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Wechat (微信): freedspirit
P.S.: I hate to promote myself but the info there might be useful for you!
After hibernating for about 1 year, I am now finally back on the road!! I am right now on my hitchhiking trip of Malaysia-Australia-New Zealand-Malaysia-Iran-France-Belgium-Netherlands-Germany-Denmark-Sweden-US-Costa Rica-Panama-South America-US-Canada-Europe, which will take a few months.
At this moment I am in Bolivia. I can not host but if you catch me in the right moment we can meet up!
Hitchhiking around the world!
What kind of person am I?
An OPEN-MINDED, fun and adventurous social animal, always full of energy!
I have got 3 biggest passions of my LIFE -- Traveling, Languages and Making friends!!!
Ok...... I believe in a religion called Nomadism. In Nomadism we believe in 3 main Gods -- the God of Traveling, the God of Couchsurfing and the Goddess of Hitchhiking! The God of Travelling and the Goddess of Hitchhiking are a couple. They live together, have a lot of children but not married. Yes, they are very hippie Gods! :P
I left my beloved Leiden in June, 2013 and started my trip, around the world. I traveled for 14 months in Europe, learning languages, experiencing different cultures, doing all kinds of crazy things, hitchhiking and train blackriding...... Then I planned to hitchhike all the way back to China from the Netherlands. Everything went on in an awesome way until I was in Iran and wanted to enter Pakistan. Pakistan does not issue visas unless you apply for it in your country of residence....... Shit happens guys! So I took a flight to China. After one month of preparing visas, I hitchhiked through Laos-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam. Then I traveled to Myanmar-Bangladesh-India-Nepal. I entered the border of China from Xizang (Tibetan part of China) and hitchhiked there. Then I went back to my hometown in Shandong province for the wedding of my younger brother and saw my family again after 3 years. :) Then I hitchhiked to Pakistan and flew to Africa from there. After 5 weeks volunteering in Uganda, I hitchhiked from Uganda to Kenya and then Ethiopia. Then I traveled to Sudan in the hope of getting a visa for Egypt there and continue my journey to hitchhike camels to see the pyramids, but the visa proved more difficult to get than I thought...... So I decided to go back to China!
I went totally broke when in Africa, so once back in China, after spending a couple of months reading all the books I had wanted to read for a long time, I took a job and started hibernating for about 1 year...... without any real traveling...... It was hard but I needed to earn money and I also felt that some settled life after my agitated 2.5 years on the road was not a bad idea.
Finally I saved some money and prepared the necessary visas for my new trip. I quit my job on 10th Jan 2017 and started my journey again!!
So, dear friends, see you AROUND THE WORLD!
Yes, I have a blog, but just for preserving memories and sharing information. :D )
That one is in English and I also just started a Chinese one:
I want to spread the word of hitchhiking in China, change people's opinions about it and be the first Chinese who holds a Chinese passport (not that I love this passport or country that much... :P it's just a way of making my statement) who has hitchhiked around the WORLD! :)
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ------Mark Twain
If nobody thinks you are crazy, you haven't done anything worthwhile! ------Albert Einstein
I like every place in the world, except my comfort zone.
HOW DO I THINK ABOUT COUCHSURFING
I seriously think that the whole CS community should win the Noble Prize for Peace! Seriously, nothing else has done more to promote the mutual trust and love between strangers of different nationalities, religions, cultures, social status, genders and races than Couchsurfing! It's the largest online collection of open-minded people of our time, when everybody has become so scared of strangers and simply run away like escaping death itself when a stranger approaches you and simply wants to ask for the direction. The world is a place not worth living if there is no love and Couchsurfing is the best project I ever know which is restoring this love!
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
surfing, attending activities, hanging out! Sorry that I can't host right now since I don't have a fixed home. In the future, when I have the time and proper condition, I will promote CS to de-commercialize and make it back to its status.
