Thursday, 27 June 2013

Hitchhiking in Mexico

In the past 10 days I've hitchhiked more than 2200 km across the Mexican states of Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas. I've rode in well over 20 different vehicles with occupants ranging from single women, entire families, to other hitchhikers. Riding anywhere from 2-500+km per trip in the box of trucks, cabs of cars, and front seats of semis - I've met, played cards, drank beer, and talked with some of the nicest people that you could ever meet. I was offered snacks, drinks, beer, business cards, e-mail addresses, and Facebook friend requests - all of which I accepted. With waits ranging from not at all (people will offer you a ride if you're just walking down the street with a backpack) to 1 hour (happened only twice) with the average wait being 4-8 minutes, I would say that hitchhiking has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of traveling Mexico thus far.

My Couchsurfing host Dani and I hitchhiking through the jungle in Chiapas to Agua Azul (Blue Waterfalls)
Apart from the free rides, free food, free beer, and nice people - I also found hitchhiking to be a fantastic way to experience Mexican culture. It was actually really interesting how I got a very intimate look into the lives of working Mexican people. I got to transport and unload mattresses in Balacán and Campeche, help keep 200kg of shrimp and oysters cold from Mérida to Tulúm, and learn about the many companies and jobs that my drivers either owned or worked for. I learned a lot about the Mexican way of life simply by travelling from one place to another. 

Here is a picture from inside an unfinished holding compound for illegal immigrants. The guy who picked me up is supervising its construction. He gave me a full tour before dropping me off at the airport. 
I'm so thankful to all the people who not only gave me a ride in Mexico, but to all the people to went far out of their way to do so. There is no way I will ever be able to repay you - but the kindness you showed to me I will be sure to pass on to others. I hope that will be enough. Thank you again.

I've made my final conclusion about hitchhiking in Mexico and it's this: Read the thousands of stories on the internet about how safe, fun, and easy it is and believe that if you want to experience it you can - it's all true, and it's not that far from home.

My pictures from around the world

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