“Nothing happens without purpose”

An interview with 19-year old hitchhiker Miglė

Miglė Šerelytė
Miglė Šerelytė

Miglė Šerelytė from Lithuania is a real hitchhiking expert. Each year, she hikes about three times from Groningen to Lithuania and back.

Even being only 19 years old, she seems like someone who can take good care of herself.During a meeting of Groningen’s couchsurfing community, she shares some of her experiences about hitchhiking.

“I actually have always wanted to hitchhike but nobody agreed that it was a good idea. But still, I started with it four years ago, when I was only fifteen.

One day, my friend and I really had to go to Vilnius to attend a workshop there. So we went to the road and actually hitchhiked. We felt like kings of the world, that we could do anything and go everywhere. So then, I realized the joy of hitchhiking!

My parents were of course totally against it. They thought I was abnormal that I liked to hitchhike, that something was wrong with my brain. “If you want to kill yourself, okay go”, they said in the beginning.

But I convinced them that this is just who I am, that this is how I am happy. I also have made an agreement with my mom that I send her the number of the car when I get in. So sometimes when I am not feeling too sure about the driver, I really do that.

Once, I made it from Groningen to Lithuania in only 26 hours. That was my record. But I only go directly if I am really in a hurry. Mostly, I stop in Warsaw or Berlin, using Couchsurfing for finding a place to sleep.

One time, I had to wait 6 hours in Hamburg. That was really horrible. But I always had in my mind: Nothing happens without purpose. So I thought the waiting would be worth it because I would meet an amazing person that I could remember all my life.

And guess who took me? A friend of the Dalai Lama! He had been the Dalai Lama’s assistant and he had so much positive energy. We talked about life, and values, and where we are heading to and I was eating every word of what he said. So, I will definitely remember that all my life!

When hitchhiking, I always go alone but I am not afraid of what could happen to me. You see, I am still alive. But well, once it happened to me that someone took advantage of my situation. It was with a farmer that offered me a ride in Poland.

He seemed nice but after some time, he stopped the car in the field. And he said “Do you want sex?’. Oh my god, that was so horrible! Damn, I got so angry! If he would have touched me, if he would have laid only one finger at me…

He actually got afraid of me, so he drove me back to the city! I think that the whole thing was actually a good experience because I learned not to trust everyone with my fullest heart.

Because before, I had always thought that people are good and as long as you are good to them, they are also going to be good to you. But since that happened to me, I am more careful.

But this one time was just once and I had so many great encounters and met so many great people. Hitchhiking is my life, my lifestyle, my passion, my hobby. Life is not about your age, it is about experience. Experience makes you older. The more you see, the more you know and the more mature you are.

Since I started with hitchhiking, I realized that I am independent. I am free; I can go anywhere I want. I can meet people. I can explore the world. And I don’t even need money for that.”

This interview was first published in Unlocked Magazine in January 2015.

Want to know more about hitchhiking? Check out what other people in Groningen think about it here or read about practical tips.


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