My friend Durston made a great blog post about a trip with a stranger. Many people are hesitant to pick up a stranger or even talk to a stranger! Picking up hitch hikers and strangers used to way more common. Same with casual conversations – when you step into an elevator people seem nervous and avoid eye contact in hopes of a peaceful ride – why is that?
Here is Durton’s blog post:
This weekend I went back to Moose Jaw for a little breather and to see my friends to try and relieve a little bit of stress that I have been feeling lately from school. Today I woke up and saw my mom and sister for lunch where we talked about school and the future. The two stresses that have been flooding my mind lately. I left Moose Jaw and about 5 minutes out I passed by a hitchhiker standing on the side of the road thumb up. I drove by mindlessly thinking about school and the stresses I have for the next couple weeks. As I drove by I thought, “I should have picked that guy up.” So the next pass over I hit I made a U turn and I went back and picked him up.
When I pulled over you could tell on his face he was relieved and grateful that I had pulled over which instantly made me feel good. He got in the car said thanks and announced his name to me, “Chris”. At first I just said I’m heading to Regina and I hope that is fine and he was appreciative and said yeah man any little way helps.
We begin talking and I find out he decided 4 days ago to go across Canada and try and make it to the east coast. Friends and Family don’t know what he is doing. The only one who knows is his girlfriend of 7 years who is supporting him 100% in his journey. He was in Canmore, Alberta hiking and snowshoeing, but due to avalanches and bears coming out of hibernation he said it just didn’t seem worth it right now and he’ll go back in July. For now he is just living for the moment as he has nothing but a backpack and an optimistic attitude. He filled me in that he travelled 250km last night and rewarded himself by sleeping in a motel.
After I picked him up the stress about school melted away due to his positive attitude towards life. He asked me about my dreams for travel and when I told them he really encouraged me to go through. He told me about the 8 people that picked me up before him and that this was his life experience before applying for his dreams to become an RCMP.
This guy was a positive energy that I think I needed at this stressful point in my life. He was grateful and his stories just restored my faith that there is goodness in the world still. I enjoyed this guy’s company and drove him all the way Balgonie. He is doing a great thing for his life and when I dropped him off at the side of the highway we took a picture exchange information, but I couldn’t help but be jealous of his carefree attitude and the experience he was gonna have over the next month or two.