use to hitch hike in the US back in the 80's. For a while I even hitch hiked to work and back in LA everyday! Admittedly I did get into a couple of hairy situations. The guys that picked me up and squeezed me into the back of their camero in Miami and then drove over to a neighborhood to do a drug deal was interesting! And then there was the guy that drove me out into the middle of nowhere on the way to the coast in Oregon and then asked if Id do him a favor as he unzipped his fly. I probably had lucky escapes in both, but I had so many more fantastic rides than bad.

Hitch hiking seems to be making a come back. Ive met lots of people that have done it in New Zealand and Australia. I tried in Australia, but gave up in 10 minutes after being stared at by everyone and caught the bus that came along. I've picked up a few people in New Zealand and still have a really good friendship with one 2 years later.

So would you do it?

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3535 posts) 5 Apr '10 00:33

I hitched a couple of times over short distances in Australia; I was with another girl both times and I would never do it alone. It did take a while for us to get picked up the second time - most people just went past and waved!

I have a friend who hitchhiked in Syria and had a wonderful time.

3. Posted by razzaefc (Budding Member, 106 posts) 5 Apr '10 03:15

not something i have considederd but im defo going to try it when i get to oz/nz :)

4. Posted by SassyKitty (Budding Member, 46 posts) 5 Apr '10 20:57

The only place I ever have and probably ever would try it is the Cook Islands. Then again it's different if you're a woman.

5. Posted by louey522 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 6 Apr '10 12:11

I suggest stay away from hairy blokes with hats on

6. Posted by Matt-China (Budding Member, 3 posts) 6 Apr '10 19:19

Sounds great but dont forget Ivan Milat, I am an Australian guy and while I feel safe occasionally hitching short distances in my local area I dont think I would be comfortable hitching long distances. Australia is such a big country and sometimes it can be hours between towns through thick bush and forest, if you were picked up by the wrong person there may be no one to help for miles. I dont mean to be paranoid or spoil anyones fun but just a reminder to be careful especially as a woman or traveling alone as these things do happen. I have attached a small section from an article about Ivan Milat, you can read more if you like at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Milat_(serial_killer)

On 1 November 1993 a skull was found in a clearing in the forest by police sergeant Jeff Trichter. The skull was later identified as that of Simone Schmidl from Regensburg, Germany. She had been last seen hitch hiking on 20 January 1991. Clothing found at the scene was not Schmidl's, but matched that of another missing backpacker, Anja Habschied. Simone Schmidl was found to have died from numerous stab wounds to the upper torso.

7. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 6 Apr '10 19:42

Quoting Matt-China

I dont mean to be paranoid or spoil anyones fun

You say you don't mean to be, but really you do. You've gone into detail to highlight one situation. There's risks involved in everything you do in life. Does that mean you are better off sitting at home hiding under the stairs for all of it? If there were statistics of the number of people that have hitched successfully over the number of issues, I'm sure you'd find that driving your car to work is far more dangerous.

Really all your doing is creating a drama out of nothing. Not nothing for the person that got killed for sure, but why dwell on the bad and rare occasions?

Its interesting that human nature seems to want to focus on the bad more than the good. You've only got to look at the news these days to see thats true. Is it just attention seeking? "look i've got a terrible story to tell" Captures our attention more than a nice story?

8. Posted by Matt-China (Budding Member, 3 posts) 6 Apr '10 20:25

Hey, calm down. I'm not looking for an argument and don't think i should be attacked by you in such a way. I myself am traveling and have put myself in some risky situations. No one suggests that sitting under the stairs is the answer to life's risks and dangers. The back packer murders were such a horrific discovery in Australia and I'm sure it is something that is still in the back of the mind of many Australians today. This was not a rare occasion it occurred over many years and over 30 people were thought to be murdered. You are asking for peoples opinions and I am only offering mine and I never said don't hitch around Australia I simply said be careful... Knowledge is power especially for women on the road I would want my girlfriends to have this information. Have fun and safe travels.

9. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 6 Apr '10 20:36

Quoting Matt-China

Hey, calm down. I'm not looking for an argument and don't think i should be attacked by you in such a way. I myself am traveling and have put myself in some risky situations. No one suggests that sitting under the stairs is the answer to life's risks and dangers. The back packer murders were such a horrific discovery in Australia and I'm sure it is something that is still in the back of the mind of many Australians today. This was not a rare occasion it occurred over many years and over 30 people were thought to be murdered. You are asking for peoples opinions and I am only offering mine and I never said don't hitch around Australia I simply said be careful... Knowledge is power especially for women on the road I would want my girlfriends to have this information. Have fun and safe travels.

Wasn't an attack mate! but like I said it seemed funny that you didn't want to be paranoid and spoil peoples fun, but then go to the point of digging up the article and then pasting the most graphic parts of it in your post. But whatever.

10. Posted by Matt-China (Budding Member, 3 posts) 6 Apr '10 21:36

OK, like I said I am not trying to tell anyone what to do. The fact that I post a section of an article does not prove that I am either. The part of the article which I pasted was a section which referred to two women who may have been traveling together and was not an attempt to shock or highlight a graphic section of the story. I do not usually reply to posts like this and unfortunately today has reminded me why I do not. I hope someone will gather something positive from this posting.;)