Fifty days into my journey without a definite end, I will share a quick summary and bring some important news about my future plans as well.
I have thus far visited 4 countries: Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Greece. Serbia was my 5th visit, Macedonia my 2nd, Greece my 2nd and Albania my first time. This does not include any of the numerous border crossings I have done on this trip itself (I travelled around between countries quite a lot while documenting the refugee crisis).
On my trip I stayed a total of 29 nights in 10 different hostels. The price for a night was on average about €10.
In terms of free accommodation I spent 7 nights Couchsurfing at 3 different people. Two were women from the U.S.A. and one was from Australia. Unfortunately I never succeeded to also stay with ‘native’ locals.
Other free accommodation types that I used was a night in a refugee camp, three nights in a Catholic church run by three German nuns, and I spent 7 days in a house that was rented by someone.
After 50 days on the road, my total spent is €952.17. This translates to an average daily spent of €19.04 but it also includes the €44.99 flight from Eindhoven to Skopje.
There is a big difference in prices between Greece (where I am now) and all the other places I have been. Without the 5 days of Greece, my total spent was just €683.88; a daily average spent of €15.20.
Out of the total spent, I estimate that about 34% is spent on accommodation, 10% on transportation (50/50 between city and inter-city transport) and 56% on food and drinks, and 4% for activities. I mostly ate out, but was able to cook on a few nights too.
Also, I have been very fortunate to meet some generous people. Despite my best efforts to pay for certain meals or drinks, there were some people who did not allow for that at all. I estimate that about €20 worth of food and coffee have been paid by (ethnic Albanian) men. On the other hand I also tried sometimes to pay for others, even though I should still do that more often.
My route so far is about 2,430 kilometres and unfortunately involves some significant backtracking. One-third of the kilometres have been by hitchhiking, using at least 16 different rides. I even hitchhiked inside cities, which is the first time I ever pulled that off. On top, I was also able to share some rides to refugee camps with other volunteers that had a car.
There is also bad news. I tried to hitchhike from Trikala to Athens, a distance of 330 kilometre. After a hard struggle I was able to get away from Trikala, only to make it to the next village 20 kilometres ahead. Here I got seriously stuck, looked like a fool and time was running out. I was forced to take an expensive (€28.50) bus. It was the first time I ever failed hitchhiking, but after having done it extensively in all continents around the world, I think it tells more about Greece as a country. On top, from the three rides I got in Greece, one was offered by an Albanian man and one by a Russian.
Concerning the 6 different (official) border crossings I have done, they all have been done by foot.
Haircuts: Only 1 so far, in Skopje for €1.60
Photos taken with Canon DSLR: > 10,000 photos. Roughly 10% eligible for archive.
Photos taken with smart phone: 1,059 photos
Dutch people seen in Macedonia/Albania/Serbia: 0
Dutch people seen in Greece: Many more
My original plan was to make it to Istanbul and then check out where to spend the winter. But because the weather change came a bit earlier than I thought, I skipped the last leg of that journey.
A few days ago I booked a ticket from Athens to Caïro. It means that soon I will be checking out Egypt, a country I have never been to before. I also booked a ticket from Tel Aviv, which means I will travel from Egypt to Jordan and then to Israel (and Palestine).
The sad news is however that the flight from Tel Aviv will take me back to The Netherlands. Due to some circumstances I decided to call this trip a quite by December 16th and spent the Christmas with family. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of adventure ahead as for example I want to see the refugee crisis in Jordan with my own eyes.
Let me share some random highlights in pictures so far, knowing that still many will follow in the next 50 days of travelling. Click on the picture to open a (swipe-enabled) lightbox.