Just you… and the Road

Tea with Strangers. Open-air Chinese tea ceremonies with strangers around the world.

“Why I hitchhike? It’s not just the feeling you get after a long day on the road when you finally arrive at your (planned or unplanned) destination. It’s not just the people you meet from every kind of background, who you get to share a moment with, in that tiny metal box hurtling through the air, that you’d never otherwise even share a sentence with. That your standard tourist wouldn’t even glance at, who’s life and ideas you get a window in to. The way in which you get a glimpse of completely alternative reality tunnel, and them too, you teach each other, inspire each other.

Language barrier’s not a real problem, more just a challenge, to communicate with your hands and body language. I’ve managed to discuss philosophy with no more than couple of words shared. It’s not just countless times I’ve been offered food and accommodation, when I’m dragged back to a person’s home, drowned in tea with a mountain of food stacked in front of me. When the children are looking from the window can’t contain their excitement as they see a new and unusual stranger coming down the driveway. It’s not even the people who try to give you money even when they’ve just taken you 300 km for nothing! It’s not even those unlikely people who, though you’ve just met, when it’s time to leave it’s so hard to say goodbye.

It’s not the feeling of freedom and independence you get when you’re alone and you’re just following your own direction, living by your rhythm. But the adventure on your tongue, the wind in your hair as look over a landscape you’ve never seen before as you head in to the unknown. Be it a desert road or a mountain pass, or just the right song at the right time on the radio. Not just a train or plane, but a way you know no other person has ever experienced.

It’s the kindness you find in the trusting. The light in the darkest of places. When your comforts are striped away but there is still something left inside. The glimmer of a smile that sneaks across your face. When it’s just you… and the road.”

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