Solo European Hitchhiking Journey of an Indian Student: Exploring 23 Countries and Channeling Entrepreneurial Spirit.

by operator

Where there is a strong desire there is a path! And we can certainly state that for Prashant Bhansali, a final year scholar of IIM Udaipur, who embarked on an exchange program to France, but ended up visiting 23 other nations – BY HIMSELF!

Prashant was a participant of 105 day exchange program in which nearly 400 scholars from India take part every year, but what set him apart from the rest was that despite having the same number of days as everyone else, he found a way to make time and explore 23 European nations independently!

Beautiful places in Europe

Some of the renowned nations on his itinerary included Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, The Netherlands, Hungary, and Belgium among others.

So how did it all commence?

Prashant during his travels in Europe

“I always desired to encounter a solo journey but never had the boldness to attempt it in India. So, I resolved to undertake one while I was still in Europe. I packed my luggage, booked the initial flight to Portugal, and departed (literally, that was what transpired).”

And despite the fact that his initial days were quite eerie since he was unfamiliar with traveling alone, not conversing with anyone, or just traversing the roads by himself,  however, gradually and surely, Prashant began to enjoy it! He became aware of his voyage and started cherishing every moment!

The enchantment of travel had captivated him!

So what was his journey like?

Prashant on his solo journey in Europe

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His lone journey with a backpack led him to dozing off at random streets, roads, and airports! His climate encounter varied from 35°C to -7°C and he traversed nearly 15 to 20 km on a daily basis! Not to overlook, there was a lot of hitchhiking, mountain paths, sea crossings, and a nomadic style of travel involved!

He lodged in some of the most isolated villages in the world, sustained on cheese and bread, and encountered some of the most eccentric exceptionally intelligent individuals on his expedition! It was a roller coaster ride with its ups and downs, but everything contributed to making Prashant more resilient and improved!

The level of clarity he achieved regarding his life and decisions was also remarkable!

Prashant and his friends in Norway

“Remarkable things occurred to me when I least anticipated them, and it was an incredible sensation!”

Prashant in Corsica during his solo trip

His journey was not easy, and there were quite a few obstacles – like when he and his two friends ended up dozing off on a street in Norway or when they embarked on a challenging 22 km hike in Norway and had to combat harsh weather conditions and their own exhaustion to reach a place that offered the most breathtaking view they could ever imagine!

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For Prashant, this adventure was essentially a combination of hitchhiking and clever exploration! Yearning to experience Europe like a local, he avoided staying in hostels and hotels and instead found accommodation with numerous local individuals in most of the countries he visited!

In Croatia, he was greeted with Indian curry by a Slovakian girl, a friend of two other Slovakian girls who had previously hosted him for a night.

The Concept of Becoming an Entrepreneur

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Prashant on backpacking trip to Europe

During his expedition, numerous delightful small things kept occurring and it was at that moment when the idea of becoming an entrepreneur struck him! Journeying had educated him to savor his own liberty and now Prashant aspired to be his own supervisor – he was aware that he would not find contentment by toiling for anyone else. Therefore, once he returned, he conversed with his parents, mentor, and college upperclassmen deliberating the pros and cons, and eventually opted out of job placements to commence working on his envisioned startup!

In the conclusion, Prashant has an encouraging message for everyone! He asserts that one should not await the ideal chance to travel but should instead take a leap of faith and embark on it because only when we take risks, we will thrive and become a part of something greater – something marvelous!

Absolutely accurate because if he hadn’t traveled and taken a leap of faith, he would not have encountered his path to contentment and accomplishment!

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