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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Why will I never be scared of a Muslim just because they’re muslim?

When I landed in Indonesia in the beginning of May, I had absolutely no clue about what to expect of this country of thousand islands. I had no plan, I had no contacts, the only thing I knew was that I was gonna teach English for a bit and also that it has the largest Muslim population in the world. So why did I go for it just like that, wasn’t scared at all and actually were looking forward to it?

Just like a lot of people, I had visited a „muslim“ country before. Unlike them though, I didn’t choose to travel to such a country just because it is cheap, it’s always hot in there and because „the neighbours went there last summer so why shouldn’t I as well?“. I’m not one of those people who give zero fucks about the country’s culture and life in general, nope. I’m not such a hypocrite who would pay for a five star hotel to be served by the people who, the minute they cross Europe’s border, become „our enemies“.

Even though I visited Egypt more than a year before the whole I’MON da road idea, I didn’t want to get to know this country that way. And I didn’t. Thanks to my best friend who is Egyptian. Yes, he is a Muslim, yes, I even have his name proudly tattoeed on my leg and yes, he knows everything about me, including the fact I’m a lesbian. And guess what, he’s never, not even once, killed me. I spent two amazing weeks with him, somewhere in the middle of pretty much nowhere, totally surrounded by muslims and only muslims and I’m really glad for this experience because even back then, I could make my own opinion about all this.

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Now, this may be hard to take for some people but I think, they really are one of the kindest and most-hospitable people on Earth. And that was one of the reasons I was so happy to cross another muslim-country border and once again, I was proven right. I lived in a muslim family (that I didn’t know until I got there) for just over a week and then completely spontaneously, without any plan and company, decided to hitchhike all over the island of Java which took me about two weeks of my life and added another 1200 km or so on top of my hitch-score.

I didn’t see a white person for three weeks, almost no one spoke any English, communication was very exhausting on both sides, I very often didn’t know where I was gonna stay at night but guess what! Thanks to them, their hospitability and will to help, I got through all this by myself, as a solo girl with her super heavy backpack.

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It happened to me many times that I was just wandering around an unknown town after the sunset, a bit lost and very desperate to find a place to crash yet very dirty, smelly, easy to kidnap/rape but never did I have any experience in which a person wearing a hijab would want to blow themself and the ones around them up. Surprisingly, it was the complete opposite. They nearly killed each other when they were arguing about who’s gonna accommodate me. I know this sounds a bit weird but they kinda all wanted me to stay with them, to feed me, to play with their kids and on the other hand, they never wanted to let me go and stick my thumb up the next day because they were worried something could happen to me. Those are the true Muslims. Those are the Muslims who follow the Quran and are not affected by any stupid political situation caused by a third party. I have visited a few more so-called muslim countries including Malaysia, Borneo, Turkey and some Balkan countries and even though I was in really deep shit a few times, the thought of blaming Islam for it never even crossed my mind, no I always put myself into these shituations and I can only blame myself for my stupidity.

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I wish people started to use their own brains and finally realised that what happened for example in Paris, didn’t happen because someone was a Muslim but simply because there was something seriously wrong in their heads. Of course it is absolutely horrifying and unacceptable but look at the reaction of the world. We should all realise that we can’t fight violence with more violence. It’s like fucking for virginity.

Yes, I realise that those terrorists were Islamists but I know that a real Muslim could not do such an act as their belief wouldn’t allow them to do so. Not everyone who wears „muslim clothes“ is a killer and vice versa. I feel really sad about the fact that many people are so manipulated by all the media bullshit. The other day, I read an interview in my home-town newspaper with a local girl who decided to do a little research. She put on muslim clothes and a hijab and decided to walk around Czech towns to see people’s reactions. As predicted, they were priceless (add a bit more sarcasm into it and there you go). I was so ashamed to even read about the results. Do you really think that someone wearing a „scarf“ around their head is some sort of a threat to all of us?

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The worst thing about all this though is the fact that the most critical and negative people are those who only leave the comfort of their house once a year to go on summer vacation and spend the rest of the year in front of their telly getting more and more brainwashed. Do you know the little phrase – don’t judge a book by its cover? People, please wake up and start to respect and treat each other how every one of us deserves to be respected and treated and stop judging people by their religion, clothes, sexuality, etc. I don’t see a reason why we should treat someone bad without any particular reason, just because they’re „different“. I was very different to everyone many times and no one has ever turned their back at me…

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