THE WORLD – By profession a professor of literature and by vocation a writer with two published books and a third about to go into print, and by her current commitment in life – a lady who has for three years been cycling through the world and who, as she told the House of Good News, for as many years has not been dreaming, but living her dreams.
All that, and much more, is Snežana Radojičić, who has changed the tranquil and not so tranquil sides of our everyday life for genuine pleasure in waking up in places her cycle takes her, sleeping in a tent or on unknown beds, everyday learning about the beauty of distant lands and meeting new people.
Until embarking on the greatest adventure of her life, she worked on a dozen different jobs which have nothing to do with her education. Her longest employment was insurance manager in foreign insurance firms.
She loves to read, write, paint, engage in outdoor activities, she loves the theater and films, all forms of the arts, wise people, good people, the world, she is an inquisitive and impassive spirit, in a constant search for changes and new knowledge, she loves to learn and to change.
She does not like mean people, narrow-minded people, people of poor morals, politics, and borders, spiritual and mental, and territorial ones.
For three years I have not been dreaming, because I have been living my dreams
For three years I have not been dreaming, because I have been living my dreams. I plan to follow my Path, Snežana told the House of Good News, where we will also publish her travelogues.
Because besides travelling on wonderful, interesting, often mystical and inaccessible lands, Snežana writes her blog and is finishing work on her travel memoirs, soon to go into print.
How far have you got with your book and what is its subject?
„The book was finished several months ago, and I plan to print it in August. It is romanticized travelogue-adventure-love prose about the first part of my travels, with my co-traveler and partner. I will publish several excerpts from the book on my blog and other places where I publish travelogues, as well as information about how to subscribe for the book, which I will print myself, with the help of friends who edited it and printed the covers“.
Decision on departing with no plan of returning
How did you become a world traveler on a bicycle and what do those travels mean for you?
“The decision to depart with no plan for returning germinated for years. Exactly what provoked it and how it changed from an indistinct idea to a firm decision I describe in my novel, which will be published in August this year”.
Who accompanies you on your travels – are you usually alone or together with others, and are you afraid of anything while you travel?
-I embarked on my travels with a co-traveler and partner, whom I met on a cycling website, looking for someone to travel with me around the world. We cycled together for seven months, and then we separated - he left me in Turkey. It was in February 2012, since when I have been travelling alone.
How difficult was it to leave the comfort and security at home and decide to embark on a route of uncertainty which, with all its charm, contains the unknown and dangers?
"It wasn’t easy, to be sure, especially because my hitherto travel experiences had been negligible. Nevertheless, the desire to finally do something for myself and begin living as I had always wanted, to follow my dream, was stronger than all fears. Finally, I was 40 – an age when a person is still young enough to have wishes, and old enough to begin realizing them, as Meša said. I did not want to miss out on probably my last opportunity to at least try and realize my dreams".
How did people in distant places look at you. Are they hospitable, how do they react when you talk to them, have you acquired friends among them?
"Everwhere in the world people are incredibly friendly to travelers, especially when they see a woman traveling alone. Everywhere they offer me assistance, they want to be good hosts and to talk to me. The world is a wonderful place, populated by good, ordinary little people, as we ourselves also are. I have acquired many new friends, and that is one of the most wonderful things on my travels".
What do you eat on your travels, at inaccessible and arid terrain, do you sometimes crave for something you can’t find there?
"I buy food products and prepare it on the camper’s gas bottle. Of course, sometimes I miss local food, but that is one of the things you voluntarily go without for the sake of everything else you gain living in this manner. On the other hand, an integral part of traveling is getting to know the new tastes of new foods".
A woman alone has it easier than a man alone
Do you have any suitors on the road, are you in greater danger because you are a woman?
"No, there’s no danger, in fact in my opinion a woman traveling alone has a far easier time than a man. Of course, one should always be careful. Every woman who travels will confirms that people, especially in patriarchal and Moslem countries, where it is difficult to see a woman on the street, let alone traveling alone, are incredibly hospitable and ready to use all possible means to protect a lone woman". Love? Yes, that happens too, just like in conventional life.
