La douce France! How wonderful to be back! Not only did we miss the warmth of the sun but also the crunchy bread and the lovely smelly cheese. There aren’t a lot of fresh bakeries in Ireland. After a year of eating bread from the supermarket, it’s a delicious sensation to take a bite out of a French baguette. Those stinking cheeses are flirting with our nostrils and taste senses. Together with the baguettes they became a part of our breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also couldn’t resist to treat ourselves this week with a cheap bottle of good red wine. Bienvenue en France!
After a short night of sleep we arrived in Roscoff, a French harbour in Bretagne, on a chilly Sunday morning. The air was cold and the moon was shining in its full glory. Niko and I took our backpacks and descended to the lowest level of the boat. We were lucky. Again. During a walk on the deck the night before I met Jenna, a girl from Alaska (yes, our end destination!). She promised us a ride in the car of her Spanish co-driver Tino. An amazing offer because hitchhiking on a Sunday morning in an isolated harbour isn’t easy. A magical start for our adventure!
Alas, the ride didn’t last long. The car was driving on its last bit of fuel and Tino forgot to tank in Ireland. I was just imagining it would be fun material for our web series if we would end up at the side of the road, when the car stopped at the side of the road. Oups, have to watch out with my thoughts! Sorry Tino! The poor guy had to find a ride himself now to get to the closest gas station, armed with two empty water bottles. We couldn’t do much more than wait at the car. No worries! We had all the time in the world and Jenna started playing on her ukulele. Somewhere in the North of France, under the early morning sun were three smiley faces.
Hitchhiking around the world is an adventure on its own. In this traveling style you’ll never know who you’ll give you a ride and what will happen along the way. You have to dare letting go of controlling the outer circumstances and opening up to the unknown. The unexpected makes it more fun and exciting. It just all depends on your attitude!
We often hear that hitchhiking in France is hard. Not for Niko and Cynthia! We’re not in a hurry, follow our intuition and do everything with a big smile. We don’t mind if we have to wait an hour or longer, we know that at the right time the right person will stop for us. And it happens that we don’t even have to put our thumbs out! People sometimes spontaneously ask if we need a ride along.
A few days ago Niko and I were having lunch in a bus stop. We were discussing where would be the best hitching spot, when a van stopped. The driver asked if we needed a ride. We didn’t even had to stand up!
A year ago the same happened as well. We just finished the grape picking season and didn’t have a clue what our next step would be. We decided to have a rest near a bus stop. A taxi stopped in front of us. The driver was super friendly, asked about our plans and invited us to stay with his family for a few days!
You meet quickly new people through hitchhiking. We’re always curious to hear their stories and they are interested to hear ours. Hitchhiking is a modern version of the storytellers who used to go from village to village and tell their stories in exchange for food and lodging. We share our stories and get transport in exchange. Sometimes we are given food and accommodation as well. I always feel a deep gratitude when this happens. It is so wonderful to see and to experience how helpful and generous people can be. The world isn’t a bad place!
Hitchhiking in France is fairly easy. I never encountered any problems. Not when I was traveling alone, nor with a partner. As a solo female or as couple it should go smoothly. It seems to be less threatening than one or two men.
I’m happy to admit I prefer hitchhiking with someone. It makes the waiting more fun and entertaining. Niko and I are a perfect team in this. We’re always having a great time at the side of the road. People pick up that energy, consciously or not. My advise is to travel with someone with whom you have a great connection. Otherwise it’s better to be alone. I have found my perfect travel partner. We’re tuned in and know we can count on one another.
France is delightful country. For culinary reasons as for l’autostop. We started our journey in a fantastic way and are curious about who we’ll meet and which adventures are waiting for us the next following weeks and months in Europe! Let’s hope hitchhiking will go as smoothly as now because winter is coming…