Your First Time On The Road?

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#1
As much as I hate to admit this, I am about to venture out for the first time. I have all of my needed gear, down to roughly 30 lbs. I look like a commando "ready for Vietnam" according to some of my friends and family who I have seen before setting out. I have read for months from many different sources regarding hitchhiking, I have read the guides here about train hopping since I began to strongly consider it, and I have spent months reading up on survival books as well as taking a look at videos on YouTube of these three subjects.

Yet even with all of that knowledge in my mind, I still find myself wondering, with some worry, "What will it be like?" I have known all along that it will be hard, I knew that long before I found this website to further encourage and aid me, but I would not like it if it were easy. Just in the little excursions and outdoor sleeping that I have done in my area I have had a taste of how exciting it is to be out there traveling and often living by the skin of your teeth. I absolutely love it.

Despite all of this, I find myself worried. So I was hoping some one, or hopefully a few of you out there, would be so kind as to share with me your first time out. You know, maybe your first couple of days, a condensed version of the first week, or the highlights of your first month. Anything with some practical advice, while also showing that there isn't too much to be worried about so long as you have common sense and some practical knowledge in the noggin, would be ideal and greatly appreciated.
I have always had a, "I will figure it out in my own and succeed in the end," kind of attitude. Nonetheless, while I have good people here to help, I thought I would give taking the help a chance.

Thank you for getting this far. I hope to read your story, whatever you will share.

[Edit]

I forgot to mention, I will be leaving tomorrow. So not much time is left. I plan to hitchhike my way up to Jacksonville, then take a train out west, maybe even to NOLA. From then hitch to AZ.
 
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#2
It's awesome mate. Get out there and travel those roads, you'll love it, that's my two cents of it.

You're asking to hear some of our encounters when we first headed out, well.. I don't know if there's much to tell really, I had to get out, not for any particular reason but I knew it in my heart.
Anyways, I started off with a ride all the way through Europe, down to Bordeaux in France, approximately 1800 kilometers away from home. I didn't know the language, was super thorough to not get spotted when sleeping and especially worried when sleeping in cities. Then one day I arrived at a town down south in France, there my journey took a few great turns, and the nomadic life was what I was living. No worries, no cares and a hell'a lot of fun.

So worry all you need to figure out the roads, it'll all come to you in due time, and you'll grow with the occasion.

Have a blast and take care :)
 
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#3
Hey second time on the road here. You will be able to make things work for you if you are resourceful enough and reach out to people. There are fuckin great people in every town, without fail. Of course some cities and areas suck in general but there is always that one person that helps you the fuck out, in a big way, and they do it as if it's no sweat at all. Best advice I can give is just be real and you will find these people. Of course you will have to rely on your own resourcefulness mostly to survive, but you can do it man
 
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#4
Wow my 1st on the road.I was 17 my parents sent me to a religious school in MT.I left started hitching east from Whitefish.Made decent progress for about 3 days.Its not exactly warm in MT in the end of March..Got some good rides,got some sketchy ones.Hopped my first train and worked on a cattle ranch for about 6 months.From there to Portland and hopped a lot of trains since then lol.
 
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#5
4 years ago I rode my bicycle from Delaware to Colorado. I remember sleeping under an abandoned 18 wheeler off the side of the road as I entered Maryland. A crew of truckers came in and shot the shit at 3 am and they were a few feet away from me, almost made me shit my pants in fear. I remember barely sleeping that night and having a lot of mixed emotions, but you get used to it. Hell, now I can sleep next to the tracks with trains going by and its like my body knows to sleep unless I'm trying to get on the next one. It's funny how that works. Anyway, good luck out there. Safe travels.
 

EphemeralStick

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#7
My first ride I got was out of Dwight, IL. We got picked up by a lawyer who kicked us down a pack of smokes. He also warned us to stay away from Rainbow Gatherings so, you know, that was the best advice I've ever got.

Some rides are good, some are sketchy. Just remember that your driver can be feeling just as awkward as you might be and you'll be fine.
 
