Bears, please don’t eat me when I hit da road again

Yep, it’s that time of the year again and once again, I’m sitting in the exact same room as last year thinking about what the hell I’m doing with my life. Sure, many things have changed since then, apart from visiting over 20 countries, adding 10 000 miles or so on my hitch-account and meeting a lot of cool people from all over the world, I’ve also become a completely different person. I learnt how to live on a super tight budget, I found out there’s nothing more important for me than my family and friends and also that even if plan A doesn’t work as expected, there are about 30 more letters in the alphabet (at least the Czech one) that I can always count on. Thanks to that, I learnt how to be creative in such situations and I’m not really afraid of any challenge I may face.

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On the other hand, even though I’m completely satisfied with the way I turned out to be and with the new way I look at the world, I have to admit that it’s kind of messing up the life I was able to live without any problems just a year ago.

It wasn’t my original plan to come back to England – for those who don’t know the whole story – I was supposed to work between Switzerland and Dubai for half a year but I only lasted a week until I found out there’s no point in doing something that doesn’t make me happy with people I have nothing in common with just to earn some cash for my next trip, so I decided to come back to the place I loved the most to be with my friends in the suburbs of London. However, I think some of the people I was the closest with before I left and I were apart for way too long and some of us changed a lot, things will simply never be the same. Sure, it’s an amazing thing, people need to move on with their lives, grow and change in order to achieve what they want and later on, every single each of us will be happy for such a change but right now, it’s kind of impractical and difficult for me to get around. Don’t get me wrong, I still love them to pieces, there’s only a different kind of connection than before that I find hard to get used to.

The whole idea for hitting da road came to me in late December 2014 when I broke up with my girlfriend just because I have a massive problem with commitment. I was totally messed up, I was working every day from morning to night time, came home, got wasted just to be able to fall asleep and do it all over again the next day. Basically, same shit every day. Until one day when I woke up super hungover, checked my emails and found one that said I’d booked a one way flight ticket to Bangkok the night before. Yeah, I did it when I was completely dead but someone once said to me that drunk people do the things they really want to do so I didn’t chicken out, thought it’d be good for me and left for an epic seven months long trip around the globe.

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And it did help. I met new people, explored new places every day and later on everything became much easier for me, I managed to „fall out of love“, forget about why I did it in the first place and learnt how to enjoy every single day on da road. I found a new reason to live, I tried to fill my life with joy and happiness and I made a decision to only do things that truly make me happy and not let anybody tell me what to do (even if they’re right which I normally find out once I’m in trouble).

But I’m sitting here again. I’m hungover and in love with a girl. I’m trying to  my heart that’s telling me „don’t go, just give it a go and try to be with her“ and for once listen to my brain that’s trying to convince me to leave because in the end, it’ll all be fine again. I’ve been trying to find the right decision in a bottle of wine almost every night but I don’t wanna be an alcoholic anymore so I’ve made my final decision. I will go. I will go because the relationship I’ve had with nature and travelling has been the longest one of my life, it even looks like we’ll get engaged soon, we really love each other a lot and it just makes sense. And shush, don’t try to tell me different as I still have about a month left until I have enough money to book a flight ticket so there’s plenty of time to change my mind.

Flight ticket? Wait, what? Mon is a hitchhiker, right? Yeah but as I managed to get a working holiday visa for Canada, I have to get there somehow. I consider myself to be a good swimmer but I’m scared of the sea, so swimming across the ocean or even hitching a ride on a boat is not an option. However, I still want to keep it super cheap so after a long search, I came up with a masterplan to get there with two stops in Ireland and Iceland.

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I will put my backpack on again on 1st April, stand at the side of a road with my thumb up and hitch my way through to Wales where I’ll have to take a bus to Ireland as it’s about ten times cheaper than paying for a ferry as a single passenger. I would love to hitch all over Ireland, visit my friends but I will only have about two weeks to do so until I have to get on a plane to fly me over to Iceland so we’ll see how that’ll go. I really wish to hitchhike all around Iceland as I will have about 6 weeks to spend over there including doing some volunteer work on a farm, then get on a plane again and finally fly to MONtreal. I intend to cross the entire country by hitchhiking with some stops to earn some cash as it’d be silly not to use that work permit since I already have it.

