There is one thing present in hitch-hiking, amateur radio, science and tinkering that I particularly like.
It is uncertainty.
In hitch-hiking, it is impossible to predict exactly when you will arrive at your destination, what kind of people you will meet on the road, and what adventures are there waiting for you.
In amateur radio, when you turn on your transceiver, you don’t know who will be on air, what wave propagation conditions are today, how many contacts you will make, which countries you will work, and in what kind of activities you will participate.
In tinkering, when you make something, it may not behave as expected. Besides that, you usually get new ideas while you are making it, so you end up building something that is completely different from what you had intended initially. The same thing happens in science.
Uncertainty is exciting!
However, I noticed that uncertainty is rarely welcomed.
Many businesses offer you discounts if you sign a long term contract with them. People prefer permanent jobs to short term contracts even if they get a lower salary at their permanent position than they would get as contractors. Ride sharing sites like BlaBlaCar are for those who are willing to pay extra money in order to eliminate uncertainly from hitch-hiking.
Certainty sells well. People buy it.
But I think that certainty is an illusion. It does not exist in real life.
Every long term contract may be terminated for some unexpected reason. If you get a permanent job, your life may turn to a hell when a new idiotic project manager is hired, so you will prefer to resign rather than suffer his stupidity. Ride sharing in BlaBlaCar won’t save you from maniacs.
There are also earthquakes, hurricanes, epidemic diseases and wars…
So when you pay extra for certainty, you just waste your money.
Yet uncertainty is free! Unlike certainly, it really exists in life, and it doesn’t require you to pay money for it. Sales people don’t trick you into buying it.
And it makes life so much more interesting!
A truck driver who gives you a lift may tell you a story from his life that might save you from terrible mistakes later in your own life. A radio operator in another country whom you found by chance on radio may become your friend. Or maybe you turn on your rig one evening and hear an SOS signal. Then you relay it to some rescue team and save someone’s life. Or you may get some really interesting contacts like with someone operating a radio on board of an aeroplane or even an International Space Station.
And when you tinker something with your hands you can make a technological breakthrough one day.