LITHUMANIA: Tales From Bummit

What I learnt about humanity on the 2013 hitchhike to Vilnius


Bummit to Vilnius 2013; one of the craziest weeks of my life but in the best kind of way.

It took my two team mates and I thirty one lifts in cars and lorries and one overnight train, but we eventually managed to navigate our way through seven countries to the end point which, this year, was Vilnius, Lithuania.

Below I have chosen a few of my favourite parts of the trip and stolen a few stories from others and put it together as a list of things I learnt during the great RAG hitchhike of 2013.


Hitchhiking (for the most part) will restore your faith in humankind.


After standing at a roundabout for four hours in temperatures below freezing and receiving countless shakes of the head, a few middle fingers and laughter (yes, laughter) you may decide most people are heartless and cruel. However, that starts you thinking, if I saw three randomers on the side of a roundabout it is highly unlikely I would stop.

And so that behaviour becomes understandable, if not predictable, so that when someone does stop, the relief and pure love you feel for them goes much beyond what it reasonably should. Especially when they bring out warm fruit tea and a croissant and give it to you even though it was clearly their snack for the long journey.



Lorry drivers, though some look like extras from the film Taken, are absolutely lovely.


Especially when just letting you in their lorry is not allowed given they only have one other seat; so to get all three of us in we had to be sat on the bed! First time round, we were simply instructed to duck when he spotted police (pretty amusing to say the least) but the second time our savvy driver radioed ahead and so knew there were no police.

They love to tell you all about their family and ask if you’re from London, and if they have anything they can share, odds are they will offer it to you.


The Bummit Bible will become your life line


With explanations of the trip and useful phrases in all the languages you encounter, without it our team might still be stuck somewhere around the Belgium/Germany border. Leading me onto my next point…


Language barriers can be disastrous…


This did lead us to being dropped at a dead lay-by full of lorries that were only there so the driver could sleep. Given it is illegal hitch on the motorway we were left trying to wave at the few lorry drivers that were awake, begging them to let us in but having most of them wave us away. Making matters even bleaker, there were two more bummiteers that had been stuck there for hours.

Czech me out

Thanks to my team mate’s perseverance, he accosted a business man who had only pulled in to take a call and pestered him until he agreed to at least take us to the next town. It could have been much worse, like the team I heard about that managed to hitch on a train that took them to what they thought was Essen in Germany. Something to note is that there are two Essens in Europe, one in Germany and the other in the Netherlands. Probably a good idea to be sure which one you are heading to before you get there and start hearing a bit too much Dutch…