Go Hitchhiking… Ride without money!

Go Hitchhiking… Ride without money!

Hitch hiking | travel | tour | distance | destination

Did you ever met people asking for a ride, with their thumbs up, while holidaying with your family; or found yourself helplessly begging for help to reach your lodge! Such ways of travelling to reach nearby college, signal, petrol bunk, service or railway station or any other place is called  “hitchhiking.”

Hitchhiking is a non-formal travel means, asking strangers for a ride in their vehicles to travel a distance that is either short or long. But the main purpose is to reach your destination with little cost. Hitchhiking became common during the years of Great Depression in US when people had very less job options and started migrating towards other parts of the country to find employment.

During those times the Federal Government gave its acceptance for hitchhiking when Federal Transient Bureau was handling the migration of unemployed persons. Federal Transient Bureau gave food and shelter to the transients till the year 1936. But problems started when some persons who posed as hitchhikers started robbing and even murdering the drivers. There were instances where drivers committed crime on hitchhikers.

Hitchhiking is about travelling without paying money that may involve some interesting discussions with the driver. The discussions may involve telling the purpose of travel, or something interesting about your place and people, or about worldly things. Sometimes the driver may feel happy just for having the company of the new person.

But in some parts of Central Asia they may charge some amount, especially if the hitchhiker is a foreigner. In one movie “It Happened One Night” female hitchhikers exposed their legs to get a ride. Many authors have even written books on hitchhiking such as Jack Kerouac who immortalized it by his book “On the Road”, and Roald Dahl wrote in his book “The Hitchhiker” the stories one may hear while giving someone a ride.

Hitch hiking in some countries

Hitchhiking gestures vary across countries, and a normal gesture in one country is taboo elsewhere. Cultural differences or obscene meaning associated with it is the reason for that. Different gestures are used to hitchhike. For e.g., in US, one may gesture with thumb up; in South America they may show back of one’s hand with the index finger pointing up; in Israel, one may hold one’s fist out with the index finger pointing towards the way; in India, people may gesture in an US way or may wave one’s hands, moving their down facing palm up and down.

In China, you cannot consider covering many miles hitchhiking and trying it in Tibet is also banned. In Thailand, using left hand gesture is of no use as its only use is for bodily uses. People in Italy may consider showing of thumb as an offensive sexual sign. In Greece nodding of one’s head sideways means “yes”.

Hitchhiking in France’s Mediterranean coast is pleasurable, where you’ll find many cars and friendly people. In countries like Germany you have to ask people for ride instead of standing and making gestures, exceptions for this are the countries such as Australia or New Zealand. For hitchhiking two is the maximum limit of people.

Hitchhiking is both an adventure as well as a challenge as it involves extensive travelling with comfortable and rough, good well as bad experiences. In UK, thousands of students involve in it and travel thousands of miles; Durham University started a competition, where one who travelled farthest without spending any money was awarded the title of best hitchhiker.

Hitchhiking is a beautiful experience if one is not rushing for some job or some work. It is a feeling of freedom as one  will be moving in an unconventional way, and having a close encounters with nature, people, society and the world. Those who just do it for the sake of adventure go all out for it and find summer as the best time.

In India many go for adventure tours or  visit holy places. Hitchhiking is possible in any part of the world and connecting with people is the key that will make your hitchhiking more easy and pleasant. If you are smart enough you can complete the whole trip hitchhiking. But make sure you know some important things beforehand to make their trip safe and enjoyable.

Hitchhiking Tips:

  • Take precautions and be prepared to walk all the way if you don’t get a ride. Don’t be demanding if one doesn’t agree. In some countries hitchhiking or standing for the same in highways is illegal.
  • Get one good map which shows important things such as places for boarding and lodging in more detail.
  • Scan your ID (visa and passport, if travelling internationally) and keep a soft copy in your e-mail.
  • Keep bank account & customer care number of your credit and debit card before you leave; if it is lost you can call and immediately freeze your account. Have enough money, but do not carry valuables.
  • Keep flash light, good bright clothes to suit that climate, things for protection against rain, and sufficient food and drink. Stealing is the left out option if all food options vanish.
  • Keep a tent and a soft handy sleeping bag if you don’t get place for sleep. Keep your luggage and money close to you. Wash your clothes where possible or keep some extra clothes. Can get bath in public toilets or in pools. Travel light.
  • Pack some pepper spray or penknife if you meet a shady person, on or off the road. Women should wear either wedding ring or some ornament of marriage, and have a ready-made line of words ready that makes the other person know that her spouse is waiting at the destination. Take a front seat as back seat will have child lock and in case of problem it would be difficult to come out.
  • Make a sign in a cardboard by permanent marker for making them read and understand as you are literate and safe for a ride.
  • Find a good place for hitchhiking such as near gas stations, picnic areas, border of town that is away from bus stops and city limits in the direction in which you have to move.
  • Dress yourself neatly, don’t drink, and try not to get drenched; avoid looking like a jailbreak or like freak. Confirm where they are going before taking a ride.
  • Make an eye contact and keep a pleasant smile. Talk with the driver in a friendly way.

Say No to Saliva Contaminated Food

Say No to Saliva Contaminated Food

Recently, I was watching this Hollywood movie “The 13th Warrior” with friends and in this particular scene, the warriors spat and blew their noses into a communal water basin and drank from it, my stomach wriggled. That scene also reminded me of a birthday party in a media company where people shared the cake tasted by others, a saliva contaminated one !!!


Sharing foods is not a bad idea, when it is for the needy ones and is hygienic. But occasions such as party, especially the ones involving close friends and acquaintances, are potential situations where saliva contamination can occur. Sometimes, a management’s interested in advertising their fun office culture, or people considering it as a way to develop closer bonds.

I am of the view that consuming saliva contaminated foods is risky as saliva harbors harmful bacteria and viruses. It need not be only through foods bitten by others, but also through hands or fingers that hold the foods and reach the mouth. I have always been an avid follower of topics related to science, medicine and hygiene, and unhygienic food habits make me wonder if people truly are aware of health risks or not.

Some may or may not feel the same way, but the medical facts about diseases that spread through saliva are here to stay. But I am confident, there are millions who share the same view as of mine.

Cultures & their influence

Cultures affect people’s lifestyles and you can see them in their peculiar behaviors & traditions. Recent trends in changing lifestyles show that the world is gradually drifting towards west. Here are some surprising ones.

  • Japanese bowing at each other to greet and use chopsticks to eat.

  • African tribals rub each others’ nose to greet.

  • Americans shake hands, hug or make each others’ cheeks touch to greet (but sometime go overboard like Mr. Obama kissed Aung San Suu Kyi).

  • Indians fold their palms to convey ‘namaskar.’

Hygienic habits such as washing hands, keeping surroundings clean are better ways to keep disease at bay, whereas spitting pan on walls, urinating in public places, so on are dirty and can become breeding grounds of diseases!!!

Saliva contains bacteria and viruses that can potentially carry health problems such as cold, fever (glandular), herpes infection, meningococcal disease, hepatitis B, warts and so on. Saliva contamination or unhygienic health conditions or water can also cause jaundice.

How it can happen?

Saliva exchange can happen in many ways – kissing, sharing foods, so on… Some may find them as ways to connect with people, but potential dangers wait for their turn to take control of your body resistance!


As is obvious from the above situations that there’s no substitute for hygienic food habits and lifestyle. Practice healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Fishing – a Wonderful Hobby

English: Fishing Equipment at the head of Loch...

English: Fishing Equipment at the head of Loch Eynort. Lobster pots and an old boat at the end of the public road. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Fishing – a Wonderful Hobby

Fishing | Water| River| Hobby | Nature | Bait

Amidst our daily hustle bustle of life it is natural that you forgot about how beautiful and soothing is the nature. A day out in nature can take you away from this buzzing world and make you energized. Fishing is one such a wonderful, recreational outdoor activity and a hobby that can make you come back to your lively normal self.

A mere mention of the word ‘fishing’ would make your thoughts flow to some beautiful hilly land with large pine trees and a soft cover of tender green grass; where a wide stream of cold and crystal clear water is rushing into the lowland, baring the soil of grass, overcoming the obstacles and reducing them into oval pebbles. You might see fishes either as swimming in shallow water or performing somersaults, or just mere water bubbles on the surface where they are swimming.