Canada has been on my list ever since I started to listen to Simple Plan at the age of 13 and I’m super happy that I finally decided to do it. Yeah sure, it was mostly because of alcohol (again) and two Canadian legends that I met in Bangkok who totally convinced me that Canada is an amazing country full of endless possibilities. Somehow it happened that the applications for the Czech republic opened two days after Thomas, Neil and I showed Thailand how to party properly so two months later I received another email informing me about where I’m going to travel next. I got that feeling that this is not  just a coincidence so yeah, I’ll go for it and I’ll hope that the universe didn’t do all this just so I can get eaten by a bear somewhere in a Canadian forest when I accidentally build my tent and set a fire to cook my dinner right next to their den 🙂

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10 LESSONS I LEARNT WHILE BACKPACKING AROUND SE ASIA

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Unfortunately, my days in SE Asia have come to an end but I bet there are many of you, fellow backpackers, who are about to hit the road towards this amazing part of the world. To enjoy your time spent over there a bit more, read about the lessons I learnt during my three month stay and don’t make the same mistakes as me 🙂

1) If a local says: „Be careful, it’s spicy“, immediately leave everything behind and get the hell outta there. Seriously, I’m a chef so I always wanna taste everything and I hardly ever listen to any advice so many times I put myself in a very hot and spicy situation that I ended up regreting for a few hours afterwards. Especially don’t enter a 10m radius around a chilli pepper smaller than 1 cm. Unless you’re into masochism, then it’s fine.

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2) Always carry some toilet paper or tissues with you. Even though you are in a nice city and that toilet you’re heading to doesn’t look bad at all, you will be guaranteed not to find a piece of anything to wipe the most precious parts of your body with.

3) Don’t think too much about all the „drive safely“ videos you watched back home while you‘re on a bus in SE Asia. Just make yourself comfortable, close your eyes and imagine the driver has some magical powers that will always prevent him from crashing. Yes, sometimes it is really and I mean REALLY bad. I caught myself thinking about getting off the bus in a few situations too. But nah, I had to overcome that fear and in the end it just felt like a very cheap ride on one of the craziest attractions in Thorpe Park. See, I’m still alive!

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4) You’re used to eating in nice restaurants with beautiful looking food and good service? Yeah, so was I. It was really difficult for me to watch the cooks follow not a single hygienic regulation. Yup, that raw chicken has been casually chilling there on straight sunshine for the whole day. But trust me, go for it. I don’t know how they do it but the cheaper the food is, the better it tastes. Just make sure you follow number 2.

5) You can talk to anyone about anything and no one judges you.  This was a tough one for me as I came to SE Asia completely fucked in my head with many secrets that I could only talk about to like 2 people back in London. Even though you only just met that cool guy in the hostel 20 minutes ago, the casual conversation about which countries you’ve visited will soon become boring and people crave hearing different stories as well as they want to talk about their problems to a complete stranger. People will give you various opinions that’ll help you get through difficult times. In the end, the chance you will ever see them again is very small.

6) Everyone has a shit story. And I don’t mean a very bad story, I mean it literally. Everytime I drank with fellow travellers, our conversation led to shit stories. A backpacker I met in Thailand told me: „You ain’t a proper traveller until you have your own shit story.“ This is also very often connected with point 2 and 4 but some people have the craziest stories ever. Once I met a girl that had just hiked Mt. Bromo in Indonesia and badly needed to take a dump while having breakfast at a local’s place. There was no toilet in the „bathroom“ and she didn’t know what to do with the product once she relieved herself to the bathroom floor (which the locals normally do) so she ended up wrapping it in a ton of TP, put it in her pocket and carried it away with her. I know, disgusting right? But imagine yourself completely drunk and listening to the whole story. Unforgettable. Luckily, she followed rule number 2 🙂

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7) Oh, you lost a T-Shirt or a pair of boxers while it was being washed in the laundry? I’ll be honest with you, you will never see it again. But wait, the good karma comes around and soon you’ll end up having someone else’s underwear in your surprise-bag of clothes you pick up from the laundry.

