Guide Just By Accident : Adventures of a Modern Vagabond

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Vagabond3 – A travel blog for adventure lovers

Sort order. Jun 23, Tuck rated it really liked it Shelves: australia-newzealand-down-under-stu , burma , cambodia-and-environs , chechnya-russia-ussr , europa , ill , pre-wwi , sailing-and-fighting , this-ain-t-a-louis-lamour-type-of-p , western-rural-with-tractors-horse.

May 28, Rozzer rated it it was amazing Shelves: travel , reviewed. I have no idea why Harry Franck seems to have fallen out of favor. He literally walked around the world and most countries in it, writing a book about each journey. The books were sufficiently remunerative to prompt him to do nothing else. As several others have noted, the quality of the books covering at least twenty years of his life declines as the years progress. This is one of his early ones.

I thought it was excellent in its strangeness. Franck got a masters in Romance Languages particu I have no idea why Harry Franck seems to have fallen out of favor. Franck got a masters in Romance Languages particularly Spanish at Columbia early in the century. He then worked in a Mexican mine about which he wrote and as a Zone cop while the Panama Canal was under construction about which he wrote.

In between he made these foot journeys to strange places. Sep 04, Phil rated it really liked it. There are at least two approaches to this true story. First, an intriguing travel adventure. Departing Detroit in June with just a few dollars. Armed with the intent to walk and work his way around the world - a change of clothing and his trusty Kodak, Franck has a travel adventure that we can only marvel at.

Second, with our modern eyes we see him handicapped by the prejudices of race, class and caste of that era. Appalling sentiments and observation are made during his travels. It's quite a There are at least two approaches to this true story. It's quite a tale. Jun 15, Joetta swift rated it really liked it. Such a great book. An American language teacher decided to take a trip around the world to prove that it could be done with no money starting out.

He managed to work his way around the world in the s, and his descriptions of people and places are wonderful. John Oswalt rated it it was amazing Jul 09, Jack Mcclure rated it liked it Feb 17, David Brightbill rated it it was amazing Jul 15, Denise DeRocher rated it really liked it Mar 19, Hannah rated it it was amazing Dec 18, Tim rated it it was amazing Apr 06, Dec 07, John rated it liked it Shelves: bio , nonfiction , own.


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Interesting but not great. Well written, will try more of his works. Kirk Bennett rated it liked it Dec 09, Lance rated it liked it Mar 22, Margot rated it liked it Sep 27, Jeff rated it it was amazing May 25, Mike Skelly rated it it was amazing Jan 19, Robert Bublitz rated it liked it Nov 04, Laura rated it really liked it Apr 05, Patrick Cook rated it it was amazing Sep 05, Linda Umstead rated it it was amazing Jul 21, Topaz added it Feb 03, Jack Ferris added it Sep 26, Jenny marked it as to-read Oct 28, Kristina marked it as to-read Jun 10, Reno marked it as to-read Jun 14, Carol Harrison added it Jul 25, Piper Selden marked it as to-read Aug 27, Kenneth Garrett marked it as to-read Sep 06, Jesse Noone is currently reading it Sep 11, Perrin added it Sep 14, Brittany marked it as to-read Apr 06, A USB car charger and external battery for your mobile phone is a good idea too.

A lightweight camping hammock or bivy sack will help you save money on accommodations.

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I frequently camped in the woods on the side of the road or behind churches on my trip. A simple cardboard sign indicating a town nearby helps a lot. Keep it short and write in large capital letters with a Sharpie marker. It needs to be readable at a distance from a fast-moving vehicle. You can then negotiate longer ones inside the vehicle if the driver is going farther in your intended direction. Funny signs work well too. You can find cardboard for signs at any gas station or fast-food restaurant, either by asking inside or by opening up the dumpster in the back.

You are under no obligation to get into every car that stops for you. Is the driver in a good mood? Are they looking you in the eyes? Are they sober? How many people are in the car? Make up an excuse if you have to. Trust your gut instincts. On my own trip, I only turned down one ride.

I was in a sketchy neighborhood prostitutes were walking around in the middle of the day , and the vehicle that stopped was a truck packed with four young guys, with the smell of weed pouring from the windows. They were also only headed to the next exit. Always wear your seatbelt, and if the person starts driving erratically, stay calm and polite but ask to be let out at the next safe pullover spot.

Avoid hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers at night. Not to mention, people are much more likely to commit crimes under the cover of darkness. Hitchhiking is definitely a mental challenge. People will laugh, flip you off, yell, honk, rev their engines, or maybe even throw things. Predators prey on weakness and insecurity. Dress conservatively and steer sexual topics to something unsexy.

Maintain an aura of confidence. Snap a quick photo of the back of the car with your phone before you get in, then send it to a friend or your Twitter account. Try to avoid talking to your driver or hitchhiker about politics, religion, race, or other controversial subjects, at least until you get to know each other a bit and can gauge how they might react.

Even though I disagreed with his views, I just kind of nodded along and let him talk. This is a fantastic way to learn the ropes and get more comfortable. While it might be more difficult to get someone to stop for two hitchhikers, it will always be a bit safer. My average wait time while hitchhiking across the United States was about an hour.

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You must be prepared to wait in one spot for at least a few hours. However, there were also many times when I was picked up after only 15 minutes. You just never know how long it will take. I spent two nights in a motel waiting to get out of there. Are you getting sick of waiting? Maybe take a break and go do something else to break up the time.

