It was after a great day of snorkelling in the ocean during our trip to the Cook Islands. There were 6 of us travelling together but since we booked our trips separately, half of us were staying in another part of the island. So, we three girls hitchhiked the first ride and waved bye to our friends as the sun finally went down for the day.
My friend was the one who talked to the driver so we thought the ride was safe to go. As I hopped in the back seat I saw a case of beer. I didn't think much of it until the guy started driving, and the empty beer bottles rolled and clinked in the back seat. A small alarm sets off in my brain. "Stay calm," I told myself.
And, then the driver started talking.
His words were so slurred, none of us could understand what he was saying. We didn't say a word to each other, but we all knew we had to get out of there quickly. He mumbled a story about how he was going for another beer run and that no cops on the island catch you if you're drinking and driving. He tried to ask us where we lived but we made something up as we continued to find a way to get out.
Us three girls can take him down if he tries to do something funny right?
I think to myself, as I try to remember all the kickboxing lessons I've ever taken.
"You don't mind do you?" he asks but doesn't bother to wait for our response as he begins to gulp down his beer, with one hand on the wheel.
At that moment, we passed by a fast food place selling fried chicken. Instantly, my friend says, "Drop us off right here actually, we're going to get food." He says, "Okay, let me turn around and drop you at the entrance." He starts to turn the car around, our adrenaline rushing through our body we quickly say no and open the doors before the car is completely stopped. We didn't realize till later that we got off in the middle of a highway.
We walked quickly towards the store and waited for a few minutes to make sure our drunk driver was gone. We were able to hitchhike another ride home on the back of sweet Aunty Mae's pickup truck.
I don't tell this story to scare you from ever trying to hitchhike. This was one story that happened to me, but for the most part, I've had cool experiences hitchhiking with some very fascinating people. It's also recommended by the locals on the island to hitchhike as it is usually safe, free and faster to get around than the bus.
If you are going to try hitchhiking, get a good judgment of the driver's character within the first few seconds of interacting with them before you get in the car. And of course, if you feel unsafe during that car ride: make a run for it, call for help, have a pretend phone call on the phone. Do whatever you need to, to get out of that situation quickly.
What sticky situations have you gotten yourself into in the past? Share your story in the comments below!