After a bit of a break, here’s a new instalment of 10Qs: You probably haven’t heard of Snežana Radojčić, but she’s kind of a big deal. She’s been travelling (for the most part solo!), on a bike for the last 9 months and over 8,000 kilometres. She left from Serbia, setting off east with a tent, a few possessions and just enough money to keep her going.
Snežana says: “I’m pedalling somewhere, spinning the wheels of my bike in life’s big adventure, with the hope that I will make at least one spin around the world… I don’t have a specific route, I don’t have an exact number of kilometres I should travel in a day, month or year. I ride as long as it’s enjoyable and then I stop, rest, meet people, take photos, write, draw… I wake up with a smile, without a watch and I’m never in a rush.”
If you’d like, you can help Snežana continue her journey by ‘purchasing’ a few kilometres in the part of the world where you would like to ride, and she will ride for you. The symbolic price for 1km is 1 euro.
Enjoy her answers (I translated) below and follow her journey here, but don’t be discouraged by the awkward Google translator, you’ll get the gist.
1. Dearest /funniest/ strangest childhood travel memory?
I really can’t think of anything. Throughout my childhood I only travelled to the sea coast with my parents, or to the birthplaces of my father and mother. This was always a synonym for endless boredom and waking up exhausted in the middle of the night because my dad wanted to drive in the morning hours before it got too hot.
But I do have and image that has stayed with me for decades. Somewhere near Ivanjica, where my father comes from, in the middle of nowhere, an old man appeared on the road. He had a long white beard, like some kind of eastern monk. He seemed completely unreal in that place, as if he teleported from who knows where. I stared at him, mouth open, and when we passed, I looked through the rear window for ages, as he disappeared from view. I was pretty sure he was some kind of wizard.
2. What was your most comfortable home away from home?
3. Who makes the best travel companion?
I had a small, stuffed bear that ‘sat’ on my handle bar bag. He travelled with me for the first seven months until my bag was stolen in Greece. His name was ‘Skituljko’ (Wanderer) and I adored him. When I continued alone after a break-up with my partner and trip-mate, I got attached to the plush bear even more. I really miss him as weird or as silly as that sounds. I didn’t replace him, ‘Skituljko’ still travels with me in my thoughts.
4. What do you always pack?
A whole bunch of bags of different colours and sizes made from waterproof material that I have sewn myself from shower curtains. I split my things into them and this has proven to be quite practical.
5. Is there anything particular that you collect/photograph/save on your trips?
Small trinkets I’ve been given by people I’ve meet along the way, like necklaces, bracelets, stones, pencils, lighters…
6. What would you change about the way we travel today?
People travel too fast and see little. They only see what’s ‘served’ to them. They rarely have a chance to travel and stop to photograph everything that interests them, talk to people they meet along the way, to simply sit on the grass and revel in a landscape or beautiful day. People travel enclosed in cars, buses, train cabins, planes and can’t see or experience anything between the place they left from and the place that they have chosen as their destination.
It would be ideal if everyone could travel on foot, by bicycle, horse or horse-drawn carriage; if they had enough time and sense of adventure to discover new places and acquire new experiences in this way.
7. What lesson can you share from a mistake or misconception?
The world is a much better and safer place than we believe and that the media presents to us. You just have to be open to other people and different experiences.
8. What’s your trick for blending in, avoiding looking like a tourist.
I don’t try to blend in. I don’t have a problem dealing with pushy people or saying I have no money even though I am a tourist.
9. If you could teleport to another location right now, where would it be?
Kamchatka (peninsula in Russia’s far east).
10. And realistically where are you off to next?
From Cappadocia I will travel to the northern part of Turkey, into Georgia and Armenia and then Iran.