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#8
IN all honesty, just fuckin go at it. 100% winging never fails.
 
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#9
Sounds like you got just about everything covered so far. 30 lb pack is nice, Have you hiked any distances with it yet? You might be planning on hitching or hopping, but it is still a good bet that you are going to have to make some long walks with that thing. If you have the time, start off with short hikes like a 1 or2 miles, and work your way up to more. This can save a lot of trouble with your feet. Nothing sucks quite like getting blisters and having no choice but to keep walking. Keeping your feet happy and in good condition makes life on the road SO much better. Almost forgot, Bring lots of socks and change them often. Good luck out there!
 
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#10
hitching down to Hackney squatsville when I was 16 - couple of young Asian lads with no English stuck me on the back of their tiny flatbed and hurtled off down the Motorway (interstate) - dropped me off the opposite side of London but I got there in the end.... same night the IRA bombed Staples Corner which was my hitching spot back out of town - took days to get out of there sleeping in ditches and underpasses - got picked up by some hippies with hash going North - well the hash was tainted with chemicals, gave me a headache and they dropped me miles from where I needed to go cue 9 mile walk back down the Motorway..... all this sounds a complete ball ache to my lazy motor car driving modern self but at the time I was in heaven !
 
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#11
My first ride I got was out of Dwight, IL. We got picked up by a lawyer who kicked us down a pack of smokes. He also warned us to stay away from Rainbow Gatherings so, you know, that was the best advice I've ever got.

Some rides are good, some are sketchy. Just remember that your driver can be feeling just as awkward as you might be and you'll be fine.
I know its not the theme of this thread, but what is so bad about rainbow gatherings? Aking out of curiosity for i have never been to one.
 
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#12
Don't eat the dumpster tuna, stay off dope and meth, respect people, never flash cash and don't ride suicide. You'll be fine.
 
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#13
Left six years ago all done up in spandex bullshit on a 'bike tour'..... Never went back, gradually lost the wierdshit clothing, kept the bike for three years then started riding trains...worked out great. I used to stress about how I'd get wherever, where I'd sleep, where the next dollar would come from. Finally figured out that it'll all come when I need it... Even if there are some cold lost hungry nights inbetween.


Also, hey what's wrong with rainbow? Nationals are great and I won't fucking apologize or make excuses for saying it.
 
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#14
Wow my 1st on the road.I was 17 my parents sent me to a religious school in MT.I left started hitching east from Whitefish.Made decent progress for about 3 days.Its not exactly warm in MT in the end of March..Got some good rides,got some sketchy ones.Hopped my first train and worked on a cattle ranch for about 6 months.From there to Portland and hopped a lot of trains since then lol.
I'm in montana myself nvr train road but looking for a teacher or friend just looking to be free
 
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#15
My 1st time I was alone, 18 and had 50 lbs worth of crap, hitchin UT-AZ-CO-NM. It was awesome, however the addiction kept growing and growing...since then I've hitched over 23k miles solo, and I'm a chick.
The gist? It's not all that bad/dangerous. Just have a good head, remain vigilant, and your mind is your worst/best enemy.
I got some travel advice / inspirational HH vids on my YouTube if u need some encouragement.

Oh and, Hey if you make it to Utah around the 19th lll be there, I can show you some really awesome spots.
(Goes for others as well)
 
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#16
I know its not the theme of this thread, but what is so bad about rainbow gatherings? Aking out of curiosity for i have never been to one.

I've been to 1 rainbow, On my way to my next 1...it was only bad cuz me and my roaddog took waaaay too much L. It was a strange experience but once you start contributing/opening yourself up to it and the people, you'll want to keep going back.
My road dog vowed he'd never go to another but he's a quiet dude and didn't experience rainbows full potential cuz he didn't talk to anyone...
 

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#17
I know its not the theme of this thread, but what is so bad about rainbow gatherings? Aking out of curiosity for i have never been to one.
Also, hey what's wrong with rainbow? Nationals are great and I won't fucking apologize or make excuses for saying it.
When I went to the one in Ocala it was miserable. Except for a few good people most of everyone I met were homophobic, sexist, and racist while maintaining a holier than thou spiritual attitude.

