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McLeodganj in Dec 22, Dharamshala

10 Scary Things to know about hitch hiking

Hitch-hiking is not as difficult as it looks. It was pretty common a decade ago but due to the increase in on-road population there has been gradual progress in increasing public transport. Sharing ride services have made hitch-hiking oblivious. Nonetheless, you may never know when you may have the need to hitch-hike. Here are 10 things you should know about hitch hiking.

1. Safety comes first while hitch hiking

hitch hiking

Hitch hiking isn’t that dangerous if you ask at a common place where people come and go. If you are near a petro pump you can ask people for a ride and explain to them why you need help. Some may be travelling in the same direction you are going, you may never know who could give you a ride. Tell them you will contribute for the gas and they will be more likely to take you along.

2. Looks are key

Amar’s camper to Malana

Nobody likes a person who doesn’t clean up well having long hair and beard going all vagabond type. Trust me, you don’t wanna look suspicious and get in trouble. Make sure you tie your hair, if you have long hair and wear bright colours in order to attract attention. Blue is the colour of calm as you may have noticed the seats of airplanes are blue. Green for trustworthy as it resembles nature.

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3. Signs

Soni ji in his tempo

Board signs will surely attract the eyes of passing vehicles. Whenever you see a vehicle approaching, stand up, hold a board asking for a lift and give a smile. Even though one vehicle doesn’t agree to the place you are going, at least you will get the attention of the vehicle coming from behind.

4. Smile please

Taxi ride to Malana in winter

It is important to smile as it portrays a good relationship and people will chitchat to this person and not to some grumpy guy. Whenever a vehicle is nearby, if you don’t have a board with you, use the thumbs rule. Outstretch your thumb pointing the way you are going and smile while you are at it. This creates a connection between you and the passersby. The person is urged to stop and at least ask where you are going. Greet the person and tell them about the destination.

5. Don’t halt in a busy area

Sarchu Ladakh

If people are in a hurry, they won’t even glance at you. Pick a place like speed bumps where the vehicle can slow down and have a conversation with you. Staying on the edge of the city will bring you luck.

6. Find a soft spot

Streets of Bhutan

While asking for a ride make sure you are in a spot where the vehicle can pull over and then take your time to get help.

7. Know when to say no

Soni ji at komik

Hitch hiking will give you all the randomness in this world. Trust your instincts, if you feel that some things are not right, just say ‘No thanks’. That’s good enough to send a message to the person, that you are not interested in the offer.

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8. Offer to pay

Taffies jam

Even though the person said that you don’t have to contribute, still offer to pay for the gas. If not gas,  then share some food with the person helping to develop a connection and ensuring a smooth ride. Engage in a conversation that gives one less of a stranger like feeling.

9. Don’t be disheartened

If you have received rejection don’t lower your hopes. People have trust issues, always remember that. So if they don’t offer you a ride, it’s okay, it’s not like that was the last person stopping by. Be patient and always look hopeful.

10. Good vibes in the end

Ladakh road trip

If you are given a ride and dropped off to the negotiated place say, ‘Thank you’. This not only makes the person feel humble, but also encourages one to offer rides to future hitch-hikers.

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