Hitchhiking around the planet: a woman alone drove 70 thousand kilometers almost for free
Categories: WorldBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/hitchhiking-around-the-planet-a-woman-alone-drove-70-thousand-kilometers-almost-for-free
34-year-old Anna Bakran hitchhiked alone in 25 countries — from her native Croatia to the island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia. She spent three years and eight months on the road. The woman was picked up by cars, trucks, motorcycles, ferries, sailing boats, fishing boats and even a helicopter, and in Kyrgyzstan she saddled a horse. Anna slept in temples, on the carpet in mosques, in parks and in the homes of local residents. Several times she could have been injured by drivers, but everything went well.
(15 photos in total)
Source: Daily Mail
The route of the trip.
Anna is on a boat heading from the Polynesian island of Maupiti to Bora Bora.
In 2013, Anna quit an Internet marketing company and challenged herself to travel around the world, spending as little money as possible. She described the journey in a blog. The woman says she is used to "sleeping on the move": "On beaches, at gas stations, in mosques and temples, in cheap motels and in countless homes of local residents who invited me to come in. I'm not too picky when I'm tired. The main thing is to feel safe."
The beginning of the journey, Southern Croatia.
During the trip, Anna slept on the floor with 63 orphaned children in Thailand, on a millionaire's yacht in Montenegro's Porto Montenegro and even under a tree in the Turkish Taksim Gezi Park at the very time when there were protests.
A mountain on the island of Raiatea in French Polynesia.
When Anna arrived in Australia, it was so cold there that she had to catch a car in a sleeping bag.
Anna traveled almost for free: "I had to pay only a few times. For example, the border guards in Turkmenistan and China did not allow me to pass between two checkpoints to enter the country until I paid for the border bus."
At first she caught cars with a company, but then she dared to do it alone: "I promised myself that I wouldn't do it, but this way the cars stopped much faster, and the locals were more willing to help me." Of course, security had to be paid for these amenities.
"It happened that I got stuck on the road the devil knows where or found myself in delicate situations with men. I was suddenly shown a penis, touched by the knees or not let out of the car. But I was never hurt, because I remained calm and talked to the drivers — sometimes I threatened them with pepper spray.
I don't think they were bad men. They probably just made the wrong conclusions from the fact that I am a woman and hitchhiking alone. I hope they will learn from their mistakes. Not a single such case discouraged me from hitchhiking, and 99% of the trips were just fine."
In Iran and other Muslim countries, Anna had the most problems with the men she met.
But Anna claims that at the same time, it was in this part of the world that "incredible hospitality and kindness" were shown: "I will never forget how we traveled with an Iranian and a British Pakistani. Every time we stayed on the road at night, we had to find a mosque to sleep in. We behaved respectfully and slept only on the carpet, where the locals put their shoes. In turn, when they came to pray before dawn, they never woke us up and did not drive us away."
Pamukkale, Western Turkey.
Pamukkale is famous for its thermal springs and magnificent white slopes.
The photo on the left was taken in Kyrgyzstan, on the right — in Singapore.
A tribe on the island of Pentecost (part of the Republic of Vanuatu).
Anna's longest journey lasted seven months — it was a boat trip from Malaysia to Australia. She joined the crew after learning that the Australian captain needed a team to get home. "I was looking for a boat to get to Australia, so we were just made for each other."
Anna flew away from Australia by helicopter. Here's how she did it: "I contacted a charter company in Western Australia and told them about myself. After looking at the path I had traveled, they agreed to give me a lift. I just had to wait until there was a place. 45 minutes is nothing compared to the hours I usually spent on the road.
Anna plans to return to French Polynesia and drive around Tuamotu and the Marquesas Islands, and there write a memoir about her journey.