Name: Julia Leibig
From: Germany, Nürnberg
Job: Bachelor Student of Social Work
What do you think about hitchhiking…?
- I’ve loved it ever since I tried it for the first time! It is not just some hobby to me but also sort of a lifestyle. Maybe it is comparable to surfing – if you wait for some time, sure enough someone will stop for you/you’ll catch a wave. I find myself longing to be on the road again almost all the time – except for when I am.
When did you start hitchhiking?
- I started three years ago when I was visiting a friend of mine in Regensburg and then decided on a whim to hitchhike back instead of taking a train.
Do you have some tips for it?
- I do not have any surprising advice. Just try to look really friendly and harmless – smile a lot.
How many hours long was your longest waiting time ever?
- My longest waiting time was eight hours in a German gas station. But I still arrived back home that evening!
What was your coolest experience during your hitchhikings?
- Once I was stuck in a French gas station overnight and was allowed to sleep on a couch in the shop. Before I went to sleep I made a sign with my destination on it which was still around 200km away. In the early morning I was woken by some Austrian monks who went that way and took me.
What was your worst experience ever?
- Last Easter I hitchhiked back from France with a friend of mine. After midnight we arrived at a gas station that was only maybe fifty kilometers from Nürnberg. We got into a car and discovered after a few minutes that this guy was a neo-nazi…
What do you think about the drivers, who do NOT pick up hitchhikers? Are they afraid of something…?
- I think that some of them might be afraid. But most of them seem to feel like not sharing the sanctuary of their cars. I think it has to do with them wanting to keep their privacy.
How was your ColdHitch experience?
- I liked ColdHitch a lot even though we were disqualified in the end. For me this race was always mostly about meeting fellow hitchhikers and getting to know the rural side of Hungary a bit better. And that I did.
What was the furthest place you reached by hitchhiking?
- Poltawa, Ukraine (bit more than 2000 km).
What’s your message to the world?
- There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way. Actually not by me but by Buddha.