article series Yīshízhùxíng for
Italian Version @ Magazine Cittadino Globale
The famous Chinese idiom 「衣食住行」(Yīshízhùxíng) says the four basic elements of our existence what we dress, what we eat, where we live and where we travel. In this world all big cities are jumping into big capitalist pool. We interviewed different people in Berlin to find out how they work out these four aspects in an unorthodox way.
where we live
Puneet, started traveling in 2006.
“Can you tell us your background and how you started hitchhiking?”
I was born in a big city in India with 20 millions citizens. When I was 25, I already got everything, power, money and sex. I studied computer science and mathematics ;then I became freelance scientist. By teaching and researching in different universities in the world, for 3 years, I had the chance to travel to different places, from India to Europe and even Asia.
Then I met a super hitchhiker. He is only 23 years old but he has already traveled for 8 years. Can you imagine a 15 years old boy starting hitchhiking on the road? He even hitchhiked to Kashmir ,which people say is the most dangerous place in the world.
After one year I decided to stop working and started my 3 years full time travel, because I felt like I had enough of everything. It was challenging than before because I have an Indian passport, which doesn’t allow you to visit a lot of countries without a visa. I hitchhiked everywhere, I slept everywhere. Sometime I just went to villages and knocked on the door. “Hello, I traveled here but I don’t have a place to stay. If you can offer me a place to stay, I can help you with everything. I can cook for you, I can clean the house for you, I can fix the devices for you…” That is how I lived until now. On average I spent 2 euros a day. Sometimes people just don’t understand how to spend. In India, people never recycle; on another side in Romania the gypsy eat dump-diving food. Where ever I go , I go by hitchhiking.
“You have been travelling around for 9 years. Do you feel like you have a home?”
I don’t feel like I need a home. I see the world as a whole. I enjoy being on the road. I enjoy being with beauty. I like going to countryside and see how people live there. this is the real culture to me. They farm; everything is just in a self-sustainable system, nothing branded “Bio-food” can be found there. They play; the children are happy. I also enjoy to contribute, to help the community. It is to be away from the big society system and truly engage with the people in the community.
“Do you ever feel lonely?”
I feel lonely when I cannot travel and live in a communicate based society. It is just you cannot express yourself in your life and you don’t understand yourself.
But now I am moving around, I don’t feel lonely. I found myself and I know where my happiness come from. I also love all the challenges I face on the road. I communicate with people I met. I don’t feel lonely at all. For some countries where I don’t speak the local language, I only know “hello”, “how are you?”, “yes”, “no”, “you are beautiful” and “toilet”; but communication is by heart.
The beauty of travel is to let different people to teach people, let different people to have different dreams. Everything can be beautiful.