Most self-described “adventurers” contemplate hitch-hiking at least once. For those of us who can’t afford skydiving or swimming with sharks, it’s a bargain basement variety of thrill seeking. You stand on the side of a strange interstate, stick your thumb out, and brace yourself for the possibility of a serial killer like Ted Bundy slowing down and beckoning you into their car. Despite all the warnings from family and strangers, the odds of being murdered and having your organs sold (or eaten) are reassuringly low. Here are five well-known people who have taken the risk/taken the plunge and stuck their thumbs out in the name of exciting travel on the cheap:
1. John Waters. Curious about the experience since he was a kid, the director of Pink Flamingos and Serial Mom decided to hitchhike cross-country; he even wrote a book about it.
2. Jack Keroauc. The author of On the Road was a hitchhiker as much for the experience as reaching a destination.
3. Jim Morrison. The future singer of the Doors was a frequent hitchhiker when attending college in Florida. He would often turn down rides, even in a rainstorm, if the driver looked “uninteresting.”
4. Tom Cruise. When the star of Mission Impossible and Rain Man was 18 and broke, he often hitch-hiked home from New York City. As he tells the story, prostitutes would con their johns into giving the unknown actor rides through the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey.
5. Bono was out walking in Vancouver, British Columbia when a steady rain started falling. Neither he nor his assistant had an umbrella so the singer from U2 walked up to the highway and stuck his thumb out. The Irish rock star was picked up by non other than Gilbert Brule of the Edmonton Oilers.