Today we are traveling with Timotei Rad from Autostop Magellan.
My name is Timotei Rad, I’m from Cluj Napoca, Transylvania, Romania. My blog is mainly the journal of my travels, but also place for promoting hitchhiking by telling the stories of other hitchhikers.
Summary of how my travels begin: I went in my first hitchhiking expedition in order to acces 3 very old books and 2 very old maps from 5 libraries in Europe: British Library, Paris, Leipzig, Padova, Vienna. I needed this for my Bachelor Degree in which I proved crystal clear that first Romanian to make a map is not Constantin Cantacuzino like all historians said, is Dimitrie Cantemir. C. Cantacuzino was kind of a prime minister of that time and put his name on a map made by others, exactly like Victor Ponta, the ex prime minister of Romania.
We have many thieves, which with their acts don’t let the beautiful simple Romanians spirits to leave with dignity. I try to change that as much I can. I have an investigation section on my blog too.
So, I was student, I needed to get to those 5 libraries and I had 90 euros. I said myself I try to do a nice thing, an investigation to show a real truth and people might appreciate that and give me a lift. I like that much this hitchhiking way of living that I dropped all my PHD plans and I left home with 80 dollars heading Mongolia and Siberia.
When I left I had 80 dollars, 4 visas in my passport, and a borrowed sleeping bag. No tent. Why so little? Because in Romania products manufactured in Germany, UK, France are sold in Lidl, Carrefour at bigger prices than in Germany, and while a Romanian has 300 euros a month, a German has 2000. Why? Because of the politicians mentioned above.
What type of traveler would you say are you?
Hm… good question. I dunno, kind of backpacker I guess, but one which sleeped in hostels twice in his first 2 years of traveling. At least 80% of the night I sleep in tent. 10-20% with Couchsurfing. This is how I have shower and wash clothes.
What’s inside your backpack? What is that one thing that you ALWAYS have to carry
Nothing magic. Underwares, condomns, clothes and when I have a laptop is great, I can work easier on my blog. A had to drop a laptop in Gobi desert in Mongolia in order to save my life (the backpack was to heavy. Another laptop was stollen in Belgrad.
Are you usually traveling alone? Why?
Because its not easy to find someone crazy enough for a journey like this. I’m still trying.
Can you tell us a hitchhiking story?
Hitchhiking is a mental game stronger and cooler than chess!!!! To make a car stop ALWAYS it’s a dance, a provocation, when you make it for 235 330 km (today) without exception
If a child dreams to be a chess player, why not a hitchhiker? If others dreams to be a Fisher, I fish cars tongue emoticon Not to mention the diversity you meet when hh: all social, psihological, cultural types. With each one you have to behave differently. Hh it’s the best school of life.
Which country is the easiest country for hitchhiking? Why?
France and Poland were easiest for me to travel. France because of their oppeness for freedom and alternative life, Poland because they have a hitchhiking culture since communism when drivers received benefits if they took students hitchhiking/gave a lift to a hitchiker.
Which country was the hardest for hitchhiking? Why?
Mongolia. No roads, no cars. I stayed in one place 31 hours for a car to came. First car took me.
How many languages can you speak? What else apart from language did you learnt on the road.
I speak fluently english and castellano (Spanish). I am intermediate in Italian, French and Hungarian. I´m a beginner in Russian.
Hm…. I learnt many, many other things. Human communication skills. To be able to communicate with all strangers you meet I think is something.
Which country is your favorite so far? Why?
My favorite country is Russia, I love it like I love my mother!!! It can not be expressed in words the warmess of the Russian soul! Its difficult to put it in words. The sincerity is the biggest strength, Russian people are the most sincere people on Earth. Colombia is great also, Ireland, Kazahstan and Iran.
How is a day in your life when you aren’t traveling?
Hit the road, enjoy each small thing which cross my road. No rul\les. Change plan whenever I feel so.
What’s the big reason why you are traveling?
Because I like it. Because I am able to do it. Because I pay the price needed for this (sacrifices). Is not easy but is so beautiful that is the only thing I wanna do. I would die smiling while doing this.
Can you tell us about your longest trip?
It was 4 months and 16 days, 47 720 km.
What’s your favorite gastronomy/food cuisine that you had in your travels?
Tajin in Morroco. It´s a stew meat and vegetables cooked with common species like paprika, ginger, cinamon. It´s common the sour and sweet combination in tajin dishes with lamd. It´s usually served with bread.
Has there been any challenging and bad moments?
Dangerous situation: In Venezuela they insisted a lot to tell me not hitchhike at night, but I did it for 5 nights in a row, in the fifth, at a moment the road was clear a motorcycle with to guys came, the guy from behind get down and told me to not move cause he will shoot me. He tried to take my backpack, I catch my backpack with power and told him I have only my clothes, tent and sleeping bag.
He told me that he will kill me me, I tried twice to chill him down, than I lost my mind and I sweared ugly in Romanian language. At the same time cars were coming on the road. They run away. I haven’t seen any gun.
In Iran in the first night police wake me up to check me. It was snow, cold, 3 am. Second night in tent in Iran at 4 am someone waked me up again by moving the tent. I unzipped a little the tent. In same moment pepper spray entered in my mouth and right eye. I fall. While falling I managed to zipp back the tent. Than I fought to not lose completely my conscience. After about 1 min they tried to enter the tent. They were 2.
When I opened the tent I had in my front at about 1 meter one of them, and the hand with the pepper spray came from very close, from my left. When they tried to enter I took my 2 liter bottle of water and kick that hand as hard as I could. Than I took out my knife, but they run.
I always had problems with the photo cameras: 2 of them were taken from me by drivers which wanted me to pay for the ride ( should I had mention this to the dangerous situations? )
What has been you favorite destination on all the trips you’ve done?
Altai mountains. Glacier Perito Moreno, El Chalten, Iguazu Waterfalls. Giants Caseway, etc. For the beauty of nature, is the greatest thing we have on this Planet.
What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?
A toilet, in Pirinei mountains, during winter. I walked 4 hours, I was veryyyy tired so I took a nap of 1 hour in this tidy toilet.
Are you planning for a new trip or do you already have a new trip in mind?
Yes: Thailand, via Kyrgystan and Tajikistan.
Its easy to find love while you are traveling?
Its like ussual, you are the same person, you meet other humans, you connect/dance with vibes. For me is not different.
How do you finance your trips?
I received donations from the readers of my blog which appreciated my story.
Which one is your favorite traveler?
Do you have any recommendations which blogger/traveller should I interview next?
Tery, the bulgarian girl which hitchhiked 107 countries in 8 years. And Vladimir Sharlaev, he hitchhiked 138 countries in 13 years.
Such a great time with Timotei from Autostop Magellan, thanks for your time!
Amazing stories, can you imagine? Leaving your country with $80 and visiting 80 countries – truly incredible. Timotei is a genius. It’s an amazing inspiration for travelers who want to follow their dreams. Sleeping everywhere and hitchhiking over 200, 000 km around the world. People are great everywhere and they can easily help you, and even accompany you. You just need to ask for it.
If you want to continue reading Timotei´s adventures, you can follow him on his Facebook account and his Facebook Page. For more updates, read his blog. You’ll be able to read about his new adventures in Thailand.
Want to get inspired with more stories? Check out Jeremy´s story, who was hitchhiking around the world for 5 years. You can also read my bicycle trip from Spain to Norway in 5 months, one of my most favorite adventures.
Until the next adventure story dear friends and travelers. x