Don’t Panic: a Townshippers guide to hitchhiking

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Dougherty
By: 
Gordon Lambie
Staff Writer

Lily Banks of Island Brook says that, before last spring, she had only ever occasionally hitchhiked between Lennoxville and Sherbrooke, and the extent of her travelling outside of the Eastern Townships was very limited.

In May of 2016, she tried something a little bit different.

“I figured why not put on a backpack and stick out my thumb and see where it leads me?” Banks said.

The answer, as it turns out, is across Canada and back again. The trip west took her four and a half days from the point she left Sherbrooke to her arrival in Hope, British Colombia. Once there, Banks said that she spent her summer working as a picker on organic fruit farms, getting from place to place in more or less the same way she got there.

“It was hard, hard, hard work,” the traveller said, “a lot of getting up at 3am and working in 30 to 40 degree temperatures for very low wages, but it was worth it for the people that you meet.”

From the organic farmer she got a lift from in Manitoba who taught all about the inner workings of organic farming, to the girl in Ontario who walked her through the world of tree planting, to a wealth of friendly truckers, the people are what Banks said represent her greatest take away from the adventure.

“I left with anxiety issues and came back feeling a lot more free and a lot more loving,” the young Townshipper said

Read the full story in Tuesday's Record

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