Is it worth traveling? Apparently now everyone can express their opinion on this matter and we will be able to get a lot of judgments. But aptly Anatole France once said that travel teaches more than anything else. Sometimes one day spent in other places gives more than ten years of life at home.
A trip is more than just a trip to an unfamiliar city. In my opinion, one should treat one’s travels more responsibly, because even one day in another city or country can change a person, his thoughts and outlook. Therefore, if fate gives you the opportunity to travel, you should pack your suitcase and set off without thinking. Nowadays, there are many stereotypes about travel in society. Using my own example, I want to say that a person will think in stereotypes and clichés if he is not convinced of this himself. There are a lot of incorrect judgments that appear more and more, so the best way to get rid of them is to start traveling, then you will see everything with your own eyes and be able to argue.
At a time when we have access to world information, the thirst for adventure and unexplored lands, like that of Columbus, gradually fades, because at any time we can look at the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum from any angle on the Internet or see video of a blogger who was there. Yes, we will be able to imagine the world, but in this way we will not feel it, we will not be able to immerse ourselves in the culture and life of the country. “Tourism is the most ancient 3D adventure with full video, audio and sensory effects,” said Stanislav Yanovsky. Moreover, it is much easier for us to travel than it was in the time of Columbus: we have maps, can plan a route, have the opportunity to book a hotel to our taste and are confident in the comfort of our transport.
You just have to start with a short trip, you just have to try how a thirst for adventure awakens in everyone, a certain dependence on new experiences that does not leave a person throughout his life. It doesn’t matter how much money and time you have, you can always choose a trip to your taste, it doesn’t matter if it’s the mountains, the sea, a world capital, a small cozy European city or a distant settlement somewhere in Transcarpathia.
The main thing is to see life as it really is, to enjoy the rest and some experience from the journey. My own travel experiences have become a part of my life, they gave me the impetus to dream and each time make my dream come true and strive for the next one. Traveling is sometimes a difficult path, but so exciting. Only you decide whether it is worth starting.
My journey begins in advance before arriving somewhere
BlaBlaStory are stories about people who cannot imagine their lives without traveling around Ukraine and the world, making new acquaintances and interesting stories on the road and using the BlaBlaCar service. This week we managed to talk to Orest Zub. Orest is a well-known traveler on the Ukrainian Internet, an online businessman, a supporter of the Digital Nomands idea and a bright representative of this new class. This BlaBlaStory is probably the longest we’ve published before, but we’re sure everyone will find something to like in it.
We know that you have already visited more than 60 countries of the world and do not plan to stop there. What do you like about traveling?
To be more precise, I have already visited 69 countries of the world, and by the end of this year I plan to reach 80. And, if everything goes well and “the map will fall”, then by the time I turn 30, that is, by the end of 2017 (my birthday mine in December), I will visit 100 countries. This is my plan
I enjoy traveling. If you start with banal things, then I like to watch the changing picture of landscapes outside the window and to some metaphysical things, for example, freedom, self-knowledge, self-satisfaction, the feeling that you directly influence your life. Actually, these things manifest themselves very, very clearly in the journeys. And, of course, the opportunity to immerse myself in the local culture, meet cool people, with whom I still maintain quite close friendly contacts, despite the fact that over the years we can be on different continents and sooner or later meet somewhere where we least expect it .
How do you plan your travels? Spontaneously, randomly choosing a country or do you carefully prepare in advance?
I have several principles for choosing a country. First, it is a novelty. Since I plan to visit all the countries of the world, now I am more “hunting” for new destinations.
The second is some reason why I should go there. For example, recently I often fly to the USA for a conference on online marketing, blogging, because this topic is actively developing there. Sometimes such events take place in European countries.
Also, the internal infrastructure in the country is important to me, in fact, whether there is something to do that interests me. For example, Muay Thai in Thailand, Spanish in the Latin American world, or something else. As they say — traveling with aim.
I don’t prepare for trips too far in advance. It is worth noting that I never sit around looking for some cheap plane tickets. I just work at my own pace, doing my own online projects. I am subscribed to several sites and when I see that there is a good opportunity to buy a ticket to a place I am interested in, I just take it and buy it without thinking. Then I wait until that moment comes and fly. Therefore, in fact, I prepare very little for the trip – the further, the less. The experience of traveling increases and somehow it turns out that you take less things with you, prepare less and the trip itself is more interesting.
Sometimes there is a spontaneous trip for which there is time to prepare in a couple of days. Usually I already know where I will go several months in advance. For example, as of today, starting from August and ending in March, I have already bought tickets and planned trips with a frequency of flights somewhere once a month to another continent. I like to plan, I like to read Lonely Planet, because my journey starts well before I arrive somewhere.
What gadgets/services/things are indispensable in your travels? What do you give up easily?
In fact, I am a minimalist, so I take a minimum of things. There is nothing special here: this is my MacBook Air laptop, iPhone 5S, the further I go, the less often I take my camera. My wife is a photographer, I bought a cool camera for her. In addition, we also have Go Pro for diving or some active recreation. Passport, credit cards are necessary. I’m flying to Central America for almost 3 weeks soon, and I’ll be dropping into the US on the way, and I’m taking this, you know, school-looking backpack that’s only 29 liters. What am I giving up? In fact, I refuse everything. The fact is that I am not addicted to any things.
If you go by car, do you somehow prepare it before the trip?
In fact, it all depends on where and for how long I am going. I don’t drive a lot, but I often rent a car or drive around Europe. The longest trip was the one to the Balkans last summer. Martusya and I (ed. Martusya is Orest’s wife) about 7,200 km in 40 days. I never prepared it, the main thing is to always keep the car in good working order. Usually, the roads in Europe are much better than in Ukraine, so there have never been any problems with the car. When did you discover ridesharing? It was quite a long time ago, somewhere in the mid-2000s. When I was still a student, I often traveled to European countries, went to conferences, seminars, internships, etc. Once in Germany, I tried ridesharing with the service Mitfahrgelegenheit (Ed. BlaBlaCar absorbed Mitfahrgelegenheit in 2013) and drove around Germany and neighboring countries. Now I use BlaBlaCar, it is very convenient, besides, it works perfectly in many countries.
Do you easily trust strangers?
I trust strangers very easily, actually. Maybe it’s too easy I don’t have a list of questions prepared in advance, but of course it makes sense to look at a person’s profile online, read reviews. By the way, people with negative reviews will not last long on the site, that’s understandable. Personally, all my trips were great, with good and pleasant people.
What is important to you when choosing traveling companions?
If I plan a trip and invite people to go with me, it is important to me that the people who will go with me are self-sufficient. Before the trip, I check people, so to speak, “for adequacy”. If I see that I can’t get into a conversation, there is some tension – I just say no, because usually nothing good comes out of it. It’s like when meeting a girl: if you see that somehow the meeting is not going well, then it’s not the one.
What would you advise beginners in terms of safe travel?
Communicate with a future travel companion online, call and talk on the phone. You should be comfortable speaking, answering questions and asking your own. If you feel that you don’t like a person, just find another one. Of course, look at reviews from other people, it’s important. In addition, I have a habit of sending coordinates and information about who and where I am going to my relatives (friends or parents). It’s more comfortable. It makes sense to send the car number, why not, but that’s for the paranoid. For example, we traveled for 4 months in Mexico. And when you are sitting there in a bar or in a hotel, and when a taxi is called for you, the person who called always writes down the number of the car. This is such an unwritten rule. It’s the same when you leave a party from a friend’s house, friends write down the license plate number, just in case.