Travelling Kid Interview 5
My name is Alexiane 陆西娜. I’m a 20-year-old French traveller currently living in Wuhan, China. I’m also a third year student majoring in Chinese. I have a travel blog named Adopte un autostoppeur, which means ‘adopt a hitchhiker’ in French. Since I was a child I always wanted to travel the world but slowly, because I wanted to take time to admire life and people. And I still want to, so I’m doing it! I always dreamed of becoming a photographer so I’m doing my best to realise my dream, because I believe we should always pursue our dreams no matter what!
Which form of travelling do you use?
I love to travel by hitchhiking, but I use train or flight or buses mostly. I never forbade myself to do anything. For example, while I’m writing this interview, I’ll be on an 11-hour train to Guilin, China in few hours, then I’ll start to hitchhike from one city to another. Mixing ways of travelling is also mixing the chance of meeting different people. In China everyone uses train because it’s cheaper, so you can meet people from all backgrounds and in 11 hours you have time to meet so many people. That’s what I love while travelling, it’s different opportunities.
Why did you start travelling this way?
I had my first hitchhiking experience last year actually, I always wanted to try but never did it. When I was invited to a party with my best friend in a city one hour from mine and we didn’t have money we decided to try hitch and it was really fun. We had 5 different cars and we loved it! Then last summer we decided to go to Czech Republic hitch hiking plus with the challenge to go with €0 and we did 9 countries over a month and a half. Nothing was planned and we just loved it so much we didn’t want to go back! I fell in love with wild travelling.
Do you travel mostly solo or do you road dog with someone?
Since I’ve started travelling I have always travelled with my best friend. We met at university 3 years ago and a few months later we moved in together, we spent all our time together, she’s next to me right now! We both had quite similar dreams, and both like to think of something and just go for it. We started to travel together in Spain. One night we were just lying in our beds and she tells me:
- ‘Classes make me bored. I need to travel or I’ll go crazy, let’s have a trip!’
- ‘Yeah, but where?’
- ‘Where you want?’
- ‘Spain is close, so let’s go there! When?’
- ‘Tomorrow morning!’
And so we did we left the next morning for a week-long trip. Next to the border we realised we were supposed to go to work that week. We just texted our boss saying we forgot to tell them we were going to Spain so we wouldn’t be there that week, and we crossed the border. It was simply crazy to do that but so good!
We travelled to Paris, Clermont-Ferrand, Barcelona, and Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and now China together! We want to do a world tour together after our master’s degree.
Sometimes I think, maybe travelling alone is better?! But then I remember that for now I’m happy to travel this way, always together, to share those adventures and that’s the most important thing. It may change one day but for now I just enjoy what I have and it’s like this!
Are you currently travelling right now?
Right now I’m travelling around China. My train is in few hours and I’ll do Wuhan – Guilin –Yangshuo – Laipin – Wuhan.
I have been to:
Europe: England (Cambridge), Scotland (Edinburgh), Italy (Trieste, Venezia, Milano, Torino, and some border villages), Spain (Barcelona, and some border villages), Switzerland (Genova, Bern), Germany (Freiburg, Titisee Neustadt, Nuremberg, Villigen, Berlin), Poland (Warsovia), Czech Republic (Klatovy, Plentz, Praha, HradeckKralov, Mikulov), Austria (Wien), Hungary (Budapest, villages along the way to Slovenia), Slovenia (Ljubjana, villages), Croatia (Zagreb).
Africa: Morroco, Tunisia
Asia: China (Beijing, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guilin, Yangshuo, Laipin), Indonesia (Jakarta, Bali Island), Singapore, United Arab Emirates (Dubaï)
Any places stand out in particular?
Yes, China. I always felt China was my home and the first time I came I called my family to tell them ‘now I’m home’. I don’t know why. I just always felt that way, even as a kid I wanted to be Chinese so…
Did you think it would be easier or harder than it is now before you set out?
I don’t think so, because from the moment you start the adventure you just totally live it and forget your apprehensions, but every new trip brings new apprehensions, so I can’t say if it would had been easier. I learned on the road and I’m still learning.
Do you think the love of adventure and freedom is addictive?
Yes, I think so. Every time I come back I’m happy to be home but after a few days I’m already thinking of my next trip.
While hitching, do you find it exhausting trying to communicate in foreign languages? How about when telling the same stories over and over?
I’ve a real passion for foreign languages, so I don’t think it’s exhausting really. I just love to learn a language to try to communicate, and sometimes there’s no need to speak to understand each other and that’s wonderful.
I never get bored of telling the same stories over and over because the person I’m talking with is never the same and neither are reactions. Questions are sometimes similar but I feel it as being so different that I’m always happy.
Could you (or would you) travel as a lifestyle?
I want to travel as a lifestyle, I always wanted to. But I also want to have kids so I’ll probably stop for a while and when they will be of age go back on the road together. This is what I think now, but who knows? It could change, only the future will tell!
While travelling, how do you make money? What about hygiene, food, where to sleep?
It depends on the goal I gave myself. The question is ‘what do I want this trip to be?’ Then I decide if I take money or not, if I rent a bike, if I use common transportation, if I want a room in a hostel, a tent, ask people on the street for a bed… It all depends on the moment! But one thing is sure, there is always a way.
Do you think travel is a form of education?
For me travel is definitely a form of education. It is education of the self because you’ll never know yourself better than in this way. And for others, you have to learn to respect all cultures, religions, ways of living, sharing places… You want some money, you get some jobs. You learn how to do so many jobs, even if you’re not paid you will win. You get new experiences and that should count on a CV.
Has travelling changed your views on people? How about your views on your own life?
Travelling didn’t change my views on people or my own life. It confirmed my vision of them and of what I want to do with my life. It gave me more confidence to do what I want in life and continue to believe in people.
Do you prefer cities or the countryside, or a healthy mix of either?
I like some city architecture but I feel better in the countryside in nature, with landscapes. People are more simple in their way of living and that corresponds to me. In cities it all goes so fast, there is so much stress …
Do you ‘believe’ in the road when times get a little tough?
Of course. There are some good and bad days but we remember why we do it and think of a good tomorrow.
Do you believe in love on the road?
Yes, I do. Love can be anywhere.
Don’t forget to have a look to his blog :http://www.finchstuff.org/blog/2016/10/01/travelling-kid-interview-5/