A few days ago I landed back in England after a crazy (and incredibly cheap) two weeks hitch hiking through Europe and touring around Morocco. Now you may be wondering how a two week holiday when on a student budget is possible?
Well here’s how! In November I signed up to participate in a charity hitch hike through France and Spain to Morocco, with Hitch. Hitch also runs one to Croatia, if going to Morocco doesn’t sound like your cup of tea.
I like waking up not knowing where I’m going and who I am going to meet.
In order to take part in the event the charity asks for the participant to raise £375 from fund raising; this goes directly to Link Community Development. The money you raise helps improve the education system in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Hitch hiking (safely) is a great way to travel.
I travelled with one of my best friends from university and an American study abroad student at Oxford Brookes who we met on the Link Partnering Forum! We began our adventure in the south of England in the ferry port of Newhaven to Dieppe.
When I announced to those around me I was first planning on doing this charity hitchhike it was met with, as one would imagine, bewilderment and cautious words. Before hitchhiking I knew it would be a challenge and from various horror stories knew I was potentially putting myself in a dangerous, vulnerable position. But it was an experience I wanted to have.
Personally, I find it thrilling waking up and not knowing where I’m going to end up, who I am going to meet. It’s exciting.
So after going through passport control at the ferry port in France we headed outside. Now where to start hitching from? Before this moment I’d underestimated how random, crazy and difficult this hitch hike all the way to Morocco was going to be. Not letting this thought process stand in my way we all headed towards a nearby roundabout and started jumping around, holding our thumbs out, and pointing towards our whiteboard which had inscribed on it the words: SUD. After fifteen minutes or so, a young couple stopped, ushered us over and announced they were heading to BARCELONA! We said yes, understandably, and took our first hitch lift.
The couple were incredibly lovely and took us out to a French restaurant in the evening. The next day they took us to a vineyard and did wine tasting, like true connoisseurs! That night they let us stay the night on their friends boat and we all made and ate homemade pizza and drank wine out of a jam jar…
After this lovely hospitality, we managed to get a series of small lifts along the east coast of Spain, meeting so many interesting, diverse, crazy and lovely people!
It’s an amazing feeling when you realise you’ve travelled 1,200 miles by car to get there
We were continually humbled by human kindness: once from a young musician who took us all the way to Alicante. And again from a Spanish mother and her son who took us to Murcia; they gave us a tour of the City, bought us tapas in a local Spanish restaurant and then took us round the Spanish festivities at the annual Spring festival – Fiestas de Primavera!
We continued getting small lifts from people for the next few days until we made it all the way to Tarifa, our final destination! We completed the trip in six days. It is such an amazing feeling when you arrive in Morocco and realise you travelled 1,200 miles by car to get there.
Not only is hitch hiking fun and adventurous but its also very cost efficient and I saved so much money whilst catching lifts with some incredible people!
If this article has piqued your interest in Hitch, visit lcdinternational.org/hitch for information on how you can get started with an adventure of your own. The site also provides info on how to get involved with other charitable events including a ‘sumo race’.