Deep thoughts from the on-ramp

Just a small snippet describing one of the aspects of life as a hitchhiker/tramp.

If you’ve never hitchhiked, you’ve probably never considered how much mental work hitchhiking requires. As a hitchhiker, you don’t just stand there with your thumb up for a few minutes, then relax all the way to your destination after someone quickly offers you a ride.

First, when you’re trying to get a ride, it’s a good idea to keep your head up and make eye contact with drivers as they approach you. That alone can sap all your energy after a few hundred cars have flown by. Some of the drivers proudly display WWJD plates on their front bumper. These are the people who drive by the fastest because, in reality, THNFIWJWD. It’s more likely, though, that they just never cared WJWD in the first place.

A few hours of hitchhiking can give you the same kind of feeling as when you drive 600 miles or more in one day. Driving all day does not require much physical activity, but by the end of your drive, you’re totally beat. You feel stiff and your butt hurts. If you’ve been driving west on a sunny day, you end up with a deep tan or sunburn, but on only the left side of your body. Unlike sitting around all day in front of a television, driving all day wipes you out because it requires you to spend a lot of mental energy.

Hitchhiking generally requires a lot more mental and physical energy than an all-day drive. But as tiring as it can be waiting for a ride, the energy spent on making eye contact is just the beginning.

When someone finally stops to offer you a ride and you get in their car, it becomes your job to entertain them, to keep them company. It doesn’t matter how tired you are because they have no idea how tired you are. Furthermore, if you were to tell them how tired you are—that you don’t want to deal with them—well that’s simply rude...

The End

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