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Hey there, I'm Michael!

Currently I am an Information Technology student in Munich, Bavaria. If I'm not currently at work or in university, you will probably find me at one of the many lakes nearby with my friends (probably playing football or volleyball), volunteering in my community as a firefighter and elected municipal council member, playing guitar.

The top item on my bucket list is to visit at least 100 different countries during my lifetime. So far, I've been to

“Travel, which is like a greater and a graver science, brings us back to ourselves.” — Albert Camus

August/September 2022 - Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania | 691 km

From Istanbul to Bucharest (11 rides)

March 2022 - South Tyrol (Italy) | 1 km

Went to some bars with my brother and a friend of mine after a stressful day of skiing. We were too tired to walk home to my apartment so we thumbed. The second car stopped and took us the last kilometer to our apartment.

December 2021 - Guadeloupe (French Caribbean) | 72km

> Work in progress

August/September 2021 - Western Balkans (Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina) | 1.037 km

> Work in progress

So this here is a small diary about my first hitchhiking trip in which I explored six of the western balkan countries. In total I hitchhiked more than 1000km in 26 different vehicles. I focus here more on the hitchhiking aspect of my journey, I also did a lot of other stuff during those two and a half weeks. Maybe I will write a complete travel log about this journey when I am bored at some time in the future.

28/08/2021 Prishtina -> Prizren (Kosovo) | 2 rides | 86 km

Prishtina was the first destination of my journey, but I wanted to visit Prizren for a day. At this point I was still alone but I was curious to hitchhike for my first time. I found a neat spot right outside a military base in the west of Prishtina were I started trying with a sign only saying "Prizren". Soon I recognized that most people were not heading directly for Prizren, that's where I added some smaller city names on the way to Prizren to a sign. In the 20 minutes I totally spent waiting, I had two cars stopping that would offer me to drive me to Prizren for ridiculous amounts of money as some form of informal taxi. Not long after, a friendly elderly Kosovar stopped and offered me to take me to Komoran, which is roughly one third of the distance. As one of many people who took me in this time, he spoke good German as he worked there for two decades. The conversations I had with him were a bit akward since we talked about COVID for a time and he had some rather questionable views on that. He dropped me off still on the highway but directly at a junction where cars would enter and exit, so I stood next to the place where cars would enter for ten minutes, because cars were rather slow. Unfortunately, there was not much place to stop but a few minutes later one guy told me it would be better to stand on the highway right after the entrance, where is much more space. As I went there, a sprinter driver was having a break there and directly asked me where I wanted to go. He was heading for Prizren as well and offered me a ride which I gladely accepted. I had a great chat with him, his job was to distribute lemonade to shops thoughout the country. He gave me some tips on what I could visit in Prizren and we exchanged instagram handles before I left. He later often reacted to my pictures I posted during my trip. In the evening, I tried to hitchhike back to Prishtina. The first vehicle to stop was a regular bus. For a second I thought about trying further but I was to tired so I accepted spending three euros for a ticket.

29/08/2021 Prishtina -> Skopje (Kosovo / Macedonia) | 3 rides | 93 km

In the night from 28 to 29, my travel partners for the next week arrived in Prishtina. We arranged our trip through couchsurfing and stayed at the same host for a night. It was a bit weird in the beginning since we barely knew each other and already started a one week vacation together. After a delicious and heavy Kosovar breakfast consisting of "flija" and ayran, we started heading for a good spot in the south of the city center we found here on Hitchwiki. After a few moments of confusion, we realized that the location that was described as a large construction zone with a lot of space for cars does not longer exist since the buildings have been finished in the meantime. This ment that there was a lot less space but since our only other option was to walk a few more kilometers out of town we decided to try anyways.

We couldn't believe that the first car that passed us already stopped. It was a car with a British license plate which looked rather expensive with a well dressed guy who apparently had family in the region. He offered to take us to the border to Macedonia so we quickly put our luggage in his back and got in. What we didn't mention when talking to him was that we didn't want to pay. Before he started going, he asked us how much we can pay him. It was a little bit uncomfortable to tell him that we expected to get a free ride. He seemed a bit unhappy about this but not rude, yet he didn't want to take us for free. We unloaded our stuff again and were a bit sad that our luck betrayed us in this way. Thumbs out again. The next car to stop would take us to Ferizaj, half the way to the border to Macedonia. I don't remember a lot about him, but he was extremly hospitable. He offered to invite us for lunch more than once but since we still had some activities planned in Skopje for the afternoon, we had to decline. Still, we weren't able to reject his invitation for a coffee at a neat place in Ferizaj before he dropped us of directly at the road at maybe the best stop we had on this journey.

There was a lot of unpaved space near the road and since it was the junction to get on the highway, most cars where going rather slow. Basically every second car stopped here, unfortunately many could only take us 10-20km further down the road but our plan was to get a car at least directly to the border from here since we didn't want to give up this spot. After around ten minutes, a guy probably in his early 30s stopped. It was hard to communicate since he didn't spoke any of the languages we know and we couldn't speak Albanian. Nevertheless he was very kind and took us directly to the border to Macedonia. We stopped on the highway to take some pictures together and from what I could understand he explained a lot about the newly built highway and the stunning looking region we crossed. I was a little bit confused after we got out of the car since he turned around and went back the way we came from, so apparently he drove at least the last bit of the road just to drop us of at the border and not because he needed to go there himself.

The Kosovar and Macedonian border posts are directly behind each other so we decided to cross both and tried our luck directly after the second checkpoint. Cars were going by slow

Prishtina -> Prizren: 2 rides Prishtina -> Skopje: 3 rides Skopje -> Ohrid: 2 rides Sv. Naum -> Tirana: 1 ride Tirana -> Podgorica: 3 rides Podgorica -> Budva: 2 rides Sv. Stefan -> Nomade beach: 4 rides Tivat -> Dubrovnik: 3 rides Dubrovnik -> Mostar: 5 rides Mostar -> Sarajevo: 1 ride