Hitch-hiking with no destination — trust and panic and everything in between


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On Sunday the 13th March I walk out to the road without knowing where I'm hitch-hiking to. All I have is an image and a wind direction. Minutes before I leave, Stevie gives me a book titled No Destination. What happens on this day leads to six weeks of adventure. This short film, shot by veteran film makers Sol, Arielle and Maya (four, seven and nine years old respectively) shows how I end up in the funkiest quarters I've ever slept in.

What the film doesn't say and what I would like to share here, is what hitch-hiking with no destination gives me on that first day.

There is of course that feeling of Bejeezus. For the first time in my life I don't even have the illusion of knowing where I'm going. I don't know where I will be dropped off, where I will sleep or when I will eat my next meal. It humbles me. I am completely dependent on the generosity of strangers for my well-being. 

The thought gives me a clingy, needy feeling. I see the scenarios in my head, pictures of me begging people to take me in and have pity on my dear soul.

Then I realize I'm creating drama. I know this. This needy, subversive, 'am I allowed to exist?' feeling. I crawl out from under it. I breathe, I feel free. I ask myself 'What's the worst thing that could happen?' I can't think of anything but spending the night outside, hungry and cold. And then: 'Well, that will be an experience.'

As the day goes on my mind keeps trying to grab hold of something in the future, a next moment that will be better than this one. But there's nothing to grab hold of. It keeps on trying and every time I feel myself pulled back into this moment. There is no better later. All I have is where I am now.

Today I am dependent on the generosity of strangers for a bed, company and for food, but not for my well-being. I am free to ask for a roof and food without needing a yes. I feel trust and I relax.

And I panic and I look for signs of security and I feel crap and I am bliss and everything in between.

Traveling like this invites me to embrace this moment completely. But this no-destination-day is just the one day. I'm probably only scratching a surface. And that makes me hungry for more. What will I go through when for days or even weeks I (hitch-)hike with no destination?

Asking the question probably means I'm going to find out.

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