Confessions of an 82-year-old hitchhiker

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The founder of the Bradt travel guides and author of a new memoir has been thumbing lifts all over the world since her teens – and has no intention of stopping now

‘‘No one hitchhikes any more, do they?” I often hear people saying this and am proud to reply that I’ve hitchhiked every decade of my life, except the first. And I don’t intend to stop just because I’m now in my 80s.

So there I was, standing beside the road in southern Bavaria last year at the age of 82, with a sheepish smile on my face and thumb extended, while car after car swept past looking at me curiously. I could have taken the bus; indeed, that was the plan when I firmly told my companions that a seven-mile walk was enough for me, and they could complete the final five miles to Egloffstein, where we were staying, on their own.

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