Most rainbow family people I've met elsewhere on the road are shady as hell and only hang around with people for what they can get out of them.

Now I'm not saying everyone who goes to them are like this, but the idea of praying for peace in the woods while being exclusionary towards LGBTQ and POC is incredibly hypocritical. Just my experience with them.
 

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#18
I know its not the theme of this thread, but what is so bad about rainbow gatherings? Aking out of curiosity for i have never been to one.
might want to start another thread for that. i was about to list some things, but i don't wan't to derail this thread.
 
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#19
I told school nurse that my stomach hurts real bad and she allowed me to go home.i went to get my salary from my job at ice cream place.im calling my best frien to ask her to go to Lithuania,Vilnius ,Užupis.she said no.i said" please !!! "She said fine.hitchiking was very easy and fast,we started at 7PM and about 9PM we crossed latvian-lithuanian border.it was already dark and cold,and we were hitchiking in Panevezys,then we stopped taxi,he took us to vilnius and he asked us to contact some kind of a latvian buisness lady ,that was wierd,because we are little hobos and cotact information about buisness people is not that simple to get..well,about 1AM we were in Vilnius.(Riga-Vilnius ~260km) then we went to Užupis respublic.in the night it was really magical place with that art things on the walls and statues and tibetan culture things,we red constitution and then prepared for spending the night exploring vilnius and freezing to death,so we stopped and ate vegan noodle stew (?) Energy kicked in.but that was not enough,so we took some speed 15 minutes later.then we were just walking around all night,till 5AM,then we went to bus stationt to sleep.we woke up about 8am ,angry security guy yelled something in lithuanian ,it was time to raise and shine.then my friend wanted to eat french fries and she forgot to tell me that.so she just left while i was trying to figure out where to go today..she had no phone with her,but she knew my number and she called me from random phone she got from someone in mcdonald.i met her in mcdonald with one russian/lithuanian guy,he bought her food and he was talking about god and respect all the time.he had problems with english,so he needed like 5 minutes to explain us something .so basicaly he was talking all the time and we were listening.he said he will take us to uzupis art galleries,because everything was closed at night.also,he randomly gave us 2g of speed and we took it in school stadium before going to uzupis.everything was fun at first ,but then we found out that his tollerance is so huge that he needs more and more all the time..he became realy anoying,he was complaining all the time and he smoked a lot of cigarettes and each cigarette means stop.we were quiet all the time,and he was talking about his life and things he does for living.he steals money from shops and there was a couple of ads with his face on them.we went to uzupis again.everything was closed again,only comercialized shop with expensive sandals and perfume from spain was open.such a disappointment :( but i will return again!then we had to go on the road again,and that guy just bought us 2 bottles of wine and chocolate.we said goodbye and went on the road again
 

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#20
I got a couple of first times, first when I was about 7, me and my bestie headed out of town on her bike. She was a year older and lucky to own a bike, so we ride everywhere on it both of us, sharing just one seat.whole thing looked kinda like a two headed creature on wheels. So one day we were like, hey let's go on the road and check out the nearest town, and so we did. I bet if it was USA, someone would be called the cops asap, but it was Russia, so no one did. And we made it there and even back safely, it was like a one day trip. Afterwards her parents somehow found out and banned her from hanging out with me. That happened like a lot of times, during out childhood adventures together, when but obviously never worked! I grew up and headed abroad for the first time, it was France, I had to hitch a ride first time in rural country there not knowing a word of French (I learnt English in school) and many cars stopped, but since we couldnt understand one another at all, they would just drive off after trying to understand where I needed to go, unsuccessfully. It took like a half day to hitch that first ride! Then first hitch hiking trip when I landed in the USA finally, I got a road dog who also never hitched long distances before and we headed from NYC to Seattle. All those times it was just l kinda going for it without too much thinking.Just diving in it never failed to work for me. That's how you learn swimming!
 

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