According to the dictionary, travel is “a movement in space in order to go to a relatively distant or foreign place and for a personal (tourism) or professional (business) or other (sports or socio-cultural activities, war, political or climatic refugees)”.
But for me, it’s more than that.
It has become my whole way of life.
It’s my engine, my strength, my inspiration.
It’s the best school I’ve ever known.
It opened my mind, eyes and heart.
It redefined my perception of wealth and sharing.
It has helped me to detach myself from material possessions, strip myself of trivialities, to let go of all my accumulated weight.
It allows me to feel alive, to be accurate and whole, to be natural and authentic, to be spontaneous, to be myself.
It’s my way of getting back to basics, of living in the present moment, of rediscovering myself, of refocusing on my senses, of fully savoring the encounters, of really enjoying each moment, of admiring nature, of thankful life.
Hitchhiking with a family in Azerbaijan
3-Day Horseback Riding Tour in Kyzart, Kyrgyzstan
First, I decided to hitchhike as much as possible – a concept that worked very well in the first three countries visited and Turkmenistan.
In the other countries crossed, this means of transport was more complicated because it is not rooted in their culture, especially in Russian-speaking countries, such as Kazakhstan, where the distance was added to this cultural difference. Very important between each city.
In Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, it was more or less the same problem… In these countries, hitchhiking is not the one we know in Europe. Over there, you pay the driver… So, even if it means paying without really sharing and discussing with the driver because he does not speak English, I preferred to use the official public transport called the merchants. These are kinds of more or less old mini-buses. Obviously, as a foreigner, I always had to negotiate the trip’s price. The driver often wanted to make me pay more than the locals because, supposedly, the baggage had to be paid for… Yeah, I believed it moderately!!
Otherwise, I have also taken the train many times, especially in Uzbekistan, India, Sri Lanka, and the coaches in Iran and Malaysia, which are very comfortable and inexpensive.