Have I ever told you about the time when I hitchhiked in Italy? Well sit down and get comfortable while I spill the tea.
I will mention this many times but my trip to Europe this spring started out pretty rough. Cold weather re-routed my itinerary and I missed one bus earlier on in the trip. During this leg of my journey I planned to travel to Ljubljana, Slovenia from Venice, Italy after 24 hours in the “city of canals.”
I started my morning with a tripod photo shoot. Why? Right after sunrise, lighting is ideal and barely anyone is out. I planned on waking up earlier, but in typical Abena fashion, I was running a little late. I only had 30 minutes to get a few images but I got carried away. 45 minutes after I snapped the first picture, I was en route to the Flixbus stop via ferry.
Interesting fact: You can take Flixbus overnight to many European cities. For about €50, booked the same day, I traveled 653 km and crossed 4 boarders to get from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The buses are the equivalent or better than Bolt or Megabus and they have features like WiFi and outlets. Well worth it if you’re cheap like me and want to save on accommodations.
Okay back to the story...Unfortunately, getting to the bus station outside of Venice took a little longer than expected. Well to be honest with you, it was that darn photo shoot with my cell phone and tripod that made me late. Anyway, I lugged my carry-on off the ferry in time to see my bus pull out of the terminal. If I didn’t catch this bus I wouldn't only miss out on Slovenia but also on a connection to Croatia.
What was a girl to do? A man in a jeep pulled out of the bus station’s parking lot and I flagged him down. He was middle aged, with salt and pepper hair, and he had a gigantic dog sitting in the back seat. I was going to hitchhike.
After frantically explaining my dilemma with English, hand gestures, and google translate, he agreed to take me to the bus’ next stop. We caught up to the bus, and he followed it aggressively. About 25 minutes later, I was on my way to Slovenia because of this kind soul who went out of his way to get me to my bus. He even refused to take any money for his trouble.
I think instances where my faith in humanity is restored inspire me to travel and connect with others even more. Venice taught me:
No risk, no reward
You can trust the good in people (but I'm not saying everyone should start hitch hiking)
Better late than never, but never late is better.
PS. Maybe next time I’ll tell you about the time I went to Germany, all expenses paid, to meet a guy from OK Cupid after only talking to him for a month.
Meet Abena -- a girl desperate to find beauty in the world wherever life takes her. This is her journal of discoveries organized by location and featuring tripod iphonography.