VICTOR GIN INTERVIEW
The Crew: Hi Victor, thank you so much for doing this interview with Creative Young Souls. We saw your work on Instagram, and your videos on YouTube, and we just had to get in touch with you.
Victor: Hello, and thank you for the interview.
The Crew: Tell us what made you decide to sell your belongings and start traveling around the world?
Victor: It all started around two years ago when I was a 30-year-old guy living an ordinary family life and then went through a painful divorce. My picture of the world was ruined in a very short period. I realized that I didn’t know anything about myself, or the world I lived in. From childhood, I was moved in the direction society push me. I graduated university as a computer programmer. I found a job. I got married, and then eventually I came to a point where I lost myself. It took a while, but I made the decision to start a new life, but this time I was going to live it differently. I think my despair helped me to cut the ties and burn the bridges without regrets, but I still had so many fears to do that! It was a step into the unknown and everyone thought I was crazy. Not too many people understood and supported me at that time. I lost many connections in the process.
The Crew: When did you leave your hometown in Russia and start your journey?
Victor: I reduced my past life to backpack size and sat on a train going to Brest in Belarus. It was March 26, 2015.
The Crew: You travel by land and sea only, no flights. Why? How difficult is that?
Victor: My Journey is more than traveling, it’s a way of living and new state of mind. There is no end destination in mind. I go with the flow and keep an open heart to the world. I’m ready for any adventure, and grateful to whatever life brings me. It’s how I’m learning and changing. I would say it is not just a tour around the globe; it is also a journey into my inner self. I don’t have anything against flights, but I feel that I want to wander around the world. Flights drop you instantly from one environment to another, and it seems like you are missing out on something. Traveling for me is about the journey, not the destination. The same thing I can say about life. So often we are blinded by the end goal, craving to reach something, it makes us unconsciously rush, and we miss the most important part – enjoying life itself. So let’s feel and share beautiful moments, my friends! Sometimes slow travel can be exhausting and requires lots of patience. It is not easy to spend two days shaking in a rusted bus without sleep or stuck somewhere in a God forgotten place looking for any connection and chance to continue, but this is how we grow, by facing difficulties, accepting challenges, and conquering our fears. I believe I’ve gotten a few lessons on how to meditate on it, be patient, be flexible, and trust in the Universe and myself.
The Crew: How many countries have you visited so far?
Victor: Up to this moment I’ve traveled to 23 countries in one year. During the first six months I went through Europe and 11 countries in West Africa. I then got blocked in Togo and couldn’t move further so I found a cargo ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean and continued into South America.
The Crew: How long do you stay in one country?
Victor: Instinct tells me if I should stay or continue. On average, I stop 2-3 days in every city, but there are always exceptions. Chance leads me. It shows me when to speed up and when to slow down. For example, I only got a two day transit visa for Ghana so I had to go through it quickly. When I’m too fast circumstances slow me down. For example my border experience between Senegal and Gambia. I checked out on the one side, but the Gambians didn’t let me enter on their side, so I got stuck somewhere in between. After several days I ran out of cash and there wasn’t an ATM for kilometers. Only with the help of another ‘couch surfer’ inside the country, who spoke to the head immigration officer in Banjul, Gambian customs finally gave me the green light. Before they let me go, they invited me to share lunch with them. We were sitting in the back yard, eating rice with our bare hands from a big bowl. There were no more ranks, nationality questions or passport restrictions. We were just a group of friends sharing a delightful moment. My main aim is to unite and inspire people. We as humans are one, but we live in a world full of separation. There is no need to be attached to any group and separate from another. We are all human beings, which is the strongest natural self-identification. It’s crucial to remember who you are and keep trying to be a better person!
The Crew: Where do you sleep when traveling?
Victor: Most places I try couch-surfing, and I’ve had positive experiences with it. Usually you meet open minded people who are on the same wavelength as you. Besides, locals will help you explore and push you into their culture. I try to avoid touristic areas, and prefer the places where I can see life from the inside, meet people, and feel the atmosphere. It forms my experience and impression of the city and the locals. Many nights I spend outdoors in a tent or inside a sleeping bag. I always enjoy it because it truly connects me to nature.
The Crew: Tell us about the craziest place you have slept so far on your journey?
Victor: I’d like to share with you the night I spend in the Sahara desert. It might not be the craziest one but it’s very special to me. It was a dream come true. I was laying on the sand at the top of a high dune. It was freezing during the night but the infinite sky above was covering me with its beauty. The stars were like billions of beautiful diamonds, and the Milky Way felt very close. The moon rose like a big orange pancake. It was a magnificent moment of conversation with the Universe.
The Crew: When it comes to food, what do you eat?
Victor: I’m a big fan of local cuisine, and I try to eat everything the place can offer me, or not eating, like what happened in Morocco when I got there during the month of Ramadan, so I started fasting as well. It wasn’t for any religious reasons because I don’t belong to any of them. The only thing I believe in is love. My fasting was the way to show the unity and respect to this culture.
