History of the club
It all started when a student had to regularly commute long distances. In order to save on expensive train tickets, he stuck his thumb out on the side of the road instead. And Voila, it worked! Hitchhiking to visit friends in Geneva, hitchhiking to a job interview in Zurich, taking a hitchhiking vacation in Valais… In the beginning completely goal-oriented, hitchhiking took on a completely new dimension for this student after having diverse experiences. A dangerous-looking trucker turned out to be a good soul, and our student learned that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. Many times our student wasn’t just given a ride, but also spontaneously invited for a meal. Our student learned that there really are open people in our cold society. Every time a car stops for our student, he thinks: “Selfless readiness to help others really does exist.” That’s how hitchhiking became not just a way to get from A to B, but a passion.
Inspired by the German Hitchhiking Championship organized by Abgefahren e.V. and Tramprennen, the first Swiss Hitchhiking Championship was born. Through it, some like-minded people found each other, and in the end this club was founded.
Goal and Purpose
To dispel prejudices
Opinions about hitchhikers vary. However, they are commonly associated with the following terms: Stinky, Homeless, Crazy, Dangerous, Drunk…
Often, these notions are not based on actual facts, but on fears. Hitchhiking carries risks, no doubt. Exactly like driving a car, traveling by plane or changing a light bulb also carry risks. The fact that many people have had great experiences with hitchhiking (passengers as well as drivers!) is sadly not heard or read very often. We do not want to criticize people that think badly of hitchhiking, as everybody is entitled to an opinion. We just want to encourage a rational opinion about it.
Promote Interpersonal communication
How many people can claim that they aren’t shy at all? Starting a conversation with a stranger isn’t always easy, and requires effort. Once the ice is broken, you wonder why it took so much effort to begin the conversation! Conversation is essential when hitchhiking, and hitchhikers are often the ones that need to start the interaction; for instance, when asking for a ride at a gas station.
Through these interactions, people meet each other that would otherwise probably never meet if it weren’t for hitchhiking. This is a great opportunity for both hitchhikers and drivers to compare their life experiences and learn from each other.
To rediscover a sustainable, convenient and cheap way to travel
In today’s society, it’s hard to imagine not being able to get around where you need to go. However, money for your own car or train ticket isn’t always there. Ride-sharing websites like blablacar offer very cheap organized transportation, but you can’t always find the exact itinerary you’d like. Hitchhiking is a great complementary alternative to the above travel methods in order to reach your destination. In addition, you are not adding more emissions when you hitchhike.