Surfed in Turkey, Iran, China, Netherlands, Albania, Kosovo, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Poland ...... (altogether about 60 countries) and the experience (almost) has always been great!!
Attended numerous Couchsurfing meetings in Leiden (countless times), Krakow (many) and also in Madrid, Barcelona, Brastilava, Hongkong, Montpellier, Shanghai......)
Traveling, Languages and Making friends
That's why my first-choice transport is hitchhiking! That's one of the best ways to get some adventures, meeting cool and nice people and getting to know the local cultures!
I love art (esp. modern art), spending time with friends, reading, ......among many others. :)
- performing arts
- modern art
- budget travel
Music, Movies, and Books
The Dreamers, Underground, The Name of the Rose, Los Abrazos Rotos, Jules et Jim, Attack on Leningrad, Witness for the Prosecution, Camille Claude, Het Zwarte Boek, Dschungelkind, Kon-Tiki, A Perfect Day, Perfetti Sconosciuti, Emilie, Man from Earth, The Barber of Siberia, A Seperation, Adam's Apples, Indochine, The Tin Drum, No Man's Land, Perlasca-Un Eroe Italiano, The Edge of Heaven, The Bicycle Thief, Sicko, The White Masai, Omar, Finding Neverland, The Reader, You Can't Take It WIth You, The 17 Moments of Spring, My Fair Lady, Indiana Jones, the Three Idiots, PK, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, Notting Hill, Scusa Ma Ti Chimo Amore, Pan's Labyrinth, Catch Me If You Can, Slumdog Millionaire, It Happened One Night, The Act of Killing, Finding Neverland, Ben-Hur, The Road to Guantanamo, Reconstruction, The Passenger, Edward Scissorhands......
Laura Paussini, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Paula Fernandez, Yanni, Hans Zimmer, Enya, the XX, Secret Garden, Bandari, Lana de Ray, Alizee, Era, Celine Dion, Mylene Farmer, Andrea Bocelli, Classic Music ...
Fictions - Gone with the Wind (the best English novel I read so far), The Grape of Wrath, On the Road, The Sorrow of Young Werther, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Pride and Prejudice, Notre-Dame de Paris, Dreams in the Red Pavillion (红楼梦), War and Peace, Works of Isaac Bashevis Singer......
Nowadays since I have read most of the classic fictions, I like more to read non-fictions, with hard facts, let it be about history, geography, politics or sciences.
Non-fictions - the State of Africa, Open Veins of Latin America, Oxford History of Europe, the Diary of A Young Girl (Anne Frank), On Foot Through Africa......
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
NONE of the things listed below is really amazing because I believe the really amazing things are still to come!
-Climbed at night (without guide, which was not allowed) to the top of a hill and slept at the edge of a cliff overlooking an active volcano (Stromboli, Italy), almost died... (sleeping bag fell into the volcano dust so I slept on the ground with my coat and the cold wind...)
-Saw aurora after hiking on super slippery skiing tracks on the highest place of Tromso, Norway and fell down many times, almost broke my arms.
-Hiked and hitchhiked in Himalaya Mountain Range, Nepal and Xizang (the Tibetan part of China) with very broken shoes (a big hole on the bottom of each of them) and had STUNNING views. High altitude, high attitude. ;)
-Hitchhiked to Angkor Wat at 2 AM with a motorcycle whose driver was so drunk and stoned, then stealthily passed the snoring guard, hided from the patrolling motorcycle, the sly monkeys and the guards sleeping at the gates and successfully sneaked inside Angkor Wat and slept there, then woke up to see the sunrise, without being caught.
-Got pushed away to fences by fully armed policemen who were charging to the protesters at night during Polish Independence Day 2013 and later got some tear gas in my eyes... So exciting!! :D (well, you may think differently... some of my Polish friends said that it was the worst idea ever to be there... )
-Hitchhiked Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Croatia alone in the cold snowing winter (~3000 km) and slept on the street a few times when got stuck, mostly in the rooms where banks kept ATM machines, safe and clean!
