No trains, no buses, no schedules and no fixed place to spend the night. This is the philosophy of a group of young Turks who have created a Facebook page “Nonstop Otostop” to promote the spontaneous aggregation to travel around Turkey, strictly with backpackers and just one certainty: the destination. Traveling makes you feel free to explore, to meet other people, to develop a sense of trust and learn how recognize the danger. All these capacity doubles when the trip is done hitchhiking.
Walking around Cappadocia, Turkey, in search of one of the most beautiful places to observe a sunset, the Rose Valley, a breathtaking landscape in the middle of nature, it is not strange to meet people with a backpack that will stay right there to pass the night in tents. So, walking around Cappadocia, destination of a short trip lasting a weekend, you see three young people get off of a car. These are three hitchhikers that you think are of other nations. It is when you try to understand where they come from, you find out that they are Turks. After a short and difficult chat – because of language – the three guys ask for an another ride, to go directly there, in the Rose Valley, Göreme.
These guys offer you a ride that you can not accept, because your group is made up of five people, they are three and it is clear that plus the generous driver, you can not get in the car in nine.
You greet them, thinking about not see them anymore, but such a big surprise when the car driven by one of the guys you’ve met before, back to give you a ride.
The sky, a little cloudy, does not promise the fantastic spectacle that we expected to see, but the turkish guys still invite you to sit down with them and with a guitar, start to play and sing songs in turkish, language that you cannot understand, but at that moment the music seem a universal means of communication.
From short phrases you understand that they are waiting for some friends. A few minutes later, in fact, another group of three hitchhikers all with backpack, reach them. Among them a girl who spoke good English begins to explain their particular way of traveling.
“We have a Facebook page called Nonstop Otostop – says Maria – We are a diverse group, mostly students who propose a destination and who decide the place in which to meet eachother. We split into small groups and then we are free on how to arrive there: cars, trucks, walking.
“The desire to explore is too valuable to pay for it – we read in the description of their Facebook page – When you travel like this, you do not feel neither the weight nor the fatigue of walking for hours with a backpack on his shoulders. Travelling by hitchhiking is to experience the beauty of solidarity and social life and gives you the chance to meet many people, challenge the prejudices and learn to recognize the dangers”.
Put “Like” on their Facebook page is like sharing a piece of their travel: photos, videos and stories that make you want to join them in their adventures.
Happy and inspired by their story we sing the last song on turkish together, then the guys make their way in single file toward their “accommodation” before the sun sets. A big greeting from afar with their hand.