Hitchhiking from Switzerland to Azerbaijan
 
 
Posted by Adilson Randi

My journey was one to another culture but it was also one to myself. Three years ago I started my studies in environmental sciences at ETH Zurich. The truth is: I am not a scientist. So for me, It was 3 years of hard work, work which didn’t always appeal to me. It made me start wondering about what really mattered in life. And it made me want to go away. I wanted… a little less. A little less speed, a little less stuff, and a little less noise. I wanted more of myself and more time for things that actually matter. On the first of September, I earned my bachelor thesis. Two days later I was on the road.

For the environment, I ditched the airplane. How far would 2 months of hitchhiking eastwards bring me? Having no timetable and no destination was a bliss, as well as leaving behind social media and all my beloved technical gadgets. Maslow already found out that food, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization should cover our needs. So why the heck do we have so much stuff?

My main project was to think but I also wanted to share my experience. So I started a blog and I called it Allweneed. I took portrait pictures of people and I asked the subjects two fundamental questions. First: What does happiness mean to you? And second: What do you appreciate home?

Turns out that yes, we are different. But actually, it's not that different. We are united by our capacity to feel empathy, happiness, and love. In fact, we are all humans. If we would focus on what connects us, rather than what sets us apart, racism would be history.

My experience was also about prejudice. When I talk about it, I am bombarded with the word “dangerous”. We have an inherent fear of what we don’t understand. I want to show that the countries east of Switzerland are more than the tags we give them. They are the diversity of people that inhabit them.

I ended up hitchhiking from my hometown in Switzerland to Baku, the capital in Azerbaijan. However, much more than a travel to somewhere far away, it was a journey about what really matters in life.

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This memory belongs to our Passenger Florian Rudolph (@allweneed.stories). All the pictures belong to Florian's personal archive. To know more about our Passenger Florian Rudolph, click here.

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