-Hitchhiked continuously (including overnight) for 19 hours from Tallinn to Warsaw (963 km). When I just crossed Lithuanian-Polish border I walked into this restaurant where many truck drivers were eating and staying and these 2 Belarusian brothers invited me for dinner, gave me some pocket money and a can of beer as a gift. Although they did not speak a word of English and were pretty drunk, we had so much fun!
-Came to Barcelona to learn Spanish but could not find a couch, therefore slept on the street for altogether 10 days. It's so F...king hard to find a couch in BCN!
-Danced in a Polish prison with some prisoners (together with my amazing flatmate Gosia), most of whom were children killers but they were so nice to us and even made special gifts for us!
-Hitchhiked in costume with my awesome flatmates in Poland. I dressed like a Peruvian guy from the Andes. ;)
-Hitchhiked alone through Turkey 3 times.
-Hitchhiked alone all through Iran for 7 weeks. Several times people offered money to me, which I always tried to refuse. God, people were so kind!
-Danced and ran crazily in costumes with my flatmates with a music box on the streets, on the market square, inside the tram and inside the bus of Krakow.
-Hitchhiked a civilian ambulance once (no patient inside though), a military ambulance once (no patient either), 2 tractors, a boat, a bike, several 3-wheelers, an Euroline bus once, many other buses, several taxis, a car of a priest, a car of nuns and countless scooters and motorcycles.
-Walked 100 km within two days (when it was rainy and there were spongy cow shits everywhere) during Camino de Santiago, Spain
-Hitchhiked with my Polish flatmate Gosia from Kobior, Poland to Pazin, Croatia and the last ride was from a priest.
-"Are you Catholic?"
-"Yes, 'we are'!"
-"Then you are my brother and sister!! I take you directly to your destination!"
So we were Catholic for a while. :P Yeah!
-Wanted to attend an European wedding before I left Europe, so I posted in many groups on CS site and got invited by awesome people I never met before to their weddings! I got about 7 offers but eventually I could only go to 4. I did the same thing for Turkey and Iran and went to 2 Turkish weddings and 2 Persian weddings!
-Did not find a host for Geneva and went to a club where punky people (yes, with all the piercings, tattoos and interesting hair styles) gathered and got hosted by a friendly Morrocan-Swiss punky dude before he even knew my name... Later they started to smoke cocaine and his flatmate (a girl) got into a fight with a Spanish firefighter in the basement of that building... sounds rather random but everything was true and kind of logical.
-Learned Spanish for two weeks then for the next two weeks while traveling around Spain I spoke only Spanish to my hosts and it worked out totally fine! :D I did the same thing for my German! :D (with Polish it was not possible... :( )
-Saw La Alhambra in Granada, the most beautiful place I have ever seen so far!
-Got invited and stayed in the houses of strangers while hitchhiking/train blackriding in Germany, Switzerland, Iran, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and India.
-Hitchhiked through Laos-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam (about 8000 km) and slept in various locations on the way (hospital, police station, Buddhist monasteries, Angkor Wat, Ayutthaya, strangers' homes, etc.)
--On my first day in India I accidentally walked into a Hinduist temple where a festival was going on. They invited me to stay with them. I met many scholars of this Hinduism branch -- ISKCON. That was the last day of the festival and in the evening I joined them on the stage for a performance and even had the chance to give a short speech to hundreds of audience. When I came down the stage, many guys, especially little boys came to shake my hand and one even asked for my signature. Oh people were so friendly! ;)
-Slept in Sabiha Gocken Airport in Istanbul for 10 days.
