My country is the World. My religion is to be Human.

When was the last time you helped a foreigner?

Recently in Belgrade I saw two backpackers, a girl and a guy talking to some other guy on the street, I would say he was a local. I was in a rush between meetings and I could not devote time to them, even though I wanted to. I started convincing myself not to approach them: “Don’t do it Milica, you have meetings to attend, they will manage on their own, keep on moving, don’t stop”.
However, after five steps I turned and started walking towards them, it was stronger than me, I sympathize with travelers. I offered them a cup of coffee and some advice about the city. They accepted.

Their story is like a fairytale
Both of them came from Gemrany, she is 19 and he is 20 years old. They have been together for three years. Since they did not want to study, they decided to travel the world together. They worked for 7 months and earned 13.000 EUR . They worked day and night, had three jobs at the time. In order to save money, thy even rode bicycles to work, they didn’t even use public transport. They told me that their parents were very worried about them, but then they talked to them and told them them all the possible risks they were aware of and how they plan to overcome them. Eventually, they got their support! (I might add that the mindset of parents in Germany and Serbia are quite different, as you may be able to notice yourself)

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Backpacks of the German couple

Their plan is to travel by hitchhiking and sleeping in tents, which they brought with themselves. They believe they will be able to travel for almost two years in total. Their plan is to stay where they feel good and at one point go to Australia where they want to earn extra money and then move to Latin America. The night before we met, they were sleeping at some old lady’s backyard in Pancevo. She showed them around her backyard, showed them a chicken coop, and gave them 10 eggs, which they carried in a shopping bag.

After hearing all this, the only thing I could do is offer them to sleep for a few days in my small flat but big enough for all three of us. It was quite chilly at night, I could not let them freeze in a tent. I took them home with me, gave them keys and went back to work.

They were good guests, grateful for having a place to stay. One evening they cooked dinner for me and my friend Brana. It was quite tasty.

I decided to share this experience with you because I’m currently in Kenya, because now I am that person walking around aimlessly in Nairobi with a backpack. I’d appreciate it if I had some girl Rebecca from Nairobi invite me over for a cup of tea or coffee, to catch up, exchange a couple of ideas and smiles.

To conclude
1. If you see a traveler with a backpack, offer them a slice of pizza or a cup of coffee. It would mean a lot to them. These people are usually intelligent and interesting, you can learn a lot from them.
2. If you are a parent, try not to have your children by your side at all times, give them a chance to explore the world on their own.  These two Germans will return from their trip as totally different people richer for many new experiences! Don’t you want this for your child too?

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Milica Radovic-Mandic

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