I come from a place where hitchhiking or trainhopping doesn't exist. I even learned the "hitchhiking" term last year. It has always been seen to me as something they do on films and stuff like that, until last year. We went on a roadtrip from Oregon to Arizona and it was the first time we experienced this amazing culture. We didn't know how to react to it since where I come from you could get easily killed picking up a stranger in the middle of the road. Here seems to be a very natural thing to do. I felt a desire to do it as well and experience total freedom, just leaving all the material shit behind and survive, eat, sleep, think, write, shoot, move, learn, LIVE. It seems weird but I always liked the idea of the zombie apocalypse and just surviving. I guess I'm being too extreme and a zombie attack is not necessary to live on the road.
When I read The Dharma Bums it just intensified that desire (except for eating so much canned food) but it made me think that it was only something possible to do back in the day. Specially if you're a girl, it seemed to me a very scary move. But looking at this amazing series of pictures by Mike Brodie made me realize it is still a very possible thing to do, but not by myself. Mike, with a polaroid camera, spent 4 years on the roads of US with this group of youngsters documenting his and their explorations making of this experience a true collection of American travel photography. Although he has stopped making photographs, the body of work he made in four short intense years has left an enduring impact on the photo world. I truly admire and have a deep respect for these people and I'm very thankful that Mike Brodie documented this. I think this guy has made history.
Make sure to check out the entire collection (which I almost put everything here) on his website.