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Hitchhiking All Over Europe in the Early 1970s

STORY BY: Mark Niloff
YEAR: 1970

Mark talks about the hitchhiking phenomenon between 1970-73, when massive amounts of kids aged 19-23 would leave Canada in May or June with a backpack and no money, and would hitchhike all over Europe for several months. Mark once went with his girlfriend, and his parents "more or less forced us to get engaged". They shared many good times, and were never worried as they travelled around the continent, meeting other hitchhikers at various hotspots like the Spanish Steps. Mark remembers bringing a plasticized map with a planned itinerary, but they pretty much ignored it after the first three weeks. He then goes on to tell specific stories about travels to Ibiza, Alicante, sleeping on beaches, and smoking with soldiers. "It was easy... nobody was scared... the feeling was still pushing off from the 60s where life was great and everything was easy". Then they got back to the "real world", and these events just became happy memories, but ones that stayed with kids for the rest of their lives. Thanks for sharing, Mark.

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