An unspoken rule of thumbing on the road, "First in , first out." meant that we either sat and wait for the traveler to get picked up or we hit the pavement. We chose the former. He had no luck, gave up and left us with the fading light and trickle of traffic. We waited about for an hour in the dark, then begrudgingly turned to town not knowing how far we'd venture or where we'd sleep.
Flavors of Fear
While not every not everyone's fear will involve the uncertainty of hitching, everyone who seeks to travel long term will find themselves facing some uncertainty in their minds. It might be a broken down bus on a 20 hour trek though some back country in Thailand, a previously unplanned theft of your passport or running out of money while in the midst of an adventure.
There can and will be any number of surprises on the road. They can come in waves strong enough to topple the most scrupulous of planning or prepared of individuals. No matter what you face, if you keep your eyes peeled and your senses sharp you might be surprised at what opportunities arise.
Trusting in the Road
As in much of life, luck plays a part in the opportunities and conditions we encounter on the road. And the road you will find will lead to not only different lives, but also to unforeseen challanges.
It is in these challenges that you will examine the conditions of your making. How you adapt and overcome these obstacles says as much about your character as it can alter and enrich your life. It is precisely the challenges that are offered to you and your opportunities to enhance your character that lay the best case for trusting in the road. While not always arriving at a favorable or positive outcome your are always given the opportunity. For an American, these opportunities are an integral thread in the fabric that idealizes the American experience.
Work with What You Have
To meet these challenges you must rely on your skills, judgment and creativity of your mind. You will likewise be afforded many opportunities to test and hone these attributes.
When you are short on resources you must be long on ingenuity. Perhaps you are short on cash than you must become accomplished in a given field where the opportunities exist. Several times I have found myself required to quickly adapt to a new style of living and employment in order to connect current situation A to desired future destination B.
Even along that path there might be several short trips to arrive at the desired destination. Along these trips all you might have is your keen social awareness and your hitching thumb. As simple of tools as the are, they might be all that is needed if used properly.
Faith and Preparation
When using your keen abilities and carefully-honed assets, there are two divergent states of mind in which you can exist. These are: faith and the constant state of preparation.
There are always the kind and compassionate individualsyou will encounter. Even when you don't expect or need a thing, people will surprise you with their compassion, generosity and benevolence.
Whether or not you decide to accept their offers of kindness you should recognize the nature of its underlying uncertainty and tendency to develop dependency in oneself. Having the faith to commit yourself to the goodwill of humankind is a revolutionary act amongst the caricatures inhabiting society we live in today.
The delicate art of preparation on the road is an ever developing, fine-tuned skill. To be daily ready for whatever the day's travels bring is a homage to monotonous preacticality.
While a constant vanguard against the unforeseen, one can lose sight of the prime focus of life on the road....adventure. If one is always expecting the unexpected, surely there is hardly time to appreciate the trip.
Neither adoption of extremes will suffice for a persons full enjoyment of a life of travel. Surely each individual must find their own balance to satisfy their unique travel experience and fear to conquer.