Old memories

You might remember the day when your father took you all to a picnic and just a few feet away from the shore of that famous pond you saw a man in dirty clothes and a hat, standing in water, holding fishing bait and concentrating on the bait. You knew without even your father needing to say that he was fishing. You stared at the water where the bait dipped, wondering about the kind of fish his hook may pull out – a salmon, a sardine or a tuna! And then your attention came back to the world when your father said, ‘let’s go’, but without himself making any effort to move.

Feeling nostalgic! You can bring back those old memories and cherish them again. What you just need to do is – just get yourself a fishing bait and drive with your family to some pleasant spot – a pond or a shallow river.

A great learning experience

Fishing can teach you a lot of things about nature – the dangers, the survival, the pleasure, the hobby and the beauty of life. Make sure that you are safe while you do fishing as wild animals such as bears and big cats usually prowl or wait for their prey near water bodies. It is always better having a company of people who can help you in danger.

Fishing in wilderness or in river water is very dangerous as there are chances that crocodiles or alligators lurk out for an ambush. Even in places near your home you might see a snake if there is a water body nearby or see marshy areas that can pull the anyone inside. There are many such cases where people have either sunk or confronted wild animals.

Preparing yourself for such a situation and keeping ready the things of help is very important. Here are some tips that can make your fishing activity safe and pleasant.


  • Get yourself a fishing license if your country needs you to have it for fishing.
  • Wear clothes that can protect you from extremes of the climates. Keeping a supply of warm clothes and hot beverages is very good idea.
  • Visit some good store and get yourself a durable good quality fishing bait.
  • If you do not know swimming please stay away from water or be with  those who know how to rescue a drowning person. Wear floating gears when you enter water.
  • If a person comes to pull you out from water try to reach the front or rear end of the boat, slowly by holding on to the boat and then climb or else the boat may capsize.
  • Look for the depth and force of the current as these can change suddenly. Never go near strong current and whirlpools.
  • In case someone is drowning try to stand on firm ground and reach that person with things such as strong long branches or throw rope.
  • While fishing stand on a firm ground so a big fish or a creäture do not pull you inside the water.
  • Avoid fishing on boat. In case you feel strong pull towards water you can cut the baiting thread if there is sharp knife or scissor with you.
  • Keeping a snake antidote is very useful. Be aware of your surrounding and be with a company of those who can help you and your family in case of any emergency.

Enjoy your fishing and write to me about your experience. I am sure you are hearing the gurgling and roaring of river water. Happy Fishing.

How to Grow your Children?

Children Painting

Children Painting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


How to Grow your Children?


At one or the other point of life you might have wondered on how mysteriously and swiftly the time passes and things change in your life! Your cheeks that were so smooth during your childhood lose their smoothness and develop wrinkles, and the your voice tone changes from smooth to coarse in men and to shrill in women. You will find that you have lost your innocence somewhere in the wilderness of life and have piled up a huge garbage of guilt and sins. Here in this blog you will discover some of the aspects related to how to let your child grow.


Human beings, like all other animals have phases of life such as infancy, teenage, adulthood, and old age. You grow unaware of the changes that are gradually happening in your life as well as in others’, and will ponder at those who opine that you have a grownup lot. You pursue your education, take up jobs, and reach a stage when you marry someone you love and have children. Then it comes a time when you experience what your parents have undergone while bringing you up. You will begin to feel that your children are the biggest challenges to deal with! You will wonder at their energy levels and become frustrated when their wish list seems endless.


You try to put restrictions on our children and your children look at you as if they are looking at some monster! It is true that with time human memory decreases and you tend to forget most of the things that you have learnt over time; you will also forget how you behaved when you were a child. The problem arises here when parents fail to understand their children. To add to this problem our education system differentiates children based on the scores obtained in some exams, while each child will have its own personality, skill sets, and strengths and weaknesses.


Children are very sensitive to their surroundings and learn from each incidence that happens around them. It also is a fact that father and mother are the first teachers for their children. Science has found that it is so even in animals; newborns follow their parents, watch their every move and do exactly as their parents behave, and you can check this out yourself. Just bring a newly hatched chick, separate it from its mother, and stay with this chick for sometime and it will consider you like its parent and will follow you wherever you go.


