We arrive safe in Amsterdam with our cool driver from Suriname 

We arrive safe in Amsterdam with our cool driver from Suriname 

Remember when your parents told you not to talk to people you don’t know? I wonder if that applies when I carpooled with strangers …

Mitfahrgelegenheit (carpooling in German) is one of the few instances when you have a reason to talk to strangers. Mom and Dad, I am still here, and no, our driver didn’t lure us in with candy.

Lara, my German friend, contacted our ride the day before with a simple, “20 euros one way, deal. Amsterdam in 5 hours from Hamburg—here we go!”

How we found our ride? It starts online here.

The site includes more than 45 countries in over 7 languages where travelers and commuters can post inquiries for rides (both if you’re in search for a ride or if you’re in search for passengers). It’s another great "shared economy" opportunity like Airbnb only for commuters.

Over 5 million people are registered (as of 2014) from countries such as: Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece and now the US. Carpoolers stumble upon a trip that embraces the beauty of this weird, yet socially acceptable excuse to meet people.

In 2014 hundreds of thousands of friendships and sixteen marriages have resulted from this carpooling venture, according to the company’s website.  Likewise, it’s a great way to cut down on travel-related environmental damage. Over 860,000 tons of carbon dioxide have been saved since launch!

A cute video. Makes me want to travel!

Our experience with the service was incredible—I couldn’t have put a price tag on blasting some Bob Marley with our ultra-reggae Dutch Surinam driver and sharing good stories on the road.

If you’re the type that’s finds road tripping, the kindness of strangers, and spontaneity exciting, then this is for you.

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