8) Be patient. I used to be probably one of the most impatient people on the planet until I travelled around Indonesia and found out that time doesn’t matter. Did uncle Google tell you that that 100km long journey should take about 1 and a half hour? Always multiply it by three. The bus driver will need to stop a few times to have a cigarette (if he doesn’t smoke on the bus), use the toilet (hope he doesn’t do that on the bus too), get something to eat, get more fuel, talk to his fellow bus drivers, etc. You will get to your destination eventually. Just be patient. And when he hits the road, make sure you follow number 3 🙂

9) Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track. That’s where the true tresure is, that’s why you travel. People are normally very willing to help you, sometimes even invite you for lunch or let you stay at their place overnight, especially if you travel solo. When I was in Indonesia, I didn’t see a white person for 18 days and I can honestly say that it was my best backpacking experience so far. Even though three times I saw a guy masturbating when I walked past them in a random town (I know, can’t really blame them, hard to resist haha), it never put me off. Weirdos are everywhere in the world, just make sure you don’t make an eye contact with them.

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10) You will master the art of improvising. This especially applies, if you follow number 9. Once I nearly got raped (yeah, still didn’t convince me to act like a tourist though, yuck) and ended up walking in the middle of nowhere for 7 km with no water, no food and no cigarettes until it got better and made plan A. I know, people normally make B plans in such situations but since I normally have no plan at all, a very simple plan was needed. You will become very creative if you’re about to miss your flight or don’t have any clean clothes left too. Just do not panic. Everything has a solution. Unless you didn’t follow number 2.

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HITCHHIKING FROM TURKEY TO IRELAND – SUMMER 2015

I know I’ve just spent 3 months travelling around SE Asia on a very low budget which wasn’t exactly easy but I’m craving even more adventure. Luckily, I know myself pretty well and I knew that I wouldn’t want to go straight back to the UK after these three amazing months so when I was booking flight tickets, I only booked one to the very edge of Europe – Istanbul. I didn’t know why, it just felt right to be back in Europe but still quite far away from my „home“ in London.

This whole idea came to me a bit later but the closer it gets, the more excited I am about it. I have decided to hitchhike all the way up from Istanbul, Turkey to Dublin, Ireland. I have my personal mission of not spending a single penny on transport between these countries. By doing this I would like to encourage more people to travel and see the world even though they don’t earn thousands of pounds. I don’t have a set plan apart from one czechpoint in Croatia (7th-12th August) when my friends from England are coming to meet me and I will most likely be unconscious 😛 Also, I need to earn some money as the balance on my bank account is very close to zero and unfortunately, being a chef means that I simply can’t resist eating all the nice food all the time 😉 I will either find a job as a chef for a couple of weeks or Busky (my diabolo) and I will do some street performance that’ll hopefully get us through the hardest times.

I also met a lot of cool people while travelling around SE Asia and I’d like to visit them as well as meet my fellow bloggers and travellers around Europe. (Yup, Mario, Pia, Andy, Ajay, Skinny Chick Travelling, We Are Wanderers, Travelstache and Travel Junkies, you have something to look forward to) 🙂

This is a rough plan of my journey but everything can change and I’m open to new ideas

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I’d like to manage to do all this in 100 days spot on and then return to my amazing old job in London to earn some cash for my future travels.

If you think you have what it takes, you’re willing to wild camp, couchsurf, eat cheap food and go off the beaten track, get in touch with me and join me!

If you live in a country I want to visit and you want to show me around your town or just say hello to me, let me know too 🙂

And if you feel pretty comfortable staying at home or don’t have an opportunity to travel, just keep your eyes peeled for all the updates, pictures and stories that’ll be shared on my page.

I know it won’t be easy, in fact I’m a bit scared but I always say: „If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.“

See you in Europe on 1st July!!!