This is the way young ones learn new things from its surroundings. If parents shout at each other, then their children perceive that it is an ideal way a husband and a wife should behave. If parents use bad words then children will learn that too. It is also very important to note that parents are not the only one from whom children learn things; the surroundings, friends, relatives, neighbors, and teachers also influence the children and their learning.


A teacher may find that his/her student is using bad words or abusing his classmates, and wonder how can it happen when no teacher could have taught all that. But it will also be a fact that the student has learnt it somehow from somewhere! Parents may find that they have never used bad words against their children but their children are using swear words.


It is time to know that the children learn from their surroundings and if you want to grow your children in a particular way you must create an environment which is conducive to such a growth. If children fight then you should tell and make them understand the rights and the wrongs. If you do not want your child to grow timid or abusive do not abuse your child or do not let others to do so. If you find that your child seems withdrawn, find out the reason and create a positive environment that acts as distraction from the troubles your child is facing.


Getting your child admitted to a yoga or a music class, swimming, sports or adventure club can do wonders and act as great stress buster to your child. Developing good reading habits and orientation towards God and spirituality can also instill good values in your child. It will also help your child grow healthy and strong, and develop skills that can help the child explore and strengthen the creativity.


Raising your child is not much different from growing a plant; a plant will grow using whatever it gets from the soil. If a plant gets good things it will bear good fruits, if they receive bad things you will get spoilt ones. What you sow, so shall you reap!


Vinod Kumar




Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle and Food Habits

It is natural for most of us to have concerns about our health for now we have a number of health problems. Those who are thinking of the best way of maintaining good health may feel this article ‘Healthy Lifestyle,’ a sensible thing to read. Here I will be suggesting those things which are scientifically acceptable, practical and easy to follow. One should consider the rationale behind these before coming to any conclusions. So those interested just read on…

I have always believed that humans are a part of nature and that they have survived on this earth by staying on top of the food chain. But as times changed, the lifestyle changed and humans began to live an easy sedentary life and started gorging on processed foods. As a result we have become physically weak and vulnerable than of most of the animals in the animal kingdom.  We can even say that we have become so weak that we cannot survive without processed foods. The food on which the man survived during olden days has now become coarse and hard for direct consumption. As a result most of the natural foods such as milk, vegetables, meat, etc. as raw foods can cause health problems such as diarrhoea, constipation, infection, etc. But natural foods as well as healthy lifestyle are very essential for maintaining healthy body. Due to the absence of these two we have abundance of diseases like diabetes, eye problems, skin infections, weak bones and immune system, etc.

So what would be an ideal food for all, and what would be the steps one should take to have a healthy lifestyle?

Vegetarian Foods

Vegetables: Beans, Carrots, Cabbage, Lettuce, Broccoli, Brinjal, Beetroot, Radish, Peas, Drumsticks, Lady’s Finger, Cucumber, Turnips, Spinach, Soya beans, etc.

Cereals: Wheat, Oats, Rice, Barley, Millets, Maize, etc.

Non-Vegetarian Foods

Non-Vegetarian Food sources: Milk, Eggs, Fishes, Crabs, Chicken, Prawns, Mutton, etc.

Healthy Lifestyle:

Healthy lifestyle is all one needs to be healthy, and one must look for things that make it all happen. There are some key elements which makes unknowingly essential parts of our foods. Science has abundance of information about these essential elements (vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, etc.), which we must include in our daily diet to keep up good health. We should gradually try to make them part of our lives. Here are some steps one should take for maintaining healthy food habits and healthy lifestyle.

We should:

* Include variety of fresh, tender, well-washed vegetables in our regular diet.

*Always remember to include proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in required proportions in the form of your above-mentioned natural foods.

*As far as possible avoid (canned/processed) junk foods.

*Exercise regularly to make the body absorb nutrients and be fit.

*Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

*Have good habits and friends.

*Quit smoking and excessive alcohol.

*Get at least 6-8 hours of undisturbed sleep every day.

*Last but not least, always think healthy, think God.


Vinod Kumar

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