Ya'an, China, 2006. The joy of being far away from everything.
This text was first written back in 2002 in order to provide Autostop Argentina (our nationwide hitch-hiker's network) with an identity and conceptual basis. Now, ten years later, we share it in English, wishing you blissful roads and blitz of inspiration for your own journey.
A HITCH-HIKER'S MANIFIESTO – by Juan Pablo Villarino
Walking through Wayuu territory. La Guajira, Colombia. 2010
Thos of us who 've been long on the road believe that being a hitch-hiker goes far beyond thumbing your way around the world, it means something more than backpacking and enjoying the road….
…that human nature admits more possibilities than a diploma or a job. Nowadays, our society considers people little more than specialized tools.
Efficiency and productivity are prevailing values. Facing this reality, we propose ourselves to appreciate knowledge and experience as values, and travelling as an privileged mean of access to them
…that a society conformed by people obsessed with self-sufficiency, who would never ask anyone what time it is, can be considered as part of a farm full of paranoid people, potential alarms and pain-killer consumers. When you hitch-hike, you restore human contact, that bashful flame…
…that to be responsible is to realize that we only live once. We live day by day and an future decent pension does not justify a youth of a senior citizen.... Being responsible does not only mean to assume duties but to get ready to assume our freedom.
There's no need to tie ourselves up to trivial things which are completely alien to us. Our culture teachs us to buy material things in order to impact briefly in people we know scarcely.
Nobody is old, except those people who act their age the way they are expected to.
The world is not a static place. It is a tangle of ways and roads where thousands of people walk everyday crossing borders, wading rivers or climbing mountains.
This world is still a good place to live. People living in this world share something stronger and deeper than their differences, no matter their race, religion or profession. These people are essentially good.
We believe that the universe takes care of us and a 12 hours working shift is even more dangerous than hitch-hiking. Cities are definitely more dangerous than any road, mountain or lake.
When we travel, money is an optional item of our luggage. Nobody eats money and it is not the only way to achieve things. Human relations are far from merely commercial.
A timely smile can be of great worth…
All travellers can learn from each other. Nobody is born wise.
The wind blowing in our faces can be a good vaccine against routine.
We must claim simplicity because it is closer to us, just like homemade bread as lunch by the roadside. Yes, it’s more attuned to our essence than a mortgage or paid holidays.
Our goal is just an excuse to thrust our destiny to chance. We should expose ourselves to unexpected stops, hidden towns and thousands of intermediate possibilities, converting every dot of the map into an anecdote.
Every car that stops is a good opportunity to start over again. When we travel both our life and the universe reconstruct themselves daily.
We believe that the road is life (Jack Kerouac 1922-1967)
Saving money is not the main goal of hitchhiking. By htch-hiking we learn about the lands we walk, about their people and their traditions.
A roadmap is incredibly more exciting than TV shows.
Constant happiness is the hidden shape of death (Julio Cortazar 1914-1984)
If you have already read all this text, you should start thinking about your own trip around the world. While you are preparing for that, you can find ideas in our blog or inspirationin our books.
Fundamentally, we love the road!
Mochima, Venezuela. 2011
Remember, you can order my e-book “Vagabonding in the Axis of Evil – By thumb in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan” with just one clic. Learn more here.
I solemnly promise the book will envelope you as a magic carpet bound for remote lands. Thanks for sharing the message of a more hospitable world!