-Crazy hitchhiking on KKH from Chinese border to Islamabad through areas under heavy influence of Taliban, perhaps the most adventurous hitchhiking trip ever of me. https://alwaysawei.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/smile-believe-and-never-be-afraid-hitchhiking-with-police-escort-in-pakistan/
-Hitchhiked alone in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia and when I was hitchhiking in Kenya a Kenyan brother took me and I stayed in his place for 15 days, during which period I almost died of malaria. :D WOWO! Then I realized finally my African experience was complete! :D
-Totally ran out of money in Ethiopia. After eating roasted corns for 3 days, I suddenly found a job as a translator/foreman in some construction sites for some Chinese businessmen and worked there illegally for about 20 days and earned my flight ticket back home. :D
-I had such a struggle for fighting Chinese people's prejudices against independent adventurous traveling. You have no idea how traditional and conservative those people were...... and I was on TV for that.
-Hitchhiked through Nullarbor Plain in Australia in the hot summer 47 degree, with my record longest single hitch, 1200 km.
-Crazy 5-day trekking from Kunalla to Choquequirao, an ancient Incan ruin. For two days we did not see a single person, just nature! :D Our camp was visited/harassed by wild pigs. We saw shooting stars, countless fireflies, condor, wild deer, wild mountain cats. Since we ran out of food, we started eating cactus. WOWO! :D (https://alwaysawei.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/how-to-trek-to-choquequirao-the-wild-way/)
-Walked at dark for more than 10 km in the Amazon and bathed in a majestic waterfall surrounded by fallen flowers and countless fireflies and then things went the wrong way and I slept in the cold rain in somebody's field... (https://alwaysawei.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/wild-night-in-the-amazon/)
-Did Salkantay trekking to Machu Picchu for 5 days with my "parents" (an Iranian-Swedish couple). We walked at night in the rain surrounded by bright snow-capped mountains. We camped beside a most beautiful glacier lake, in which I took a bath the next morning. With all the stars, the moon and the shinning glaciers, it was so stunning at night! Slept in a mule station with all the lovely smells of mules. :)
-Camped in the Amazonian forests of Ecuador for a few days and adopted a pet snail named 大牛(Da Niu, which means Big Bull in Chinese). On one morning the waters surrounding my camping ground went crazy after excessive raining and the only bridge connecting me with the outside world was flushed away. At midday I was rescued by 4 guys with machetes and we went through all the wild flooding to get to safety .
-Got a ride in Pennsylvania USA from two policemen while hitchhiking on highway and had to be handcuffed (https://alwaysawei.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/handcuffed-by-us-police-while-hitchhiking/).
-I have seen something that most people believe not to exist. In order not to scare you, ask me when you meet me!
sorry... I am a bit too talkative, so the list got this long... :P
Teach, Learn, Share
The most useful thing I can share with you is perhaps my experience of low-budget traveling. When I was traveling in Europe, I could keep the budget at 7 EUR/day and in Turkey 4 USD/day and in Iran 2 USD/day. :D
I traveled literally a lot in Europe. I have never met anybody who traveled more than I in Europe. When I was living in the Netherlands for 6 years, I visited about 40 cities in Germany, 35 cities in italy, 20 cities in France, 30 cities in Spain, 20 cities in Poland and all together 36 countries in Europe. It's the part of the world I love the most and know the best. I can tell you a lot of interesting things about Europe! :D God, I LOVE Europe!
Chinese (Mandarin) is my mother tongue. I know a lot about Chinese culture. If you want to travel in China or want to know more about China, I will be glad to help!
I speak English and Dutch, although I have to admit that my English is still better than my Dutch... :)
What I Can Share with Hosts
I can tell you many secrets about "low-budget traveling"! :D It's not just hitchhiking and couchsurfing. There are more to it! :)
I can tell you so much about my travel experiences (especially if you want to go to one of those countries I visited).
You want to learn Chinese? You want to know how Chinese people eat dogs, cats and barbecued scorpions? I am the guy to ask!
Countries I’ve Visited
Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United States, Vatican City State, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
China, Netherlands, Poland, Uganda