I recently spent around three weeks hitchhiking to San Diego and back from Seattle, WA. Over the course of 35 rides and nearly 2400 miles I managed to take a few photos during my journey along the west coast. When I couldn’t find a ride I’d just get on my board and cruise down the shoulder until someone picked me up(covered around 100 miles). With hitchhiking, your reality shifts in a way that exposes you to what it means to live in a world that you create through relinquishing the struggle for control of your situation, just flowing from moment to moment. You wake up with the sun hitting your face, roll up your sleeping bag covered in dew, throw your pack onto your shoulders, no idea where you will end up or what you will experience that day or the next. Along my trip I slept in national, state, and city parks, at schools (and an abandoned one in Eureka, CA), beaches, above the fogline atop a mountain foothill in Big Sur, backyard tents people put me up in, a broke down Astro Van outside of LA, skateparks, and bushes at a gas station in Lincoln City, just to name a few.
You’ll cross paths and get a ride with a complete stranger, which leads to another ride, then another, until eventually you start to realize that there is no right place at the right time, but that every place and time is the right one if you let things unfold by themselves. All you can really do is try to accept whatever happens… you learn to laugh at yourself and shift outwards, just experiencing the synchronistic flow of life and events captured in the present moment of space and time buzzing all around you, while you take a second on this spinning rock hurling through the universe to appreciate the beauty that emerges when you just let go.
Reflecting back on the photos I shot during this trip, I realized that with photography, it’s not so much about trying to capture any particular moment, but instead allowing that moment to capture you (just make sure to take off the lens cap first).