A schoolgirl from Russia has been hitchhiking since she was 14 and has already visited more than 20 countriesBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/a-schoolgirl-from-russia-has-been-hitchhiking-since-she-was-14-and-has-already-visited-more-than-20-countries
Do you still think that traveling abroad requires huge financial costs? This young traveler proves the opposite!
Diana Smykova from Arkhangelsk has been traveling since she was 14 and has already visited more than 20 countries! But most importantly, she does it completely free of charge (sometimes for a nominal fee). Read more about the story of this brave and adventurous girl below.
Diana Smykova has been traveling continuously for three years now and can safely call herself a pro in hitchhiking and couchsurfing. But once the girl started without any knowledge, acquaintances and practically without money. For a month, Diana had three thousand rubles and she spent them mainly on food.
Diana remembers her first trip with a smile, although then, according to the girl, it was very scary:
Fortunately, no adventures happened on the way. Moreover, the man who drove the girls also turned out to be a former hitchhiker. He told how he traveled to Russia many years ago, shared his experience and knowledge, and even more inspired Diana to realize her long—standing dream of seeing the world.
So she decided to go to the Crimea. Mom had to say that she was going to her friends so that she wouldn't worry too much. In fact, taking with them sleeping bags, some provisions, some money and tents, Diana and her friend went to travel all over the peninsula.
From the Crimea, she went by train to St. Petersburg, spent a couple of days there, and decided to move on. On the website for travelers, Diana put up an offer for a trip to Finland, and soon one girl responded.
This, we can say, was the first serious trip of a young Russian woman, because for him she had to solve three issues: make a visa, keep everything a secret from her loved ones and collect at least some money. My grandmother helped with the first one and my mother's consent to leave after a school trip to Italy.
As for the money, Diana had to work hard here: she handed out flyers, and washed floors in the evenings, and pasted ads, and worked as a photographer. As a result, the girl still managed to save the necessary amount.
After Finland , Diana briefly returned to Peter, but soon a friend invited her to Estonia. This time the traveler decided to tell her family everything as it is. Then it was her birthday, and she thought that on such a day she would definitely not be refused.
Then Diana had to tell that she had already visited Finland, and that traveling to different countries and cities is not scary at all, but on the contrary, it is very fun. After the girl gave her relatives the contacts of all the people she plans to stay with, gritting her teeth, she was still released.In a month, Smykova managed to travel through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Belarus, Finland and Sweden, sleep in the rain near the Alps and gain 10 kilograms from the abundance of food in European street foods.
In the spring, Diana and her friend decided to conquer Turkey, but an unpleasant surprise awaited them here. The first driver who picked up the hitchhikers turned out to be crazy — he shouted all the way, pronounced Russian mats and said he wanted to "have sex with them."
Fortunately, the rest of the Turks who met Diana were no longer so eccentric, so the rest, we can say, went well. Here the girl fulfilled her old dream and went for a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia (although she spent almost all the money on it). On this wonderful note, she decided to take a break and spent the next summer traveling exclusively in Russia.
By the way, Russia is in the top 5 Diana countries for hitchhiking. The Faroes are in the first place, Turkey is in the second (even despite the impulsive locals). Then Georgia follows — here, according to Diana, they will take you anywhere and feed you. The fourth is Russia, and the last is Finland.But in Central Europe, including Germany, it is very difficult to catch a car, and if some driver picks you up, it is possible that he will turn out to be a psycho.
Over time, Diana created a photo project "16 by 9", in which she showed the people of the North, their culture, the beauty of nature, told their amazing stories, accompanied by atmospheric photos. For example, there was a woman in the project who lives with memories of The Soviet Union, about the past, when she lived with children, and when she was young herself — now she is 91 years old. Or a man who lives in a village of three people is the entire population.
Diana's photo stories soon became so popular that complete strangers began to apply for her services as a photographer. So the girl got the opportunity to stay in hostels or rent rooms, but she continues to hitchhike to this day.
Mom and grandma have been aware of Diana's adventures for a long time.
So far, the main problem of the traveler remains her studies (now she is studying in the 10th grade of the lyceum). Although Dina always tries to negotiate with the lyceum in advance and passes all subjects on her return from traveling, teachers are angry and underestimate grades.
But the girl is not upset, because in the near future she does not plan to take the Unified State Exam and enter a university. Diana plans to go to Latin America and the Far East, and later — to travel around the world.
At the same time, the girl emphasizes that she does not want to move from Russia, because he loves his country very much.