The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Hitchhiking is Dangerous
I often meet people who are inspired by my courage to hitchhike. They think it’s brave, risky and dangerous, but when I think about it, i don’t think it’s very special but that’s probably because I’m accustomed to it by now.
In 2014, I was hitchhiking down the West coast of America near a small town called San Luis Opisbo when I stopped off to grab a drink in a service station.
I got talking with a girl called Lizzie who was working behind the counter and begun to tell her about my hitchhiking adventure across America.
I was finishing my auto pilot speech, when Lizzie cut it short and said. “Daniel you’re so brave, I could never hitchhike, it’s dangerous and I’ll get kidnapped or murdered.”
I pondered on this thought for a few seconds and replied “where does this thinking come from Lizzie?”
“Haven’t you watched the news or seen the movies?”
“But have you ever tried hitchhiking before Lizzie?”
“No, I’d never dream of it.”
“Ok it’s probably time to leave now Lizzie.”
But it was clear to me that Lizzie was set with her position on hitchhiking and this conversation provoked me to think and stuck with me for the rest of the day.
Who had taught Lizzie to think this way?
Why was she so fixed with her position?
Why was my perception of hitchhiking so much different to Lizzie’s?
A Generalised World
We live in a world that loves to speculate about anything and everything.
We don’t want to put in the work and go and find out for ourselves.
Instead we lazily borrow notions and preconceptions from society, the media and religion to frame our own thinking.
The problem with these preconceptions is that they aren’t necessarily true.
These notions are based on other people’s experiences, not yours.
But other people’s experiences can’t all fit in the same box.
Experiences are wiggly, fuzzy and ambiguous.
Experiences are relative, individual and marked by your belief system, and values – not somebody else’s?
I know, I know, it’s comforting to generalise, squish notions into a box and don’t waste any energy thinking for ourselves.
But here’s a question to ponder:
How can you speculate on something you’ve never experienced before?
Get Out There And Find Out For Yourself…
I get it, it’s good to be cautious, and your Mother will be proud of you.
But holding preconceptions about the world limit our experience and stop us from doing great things.
The only way you will ever truthfully know is by being open to challenging your belief system, jumping in and finding out for yourself.
That means taking everything you hear with a pinch of salt, getting out into the world and creating your own unique experiences.
Don’t listen to me, the news, a TV programme or anyone else – it will never cut it.
Most of what society, school and my parents taught me turned out to be fabricated truth. It was only by getting out into the world and seeing it with my own two eyes that I was able to reframe my perceptions.
So here’s the final push:
Get out there, and find out for yourself by embarking on your own experiential journey.
And if it’s scaring you, I can tell you this with conviction… it’s never as bad as you think it will be.
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Daniel Beaumont, Sunday 21st February 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Daniel – a 27 year old writer from the north of England, currently living in Bucharest, Romania, where I’m currently writing my first book.
I am passionate by the human experience, especially the connection between travel, life and personal development.
Since 2012 I’ve been on transformational journey, travelling 40 countries across 4 continents.
During my journey, I discovered that travel is a great catalyst for one’s personal growth, and now I want to share want i’ve learned and empower others to embark on their own personal travel journey.
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