Hitchhiking across Finland
In June we participated a hitchhiking race called Hitchball4000 with my friend Essi. The race started on Friday 6pm from Helsinki and the idea was to go to Lapland only by hitchhiking. The destination was in Kemi and there were two different roads to choose from. The easier road went through middle-Finland and the more difficult one through western Finland. Both roads had two checkpoints that participants had to visit.
Of course we chose the difficult road. The checkpoints were a tower in Kurikka and sand dunes in Kalajoki. We started our race from Helsinki and got our first ride in couple of minutes along with another hitchhiking team. Getting the next rides took more time. We had to stand next to the road for more than an hour. But in the end, we got a ride from a yellow beetle and the driver took us to a traditional dancing ball. That was fun.
We got 16 rides in total. We spent the night without any sleep next to the roads and sitting in cars. We met six other hitchhiking teams on our way. We were in Kemi at 6:30pm on Saturday evening and we ranked at 11th place in the competition. After spending a night in Kemi, we even hitchhiked our way back to Helsinki. Coming back our trip had some ups and downs. Yet we were home just in time on Monday morning before work started. Just in time.
Best things in hitchhiking are those many different people you meet along the way. People, who you would not normally meet. Every meeting can teach us something new and our mind is more open to the world we live in. Of course hitchhiking can be dangerous and you should check carefully to whose car you go into. Most of the time, people are really kind.
Also, when hitchhiking the time of the day and place where you stand are important. At night there were so few cars going that the waiting times were longer than during the day. The best places to get rides were those where cars could slow down and stop to get you in. Having the signs written in cardboard helped us a lot as well.
While we traveled, I filmed vlog to document our journey. When you film while traveling you need to fully know your camera and its settings. You might easily miss moments if you stay for minutes to set up your camera. This is the reason I use about three different settings, which I have saved to my camera as a default. One is for photos, another one for vlogging and talking to camera and one for slow-motion b-roll video. This helps me a lot while traveling and filming at the same time, since I also want to enjoy the trip and not to focus on only filming.
We had a fun trip, even though the weekend included very little amount of sleep. The last photo is Essi at 2am, when we still had no idea how to get home to Helsinki before the morning. Luckily everything turned alright.
You can check the video of the trip here!
Thanks for reading, happy traveling for all!