Hitchhiking from QC to BC

July 19 to August 3, 2016

On the night of July 18, an unexpected message lit up my phone. It was a friend extending a spontaneous invitation for a cross-Canada adventure. The speed at which this whirlwind journey took shape was remarkable—within just 36 hours, there we stood, on the edge of the road by the highway ramp, our thumbs outstretched to the passing world. Over the course of our week-long trip spanning 5,000 kilometers from Montréal to Vancouver, 22 incredible strangers welcomed us into their cars and lives, making our dream a reality.

hitchhiking map

While hitchhiking may not be as widespread as it was in the tumultuous '60s, it remains a remarkably liberating and profoundly meaningful mode of travel. The beauty of hitchhiking lies in its unpredictability—each time a car stops for you, you're in for a unique encounter. It could be a grandfather eager to share a bucket of freshly picked blackberries, a fully tattooed and pierced guidance counselor, a teenager on his way back from Bible camp, or anyone in between. This hitchhiking experience unveiled a tapestry of generosity and kindness that transcended boundaries. If you're contemplating embarking on this kind of adventure, here are some tips to consider:

Never be in a rush
desperation leads to tunnel-vision
Carry camping gear
you never know how long you’ll be waiting for a lift or exactly where you’ll be dropped off
Use highway ramps
gas stations and restaurants as excellent waiting spots, but just make sure there’s enough space for the driver to safely pull over

Moraine Lake, Alberta

Journal Entry

When you’re 30,000ft+ in the air, you oftentimes forget that there are lives, stories, and adventures below. You are flying – no, racing – over happiness, too eager to get to your destination that you forget about the journey. I urge you to discover. All you need is curiosity.

and be present
Be open-minded
assume everyone knows something that you don’t
Use open-ended questions
who, what, where, when, why
Leave out details
be brief
Be interested in other people
always be prepared to be amazed

self-portrait in BC