On this page I will explain who I am and how I came to the idea to hitchhike around the world.
My name is Florin Slabu, I’m 28 and I was born and raised in Focsani, in eastern Romania. Got my university education in sociology and social anthropology and then worked in the NGO sector and lately in the corporate world.
I always loved to travel, even from a young age. I think that traveling is as natural to humans as it is to eat, sleep and love. The very bedrock of traveling is our curiosity, our desire to get to know the unknown, to explore the surroundings. And I am not even going to start with the fact that our species switched from hunter-gatherers to sedentary farmers only around 10.000 years ago. Moving around is in our nature.
Our curiosity is often discouraged when we are kids and mistakes are frowned upon. It is often the corrective measures of society that drives us apart from the desire to travel. The need to see, feel, explore the world around is omnipresent in a child, we are only helped to grow out of it. They call it maturing.
When I was a kid and going with my family to the seaside, I would look out of the window of the night train amazed at the passing surrounding until I would fall asleep. I would get excited about every trip. Much later, when I was almost 20, I traveled abroad of my native Romania for the first time. I spent 2 weeks in rural Tuscany, much to my delight.
A year later, I would meet Ada, a girl from Slovakia from whom I learned that traveling by thumb is a thing. The idea quickly sowed in my head and the following summer I toured Europe hitchhiking around. I loved every moment of my 2 months trip and soon it felt like hitchhiking was the best way to travel.
Hitchhiking gives you the most complete experience while traveling. It lets you meet locals even before reaching your destination. If you have any, that is. You may get to experience heat, cold, rain, the indifference of some, but an awesome driver would always stop for you to share your experiences, laughs and smiles. Traveling by thumb is adventurous. Even a day spent hitching might fill an entire book. Don`’t let yourself miss that opportunity.
The idea of circling our planet by thumb arose right after my first Eurotrip, in 2010. For some reason I left the idea on some forgotten corner of my mind and started a Masters Programme in Social Anthropology, founded a green NGO and after 2 years of corporate dystopia, I decided to finally hit the road.
Initially, I was thinking to hitchhike westwards, to jump from Europe to the Americas following the friendly October winds and to cross the Pacific at the height of the sailing season, in March-April. To hitchhike boats is (very) difficult, but rewarding and the experience (I was told) worth every drop of sweat. Instead, I will start hitchhiking eastwards, visiting Asia first, then Australia and then the Americas.
Hope you will enjoy the stories I will share on this blog. Feedback is important to me, so please let me know what I can improve/ change.