1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The traveller’s wisdom: hitchhiking science as a great human experience May 14, 2009

 (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:

WHY TRAVEL?

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. (more…)

 

A Professor of hitchhiking – “the world is kind, people are compassionate and hospitable everywhere” May 13, 2009

 (image by me)

I always felt that the drive to travel has something to do with the seeking of Truth (see my earlier post about it here). The phenomenon of hitchhiking seems to be the extreme expression of this kind.  Hitchhikings one of the most fascinated forms of travelling, and it reminds me of wise men wandering  in the past.

Hitchhiking s popular in many countries. It is a favorite pastime in Europe and a common way of travel for many people in Asia and Africa. A few decades ago, it was also popular in North America. But only in Russia it became a competitive sport, a science, an art, and a way of life for many people (very typical for a Russian mindset to lay a profound theoretical base under any practical thing )…

The Academy of Free Travel was founded in 1995 in Russia by Anton Krotov,who has covered about 400,000 km hitchhiking in Eurasia and Africa, and published 17 books about free travel. Krotov is well-known in Russia for his hitchhiking to unusual destinations like Magadan, Afganistan, Iran and China… The Academy of Free Travel  is however one of many hitchhiking clubs in Russia.

Here are some Academy guidelines, which I found very interesting and wise.:

“We do not do any fund raising. All our expeditions are financed by participants, who rely on hospitality and friendliness of local people. We know that the success of a trip depends not on the amount of money available, but on your preparedness and attitude.

Normally we don’t use hotels, commercial campgrounds, airlines, and travel agencies, and don’t try to arrange our own transportation. But anyone who is going in the same direction and agrees to give us a lift is welcome to do so. We usually spend nights outdoors or in the homes of people willing to invite us.

Hitchhiking trips tend to be many times cheaper than regular ones. But saving money is not our goal. We don’t mind spending if we wish to do so, and never mind losing money:the world is plentiful, and we’ll always find what we need on the road. We try to avoid touristic areas. Instead, we live, eat, travel, and communicate with local people, trying to experience their life as it is, not as it can be seen through specially arranged tours or politically correct guidebooks.

In our trips we found that the world is kind, that people are compassionate and hospitable everywhere, that our planet is open for everyone and belongs to us all. Life is wonderful; coming back from remote lands, we better understand people around us and try to be worthy of being a part of humanity. (more…)

 

 
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