The Crew: Tell us the worst and best local cuisine you’ve tried.
Victor: Every country has a particular dish or drink that I like. I would recommend Brazilian cuisine, Moroccan cuisine, and Russian soups 🙂
The Crew: You must be experiencing a lot of different cultures, please share some of your experiences.
Victor: In Togo, Voodoo is widely practiced, and I stayed with a family that performed these rituals. I participated once, but I didn’t understand much, and was a bit shocked when they killed eight chickens before my eyes. The family however was very good to me, and helped me a lot.
The Crew: Which country is next on your journey, and when do you plan on getting there?
Victor: My next country should be Paraguay and then Argentina. I want to go all the way down to Patagonia. I have no idea when it will happen. I came to Rio de Janeiro thinking to stay only for three days, but I’ve been living here already for three months!
The Crew: When do you think you will end your travels, and return home, if ever?
Victor: One day my finances would probably run out, and only then will I start thinking about the future. I feel that traveling enriched me by opening new opportunities that I couldn’t imagine before. I don’t have a strong desire to settle back in Russia.
The Crew: Do you miss home and your friends and family?
Victor: The world is my home. I’m traveling alone, but I’m never alone. On this journey I constantly meet new people, make new friends, and even girlfriends. They are my current family, but there is a hard part to it; every time to move further I have to say goodbye.
The Crew: Your photos and videos are incredible. Are you a professional photographer?
Victor: I am not. I’m just using a simple smartphone to shoot. To me, it’s important to catch the beauty of the moment and let other people feel and see it. I believe that this is what real art is about, making you feel something, not just a beautiful looking picture. Currently I’m doing a lot of editing. I graduated from painting school when I was young, and it certainly helps me. During editing I put a lot of feelings in the process and it charges the picture with good vibes. People can feel it. It’s magical!
The Crew: Can we just say how much we love your selfie stick! The videos and photos you have taken with it have been phenomenal! What video camera are you mostly using to document your travels?
Victor: I use SJCAM 4000. It’s a cheap Chinese copy of GoPro. I broke one camera in Africa and replaced it with the same model. I’m satisfied with the quality, and it corresponds to my purposes.
The Crew: Where can our readers go to follow your journey around the world?
Victor: The best way to do that is to follow me on Instagram. It’s where I tell my story through pictures and do postings on a daily basis. I would love to see new faces.
Here is the Instagram link:
I have twitter and facebook accounts as well, and I do crossposting from Instagram:
On this page you can see the whole route of my journey:
And check my selfie stick video compilation here:
The Crew: What is your craziest experience so far?
Victor: Once I lived in the wild jungle of Thailand but it’s another story… I Would like to tell you about my experience in Spain on the pilgrims path called ‘Camino de Santiago’. I walked 1025km in 35 days carrying a 20kg backpack on my shoulders. It was a real soul healing journey and great training for your legs and mind. It’s like living life inside life; you experience things in a very concentrated form. After one month you don’t want to stop and it feels like you have been living there for many years. I recommend it to everyone. You will never be the same!
The Crew: Can you share some of your highlights?
Victor: The greatest moments are those that you share with good people and the most special to me were the romantic stories. When two souls get touched in a deep connection you can look into her eyes and discover a whole new universe. You are surfing together on the same wave of magical moments and it’s the biggest adventure ever. Every relationship I experienced is like a beautiful butterfly going into my soul. It has made me a rich person. Not in material things that just accumulate weight in my backpack, but only my free heart full of flying butterflies.
The Crew: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Victor: “Listen to your heart”. It’s a typical phrase that you hear everywhere but the person who said it to me was my spiritual teacher in Thailand, and it made me accept it deep in my heart.
The Crew: What advice can you give our readers who might be going through tough times in their own lives and would like to do something similar to this?
Victor: Don’t give up my friend. Keep following your dreams. Follow your heart and all is possible. It is always difficult to leave your comfort zone, and many things are going to be against you. The point is not to be fearless but to take the next step despite your fears. Rise every time the circumstances knock you down, and you will overcome your horizons and many doors will open. A hero lives in everyone!
The Crew: We hear that you are busy with a book? Tell us a bit more.
Victor: This book tells the whole story from my divorce to starting my current journey. It’s mostly the part that I have skipped in this interview, my experience in the jungle of Thailand. I’m writing in my native language and wish to publish it in Russia. If readers find it interesting I will translate it to English and work on my second book about this travel.
The Crew: What comes next for Victor? What’s your plan for the future?
Victor: My biggest dream is still the same, to settle, create a family, and raise kids. Time will tell and things will come at the right moment. I’m totally trusting my flow. I’m still looking for something and don’t really know what it is. I will figure it out once I found it.
The Crew: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your crazy schedule to do this interview with us. We would love to get to know you and learn more about your amazing story.
FaceBook: Vic Gin