Student visits 120 cities spending only $330

Student visits 120 cities spending only $330

GÜMÜŞHANE – Demirören News Agency
Student visits 120 cities spending only $330

A Turkish university student has alleged that he has toured some 120 cities and provinces, 42 in Turkey and another 78 across 13 European countries, in five years, spending only 5,000 Turkish Liras ($330), mostly traveling by hitchhiking and finding accommodation at mosques and hospitals.

“I filled my dreams in a rucksack and took to the roads as a backpacker,” 24-year-old Erkan Orhan said.

Orhan was recently studying Human Resources at the Gümüşhane University in the Black Sea region.

Searching for the “meaning of life,” the university student realized in 2017 that his dream was being a “sightseer.”

He packed his rucksack and hit the pavements without losing any time.

“I started visiting cities by hitchhiking. I stayed at mosques or the emergency rooms at hospitals,” Orhan said.

The first trip in 2017 opened his eyes and paved the way for other “free” trips he made in the following summers.

Firstly, he saw 42 out of all 81 provinces in the country and then wended his way to Europe.

When asked which countries he visited, Orhan listed: Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia.

He alleged that he had another accommodation alternative in Europe: “The houses of Turkish Gastarbeiters.”

“I met many Turkish Gastarbeiter there. They hosted me at their houses,” Orhan said, thanking them all.

The motivation behind all these “free” trips is “meeting new people” for Orhan. “I met new lives, had new experiences,” he said proudly.

“My family always wanted me to focus on my university life. But I knew that university would not improve me. I had to do something else.”

For him, one other aspect of these “free” trips is “give and take.”

“One day, I was visiting the castle in [the southeastern province of] Gaziantep, and two tourists, one Hungarian and one Romanian, asked me about a location,” he said. “I told them that I could take them there. Then I arranged a friend’s house in the city to host them for two days.”

After some time, Orhan went to Romania and Hungary and stayed in the tourists’ houses for free, tacking back the favor.

“I am a backpacker on the roads with dreams in my rucksack… I am making effects and so my dreams come true on the roads,” he expressed.

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