Always listen to your gut instincts. Trusting your gut feeling about someone helps You to stay safe.
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Always Listen to Your Gut Instincts

Always listen to your gut instincts. Trusting your gut feeling about someone helps You to stay safe.
Always listen to your gut instincts
This is the absolute most important lesson that I ever learned: concerning your safety as hitchhiker and adventurer, as long as You listen to your gut instincts You will always make the right choice.

On September 17th, 2009 I was hitchhiking between Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria. When backpacking there is a rule which says "never wear objects or clothes which can attract unwanted attention upon yourself" - I was aware of this rule but I did not respect it. On my right hand I was wearing two silver rings - their value was less than 10 EUR put together, almost nothing.

Around eight o'clock in the morning I was on the side of the road in Sofia trying to get a ride towards Veliko Tarnovo. I was smiling and full of enthusiasm. The spot was good, yet in almost three hours I was there nobody stopped.

After three hours, somebody finally stopped. Two men, around thirty years old, looking pretty badly and not speaking a word of English. When I saw them, the first thing which crossed my mind was "Adriano, don't get into this car or You might get into troubles". After three hours waiting for a ride I wasn't so full of enthusiasm anymore and I ignored what my instincts were telling me. I got into the car and sat on the back seat.

After about twenty minutes driving, one of the two men asked: "Passport?" - he wanted to see my passport. There are many years I am hitchhiking and no driver ever before showed so much interest in seeing my passport. Hitchhiking is about mutual trust - the driver trusts the hitchhiker and the hitchhiker trusts the driver. When I heard his question I immediately understood something was wrong.

I took out my passport and handed it to him. He browsed it and noticed that I was living in a country which had EUR as currency. Then he handed it back to me. After about five minutes he said: "EVRO?", while making the gesture with his fingers indicating money. He wanted me to give him some money. I replied "Nimam evro", which means "I do not have euros". Then he said: "Phone?" - since I had no money, he wanted to have my phone. I said: "No phone", while gesturing with my hands that I did not have any.

Then he kept driving and after about ten minutes, as I was keeping my hands on the upper side of the front seats, he had a quick look at my two silver rings and said: "Rings. Beautiful." and indicated with his hands he wanted to have a closer look at my rings. I removed one of my rings and handed it to him. He looked at it and handed it back to me. He kept driving and after another ten minutes he pointed again at my rings making me understand he wanted to have another look at them. I removed my rings and handed them to him. He stopped the car, the other guy got off and opened my door, took my backpack and threw it out on the ground and gestured that I should step out of the car. I got out and then they left.

They took my rings. I wasn't upset - I was aware that it was my fault because I did not follow the rule and I also did not listen to my gut instincts which clearly told me not to get into this car.

What You just read is a true story about a negative hitchhiking experience that happened to me which shows how trusting your gut feeling about someone prevents You from getting into trouble. As hitchhiker and adventurer, the lesson I learned from this hitchhiking experience is about safety: when You hitchhike, always listen to your gut instincts because they will always help You to stay safe.

Written by Claudio Adriano Dobre, 2012
People who met me say...

Hitchhiker and Adventurer from Europe
"Meeting with Adriano is like charging yourself with a positive attitude that leads to happiness and success and can change your whole life. With that I am saying that people like Adriano will never be lost. He will always find a way how to enjoy the time that he has for himself and others and get the most out of it, even if he is alone in the middle of nowhere."
Liva Juskevica