A LOTTERY OF LIFTS
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I started this project before entering photography school and finished it during my first year of education.
In an age, where discount air trafficking across Europe is starting to reach under the price of a normal taxi driving on 4 wheels across the city, the act of hitch hiking gets more and more frequently questioned by drivers as well as by the media.
Looking a bit more into the activity reveals that there is a lot more about it than simply transport – that it for some people relies on a philosophy where what matters is not just the destination, but that it is the travel somewhere that is the actual travel itself.
Not to mention the environmental reasons for moving by empty car seats, or neither the adventurous element of the unpredictability of it, hitch hiking is a way to get to know– to embrace – other cultures. Traveling by bus or train into a new country allow you to have a view of the landscape, where traveling with people in their cars is a possibility to make direct contact and obtain cultural history and cultural differences, that one would alternatively have gotten represented through a manufactured tourist guide.
Besides the experience of mind-expansion, this way of going by luck by the highway, can offer a possibility of living in the moment. With time efficiency and destination point suddenly as secondary interests, the praxis of hitch hiking leaves awareness to enjoy the spontaneous situation created between the spontaneous people sharing a car ride. The way of being-there, in the moment, on the premises of each other, enforces a kind of openness that characterizes the hitch hiking activity, and leaves you open to get touched by situations or by people. Just like it enforces a peculiar feeling randomness, which can struck you with a sense of absurdity and lead to great fun. When sometimes coincidental experiences or stories told happen to be life-changing, a journey consisting of a hundred rides, several hundred faces and thousands of conversations most often causes a great source of inspiration to the traveler.
Leaving the personal zone of comfort is what makes a person grow up. And within a society where it would be sad to claim that schools are improving consciousness, some people feel the need to seek knowledge somewhere else. But whether it is a sense of learning, of freedom or a sense of risking life that is to be found, is to discover only after surrendering to the lottery of lifts.