“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire!”
I came across this quote and realized how true it was! If you have great dreams, nothing can stop you from fulfilling it. All that you need is true passion and confidence to face any challenge. I recently met a German couple who are in pursuit to chase memorable experiences around the globe!
I met Morten and Rochssare through Couchsurfing. For the uninitiated, Coushsurfing is a platform to meet, host or stay with travelers or locals.
I have been an active member on Couchsurfing for quite some time now. I have hosted many travelers and in return, I get to know their amazing stories.
I recently hosted Morten and Rochssare from Germany who have set their sails in the direction of amazing experiences, multiple challenges and unforgettable moments.
Morten and Rochssare at my place
Here, is a short interview where Morten & Rochssare share interesting excerpts from their journey!
1) What inspired you to travel by hitch-hiking?
We started hitchhiking when we went to South America after graduating from University. Initially we hitchhiked to save some expenses that we could use for traveling even longer.
But very soon it turned out that hitchhiking is nothing but fun.
While hitchhiking we met so many interesting people and so many incredible stories came to us that we felt in love with this way of transportation.
There are absolutely no boundaries. Wherever there is a road and a car, there is a way to hitchhike and a person who could be your friend – at least for the moment.
After our South America journey we decided to continue travelling and it was pretty easy to assume a destination. From a geographical point of view, travelling over land almost automatically leads us towards east. And while remembering all the old stories of the hippie trail (Europeans going to Asia in their vans and buses in the 1960s and 70s) it was an easy decision: Hitchhiking to India!
2) How many lifts have you taken till date?
Since we left Germany in September 2014 we had 317 lifts until now (reaching Mysore / 316 to Bangalore) and in the last 1.5 year we traveled more than 32.000 km but not spending one single rupee on transportation.
3) What has been your most crazy experience?
The most crazy experience while hitchhiking was probably on ride in Himachal Pradesh. We got a lift by some really nice guys. Eventually it turned out, that these fellows were into drug trafficking and that they had some “business” to do on the way. We were locked inside the car while these guys went out, both carrying weapons. After a few minutes they came back and we drove further towards our destination. It was already pitch black night as they started firing their guns out of the window, screaming, singing and dancing in the car.
That was one of the most crazy experiences. But again these fellows were very friendly and hospitable to us. Only the gun fire made us a little uneasy for a moment.
4) Which was your favorite experience in India?
That is a though question. India is so diverse, it`s hard to compare even neighboring states sometimes. If we had to choose one place then it might be Varanasi.
The city reflects more or less the image of India that exists in Europe. The air is filled with a wonderful and exotic fragrance of spices. It is crowded, colorful, exhausting, vibrant, energetic and mystic at the same time. We could have watched the people near the Ghats forever. Seeing all these glowing Ghats was mind blowing for us – although it might be nothing special for you as an Indian.
And then you have all these cows and dogs and goats roaming around, honking mopeds, shouting locals, narrow lanes, paan vendors, etc. Varanasi is just overwhelming in every single sense.
5) Tell us about your experience in Pakistan & Iran!
As you know Iran and Pakistan are Muslim countries. So thanks to media, the world’s image about Muslims is not good in these days. But travelling through Muslim countries like Iran and Pakistan was one of our best experiences ever. The people are so friendly and helpful, hospitality is such a big part of their culture. We felt that media is cheating us so much about the real face of Islam and Muslims.
Iran, in the center of the Middle East, is by far the safest country in that region. While all the neighbors suffer from military and violent conflicts, inside Iran it is absolutely safe to travel. The country has such an old and inspiring culture and history that it is hard to believe, that almost nobody knows about it. Just image the Persian Empire! It is still more or less the same.
Similarly, common people in Pakistan were really happy to see us, as well. It does not happen often, that a tourist is seen wandering in the streets of Pakistan. Pakistanis know about their bad reputation. So everybody was trying to show, that their folks are good people like everywhere else. They told us more than one time “Look at us, we are Pakistanis, but we are good people as well. We are no terrorists.”
Sure, from time to time you meet some bewildered fellow, but that happens all over the world. At the end, and seen from our perspective, Pakistanis and Indians are very similar to each other. It is only politics that separates the people.
6) What are your future travel plans!
We wanted to reach India, which we did by now. Our next destination will be Sri Lanka, the east cost of India and Bangladesh. We will visit the whole sub-continent. But after that? We still don’t know. Most probably it will depend on our mood. Till now we are hitting the road for one and a half year. By then it will be 2 years. If we still want to continue, South East Asia would be next. And who knows, maybe we`ll do the big loop, going up to China, Mongolia and Russia and heading back to Europe through Siberia. For us, that sounds like big fun.
7) Any word of advice for travelers?
There is not much to say. It’s very simple. If someone is interested in travelling, then there is no other solution than travelling. Just go for it: Trust people and imagine the world as the good place it actually is. Don’t let anybody spoil your plans by speaking badly about places he/she never went to. Most of the people who speak badly about something, generally have no clue about the subject.
Experience only comes through experience. In other words: What goes around, comes around. Be good and the world will be good to you. That is our experience, at least.
Inspiring isn’t it! Well, I hope someday I too embark on such an epic journey! Here’s wishing safe travels to the lovely couple!
You can also read their travel experiences on their Blog. However, you need to know how to read German 🙂