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Having camping gear with you can help in these situations too. Walking a few miles to the next exit or catching a taxi to a better location are also options. You will almost certainly never need to use it, but packing a weapon of some kind to help with self-defense is always a good idea. I like to bring pepper spray along with me. When Captain Kitty Litter started telling me about the time he threw another hitchhiker out of his moving car, I subtly placed one hand in my pocket where pepper spray was hidden just in case.

Luckily I never needed to use it! My experienced hitchhiker friend Shannon carries a stun gun openly on her belt this can be illegal in some states. However, a simple pen shoved into the ear or eyes of an assailant should work in a pinch too. Hitchhiking has become progressively more rare over the years. Irrational fears about hitchhiking are brought on by paranoid horror stories promoted aggressively by the news and then turned into movies by Hollywood. I had a wonderful time, met great people, and nothing bad happened.

But rarely will it result in a dangerous situation. I was told countless times that hitchhiking would be dangerous. Most of the people I met while hitchhiking were friendly, fascinating, and full of entertaining tales. While hitchhiking is not nearly as dangerous as some people make it out to be, there is risk involved. If you choose to engage in this activity, you are accepting those risks. Crimes are committed against hitchhikers from time to time, as well as against drivers although much less frequently.

Make up an excuse if you want to. If the driver still fails to stop, remind them that you sent a photo of the car and plate number to friends. In an absolute emergency, you can always grab the steering wheel or handbrake and cause a small accident. Remember, only use these techniques as a last resort, when you genuinely fear for your life. Even small accidents can kill you or someone else.

'Camp early and start late on general principle.'

Hitchhiking in the United States is legal. The law states:. What does that mean? Each state also has its own laws, though, and a few specifically ban hitchhiking. Police officers may stop and question you, give you a warning, or fine you. In fact, hitchhikers may experience this from authorities even in states where it is technically legal, due to ignorance of the law or boredom.

Hitchhiking will definitely be a challenge. But it will also open your mind , build your confidence, teach you patience, and introduce you to new friends.

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I was picked up in fancy Land Rovers, an airplane, a boat, a motorcycle, and a car held together with duct tape. But in the end, hitchhiking might just be one of your most memorable or rewarding travel experiences, as it has been for me. For more information on the legality of hitchhiking, trip reports, organized meet-ups, and route maps from around the world, check out HitchWiki. To locate accommodations while hitchhiking, you can use Couchsurfing. You will surely be able to provide some after a few days of hitchhiking. Matthew Karsten has been vagabonding around the world since Read more about his five-week hitchhiking journey across America at ExpertVagabond.

They are my two favorite search engines. Start with Momondo. Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay elsewhere, use Booking. I never ever go on a trip without it. You should too. Need Some Gear? Check out our resource page for the best companies to use! Want to share your tips and advice? Got questions? Visit the community forum to ask questions, get answers, meet people, and share your tips!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free. Great story! Being from the US, I was a bit surprised when I met two women from France who were hitchhiking through Malaysia together. I hitchhiked in Canada a few times with my boyfriend and we had no trouble, it was in fact a great experience.


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Great article! Hi Adam!

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While the average was about an hour, it can also be 3 or more. I found people stopped pretty quickly in the North West though. Really interesting read. I recently met a girl who did a lot of solo hitching, and she admitted that she often slept with the driver who picked her up just to stay safe this was through Africa. If I had a travel buddy at some point, though, I would definitely try it!

When I quit my banking job, I hitchhiked a few places in Asia. It was so weird at first, yet so much fun at the end. The list above is a great way to stay safe—I think our inner alarm really matters, and we should listen to our inner voice. I started hitchhiking with a friend—so I definitely agree that hhiking with a friend is a great way to get started. Love this, Matt! I have been hitchhiking since I was sixteen years old and have found it to be a rhythmic, welcome, reliable experience.

All over the world. John, USVI, but I was unsurprised when both happened considering my young age and the motivations of the males driving. I jumped out of cars. I am proud of that and yet so grateful that I was safe in the end. You can handle it if you are prepared. My few dangerous episodes have not deterred me from hitchhiking. I still do it and still love it and still meet amazing people while doing it who I often keep in touch with forever. The negative has been squashed by the positive. I encourage all travelers to have the faith in people to hitch.

It can lead to the most beautiful opportunities. It has for me. Stay strong, Adrienne Morton. Nice article. I then joined the Air Force and was stationed in Europe, where I continued hitching.

As a long distance backpacker I still continue hitching to towns and trail heads in various parts of the country without any reservations. I just keep my street smarts and common sense about me and have never run into any problems. I stop for hitchers using the same criteria and always enjoy the interaction. I use a small white board for a sign. It saves me a ton of time searching for cardboard, and as soon as you hop out of a car you can make a new one.

You can also change your sign on the fly if need be. Works great! Worst experience I ever had was on my first big hitchhiking trip. We were clean cut in a hippie way and obviously young. A cop stopped pulled over, shouted at us through his intercom, made us put our hands in the air and then patted us down as the traffic went by, everyone staring through their windows. It was one of the most frightening and humiliating things I have ever been through.

My friend and I were in Australia and we were just trying to make it to the next town. It was actually a father with his young daughter that picked us up and gave us a ride to the next town. Outside of the US, the mentality of hitchhiking seems much more relaxed. I never would have thought to try it here. I prefer ride sharing a lot more though. As a solo female hiker I had some curious experiences with folk I would never normally come into contact with, including interrogation by Malaysian police after a ride with some friendly local drug dealers, and an overnight stay in the rustic hut of a NZ possum hunter looked like a character from Deliverance but totally kind and hospitable.