Do you have time to stay for a while in places you like, what do you do when inclement weather blocks your progress for days?
"I have all the time in the world for what I am doing and am only limited by visa rules about the duration of a stay in certain countries, and money (although money is always found). Recently I was blocked for a whole month in Ulan Bator in Mongolia by snow which fell almost every day. I did what I would do at home: I wrote, read, used the time to contact numerous friends with whom I don’t often have time to talk, watched films, associated with other travelers and locals I met, learned about Mongolia and its people".
Helped people hit by flooding in Serbia from Mongolia
When the floods began in Serbia, all day I sat on the internet and tried to help as much as I could by spreading information, as there are very many people who follow me on Facebook, which I used for information to get where it should. On one occasion a person who follows me and lives in Sweden asked me to share on my profile information that they needed a smaller lorry to transport aid which they had collected to Norway, from where a bigger lorry was starting for Belgrade. I set it up on my profile and also asked my friend Ivan Zeljković, better known as Zeka the Millionaire, to share it on his profile. Zeka is in the UAE, I am in Mongolia, the aid was sought from Sweden to Serbia. In a few hours, a man with a lorry contacted us, and information also arrived about where mass organized collection of aid was taking place in Sweden.
There is no easy way to dreams
Do you sometimes pine for the comfort of your bed, do you regret your adventurism sometimes if you get a pack in your back or head?
"No, never. It is often hard and laborious, but I am aware of why I am doing it and that is the price of the freedom I have and of living my dream. There is no easy way to dreams, every one requires constant sacrifice, but it is only important that a person knows why he or she is doing it. In my opinion, as long as what someone gets by following the road they chose is greater than the price they pay – it makes sense and they will persevere.
When the troubles prevail on that scale and a person begins only seeing negative things in what they are doing – it is time to stop and return to the old way of life or another which will bring them more satisfaction".
How to you treat colds and aches?
"Like everybody else – I don’t get out of bed (tent), I take medicines, increase my food intake, take more vitamins and fruit. And wait for the ache to pass. When I’m lucky, I get into a bed as someone’s guest or in a cheaper hostel".
...Aslong as I feel well living like this
Under what conditions would you agree to stop your travels?
"I would not agree for as long as I want to do this and feel well living in this manner. Why would anyone change a way of life which makes him or her happy? It’s like asking me under what conditions I would abandon happiness".
Where are you now, where are you going, and when are you coming back?
"After Mongolia, where she was waiting for a letter of invitation for Russia in order to get a three-month entry visa, Snežana posted on her Facebook page that she was in Bayalsk, on the southern part of Lake Baykal. She said that no visa was necessary for up to one month’s stay, but a visa was needed for longer. I plan to circle Lake Baykal, and after that, let’s keep it secret for the moment. I am preparing a major surpise for all people who follow and support me, which I hope will make them happy".
Where could you live of all the places you toured, and why?
"In many places. In Turkey, for example, where they are incredibly hospitable and very similar to us, only much more optimistic, and they also have a beautiful country, with unlimited opportunities for outdoor activities (lakes, rivers, mountains, the sea), not even to mention the innumerable archeological sites.
I could live in Laos, where people are completely free – nowhere else did I have such a feeling of freedom, not belonging to a market system and western ‘values’. I could live in northern Thailand, as that country is an ideal mix of east and west, and the people are incredibly cordial, helpful, smiling, sunny, and their country is also beautiful both in natural resources and archeological sites.
In general, I could live anywhere in south-east Asia mostly because of the people, their positivism (everybody is always smiling, even if they have literally nothing), the good food…
Do you sometimes succumb to nostalgia?
"No, I feel no nostalgia. Only when the floods hit us this spring, I felt really unhappy because I was so far from my people and for the first time I wanted to be there instead of where I was. But that has nothing to do with nostalgia".
When are you coming back and for how long, and where will you go next?
"I am not planning to return in that sense. All I want to do is to continue traveling and writing and living from that. The world is so big and there are so many new countries and interesting places I want to see that I really see no end to it – for as long as there is good health and a little money".
Source: House of Good News