(Anton Krotov with the map showing his and his wisemen’ and miles)
I got hooked on the topic since I learned about The Free Travel – not because I want to travel by hitchhiking but because the wisdom which people gain out of such experiences is so beautiful and true… One of the Gurus of of the subject in Russia is Anton Krotov, a founder of The Academy of Free Travel. He is not only a passionate traveller, but a wise man and an exellent writer of handbooks. A short biographical note: Anton is born 1976, not married, a Muslim.
In a free from travelling time Anton writes books (there are already over 30 books in Russian) and gives lectures. People often ask him same questions and these are his answers to the most common ones:
The outside world is very big, but having enough persistence you can eventually reach every corner of it.f you want to travel, don’t put off your intention. Don’t wait till you get much money, take up an important post or retire on a pension and have a lot of spare time. In ten years you won’t have so much spare time as you have today, and in twenty years it’ll become very scarce. Though in future you may earn more money than you do now, the value of your worktime will also increase and you won’t be able to afford a half-year vacation (because of increased cost of one working hour). Besides, you may eventually get children, grand- and grand-grandchildren, needing to be looked after.
HOW MUCH MONEY DOES ONE HAVE TO TAKE FOR A TRAVEL?
Normally a person starts travelling with a certain amount of money. While travelling he/she spends the money and finally keeps travelling without it. One should not be afraid of that and wait for the “X-hour”, one need not keep some money for “just in case”. When all your money will is being spent for the sake of supporting the surrounding economy (you will spend it or it will be stolen) and you will have nothing left – you will suddenly find yourself in a situation of Communism! All that you have been buying before – you will get all that for free, and complete strangers will offer you money and food even without you aksing for that. And you will not loose your weight and your cloth size will remain the same.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET INTO UNDESIRABLE SITUATIONS?
The “undesirable” moment of a situation totally depends on our mindset and the attitude to the world. For one person a rain can be unsitable, or a mosquito bite or even a porridge, for another, a wiser one all these are the components of the surrounding, which he will joyfully accept.
All troubles live only in our head. If your head is all right, the outside world will be also fine. Keep the correct behaviour and attitude to life– and in any corner of the world you will be absolutely safe. If something seems to be wrong – it mean you have not seen the drama till the end. This beautiful world is created for us and we can make it even better.
WHICH PLACES DID YOU ENJOY THE MOST?
I liked Iran (that was my first travel abroad in 1997), my first love!
Pakistan is very interesting – it is a kind, free and cheerful country, although for us, Europeans may look too dirty and loose.
Sudan is a great country, a totally different world, where many people still not know what money and time is, where thre is no hurry, where people live in kindness, faith and simplicity, as at Abram times.
Syria is very beautiful, the folk is good, it is pleasure to live and to travel there.
A luxurious nature, tasty banana and other fruits are in Tanzania…
I fell in love with the northen, montanous part of Afganistan.
I think I love every country is its own way, and I want to visit again each of them…
THEY SAY LIFE IS GETTING DANGEROUS, PEOPLE ARE BEING TAKEN AS HOSTAGES, KILLED…
A human being is such that he likes to lean about an UNUSUAL. And thus, journalists search meter for meter and as soon as they find a sensation, something out of order – they start informing the world about it and people get horrified. That is why people love adventurous films, because adventures are seldom in their own lives. Therefor wheather you travel or live in your apartment just remember that life is generally very peaceful and quiet, and do not take seriously the news that crime, epidemiy, fluds, explosions and wars are growing in number. This means only one thing: that every year the number of journalists is growing.
ANY GOOD STORY?
Going back from Magadan to Moscow, A. Vinokurov and I were detained by armed guards on Chara station (Transsiberian railway) for attempts to negotiate with the locomotive engineer. We readily obeyed and told them the story of our travel, whereupon they fed us and gave us some bread, lard, onion, sugar and other food. Then we were delivered to local police. The result was that we made friends with them too, had supper and bath, then spent the night at chief policeman’s home. The next day we were given the special escort which accompanied us 300km towards Moscow in sleeping car to Taksimo station, where it left the train and we continued to travel.
Everyone of us can make sure that the world is kind, people are bright, responsive and hospitable in every corner of our country as well as the whole planet. It is open to everybody and belongs to any person who ever think of it.
The writings of Anton inspire not only young people, here is one fascinating hitchhiking story by 2 Russian renter “babushkas” – you can read the text using Google Translate tool.
Some intresting photos from A. Krotov’s free travelling you can find here.
And, finally, some simple rules A.Krotov has figured out of his free travels experiences:
Have patience. Do not be nervous. Experiment. Smile. Do not drink alcohol.
The truth is the engine of wise man. Do not lie even on trifles.
Keep your promises.
Keep in mind that every sequence of events is always correct.
Isn’t it all amazing?
Wow. Love his insights. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely look into his musings on travel…
Interesting and useful information. I love the way he thinks
mee too 🙂
It is great to know more about Anton Krotov. (His surname reminds me of a very tough book on classical physics (that I struggled with) by a russian author named S.S.Krotov; his first name reminds me of a russian author Anton Chekhov)
He seems to have aligned his hitchhiking pursuits to his religious aspirations, considering the places he has visited (Sudan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afganistan…) and the lessons he has shared: “Do not drink alcohol” : )
Of course, there is nothing wrong with that.
Also, thanks for that Google translator; I found it very useful : )
I am also not surprised that Anton’s travelling in Muslim countries inspired him for Islam. I find it interesting than such countires that are normally either unknown to the Westerneres or proclaimed to be dangerous – that exactly such countries turned out to be so good that a wise traveller convirted to Islam.
After that I would be even more mistrustful towards the media!
When I read his books, A. Krotov appears to me like a real Sufi-master, and his wisdom seems to be above religions…
And alcohol…it makes people just stupid, really.
Aparf from that – what woudl you think of a drunkard hitchhiker??? Who will ever want to help him out on the way? I think, that was the simple logic that brought Anton to his conslusions, and not the religion.
you will get all that for free, and complete strangers will offer you money and food even without you aksing for that
I have experienced that (I was searching for water), it is a lovely feeling. Oh! that guy was so modest about it, he didn’t think he gave me anything. God bless him!
travelling is a seeking, I would say the seeking for one’s own self. Meeting diffrent people and facing other than in a normal life situations a person learns his/her own nature. I think it is the secret behind the attraction of travelling.
//every sequence of events is always correct// – interesting thoughts.
that is so true- we are not able to see the logic of a happening until we finish “watching” or being involved in it.
it is in a way fascinating!
european are real seekers! they really love travelling and they know so many secrets!
hmm… nice, You’re now with us, Anton. have a nice trip in this city, Jogjakarta.