That's it, you've reached the end of the guide. We've talked about who should hitchhike (everyone), why you should choose to hitch (because it's an adventure), and the four hitching commandments. We've gone step-by-step through the entire hitchhiking process, from planning, to packing, to arriving at your destination. We've also discussed how to live comfortably on the road: how to sleep, eat, earn money, and travel safely. Now it's time to put down this book, step out of the door, and put this advice into action. The whole world is out there waiting for you.
There are some experienced hitchhikers who, when I told them I was writing a guide to hitchhiking, asked me “Why?”. To them, hitchhiking is such a simple act that writing a guide seemed pointless. And the truth is, you can ignore all the advice in this book, walk out your front door, stick out your thumb by the nearest road, and you'll probably get to where you want to go. If you forget my advice, or if you don't agree with it, that's fine. If you were to go out, do everything completely opposite to my recommendations, and still have a good experience – I wouldn't be surprised. What you have learned in this guide is only my method for hitchhiking, which I have discovered through trial and error. These methods have allowed me to travel quickly, comfortably, and happily – but the best methods for you may be different. The world tends to reward positive people who don't mind exchanging a little comfort for a lot of adventure, no matter what they do.
If you've never hitchhiked before, I hope I've given you an honest view of what it's like on the road. Don't be put off if, at times, this book seems to focus more on the risks and challenges of hitchhiking. Just being aware of the risks and challenges can help you to deal with them before they become a problem. The vast majority of the time, hitchhiking is an amazing, fulfilling experience, and you'll finish almost every journey with the satisfying re-affirmation that humans are essentially good after all.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single thumb.