To go rollerblading from St. Petersburg to Barcelona, you need at least unbending willpower and infinite trust in life. The Challenger talked to Robert Martirosyan, who returned from this difficult (but insanely interesting) trip a few days ago.
Photo: Robert Martirosyan
- At 15, I firmly decided to earn my first million and came up with what I thought was a brilliant scheme! It later turned out that I just reinvented the lottery. I remember how I fantasized that I would fly to Barcelona with the proceeds, take the rollers with me, and ride around the city.
I had a clear picture in my head, almost a photograph: here I am on a hill, here is Barcelona from a bird's eye view - and my videos above it. It seemed to me that it is very romantic.
Time passed, the idea with the lottery did not bring millions, and in the end I decided that I would just go to Barcelona on my own on roller skates. Then I again got bogged down for several years in daily affairs and work, but somehow woke up and realized: if I do not go now, then I will never dare to do it.
Why did I choose the clips? I didn’t choose, they chose me! ( Laughs.
) I have loved them since childhood, even when all peers changed rollers to bicycles. On rollers you feel more free - under you there is no healthy piece of iron that fetters movement.
Photo from the archive of Robert Martirosyan
The departure date was scheduled for almost six months. The first thing I went to the gym: I began to engage in strength exercises and running. He trained daily or every other day.
When it got warmer, he started to run on the street. It turned out that this is much more interesting than on a treadmill.
I prepared for this challenge from December to May, and until December I couldn’t even run a kilometer, and in May I already participated in the half marathon and reached the finish line. Strength training helped me a lot - for six months I gained muscle mass.
I was morally supported by close people, family and friends.
I am very grateful to them. No one criticized me when I decided to quit my job and prepare for the journey.
Father rode after Robert by car, supporting
Initially, I had a budget of 500 euros for the trip. But then my family, friends and subscribers decided to support me. So the total amount increased to 1,500 euros.
During the trip I visited nine countries and visited nine capitals. I can’t count the cities - there were a lot of them. Most of all I liked the Netherlands. After Germany, the country seemed like a paradise: I was never stopped by the police, the roads were perfect - in the Netherlands you can easily get from one city to another via a special bike path.
I was most impressed with the locals.
This may be an accident, but on the way I met exceptionally kind, smiling, hospitable people.
I almost always stayed overnight the strangers that I found on Couchsurfing. With rare exceptions: relatives tried to help with all their might and remotely from St. Petersburg searched for relatives throughout Europe. And they found it several times!
I had to sleep on the street only once - in Girona, but not because of unpleasant circumstances, but because of my own laziness.
For two months in a row, every day I searched for a place to spend the night, but when there was very little left to the final destination of the route, Barcelona, I decided to relax and not look for housing. As a result, spent the night on a bench right in the rollers.
Photo: Robert Martirosyan
In the south of France I was expected to have a heat of +40 degrees Celsius and mountainous terrain, which is difficult to drive through. France was not easy at all - I even thought of ending my trip in Paris, but then I realized that I would regret it until the end of my life if I did not get to Barcelona. And I drove on.
As a result, I rode 4,500 kilometers on rollers. An average of 100 kilometers a day. This is an unforgettable experience, a huge number of new friends and invaluable memories. By the way, there were ten countries in total on this trip: after I roller-skated to Barcelona and finally took them off, I went to Portugal - already by bus. And there he saw with his own eyes the edge of the earth.
In the near future I am going to relax a bit, to be with my family and relatives. Then - make your first short film and record an album with piano music.
Photo: Cape of Doom
This is a very good training of willpower and ability to withstand criticism: at first, many do not believe that you will keep your word and go, but then many doubt that you will get to the finish line alive and healthy.
And also the challenge taught me not to get nervous over trifles. After such an adventure, you begin to calmly relate to any danger and you realize that almost every problem can be solved.
I believed that if a person decides to do something that seems really important to him, the Universe by all means helps him realize his dreams. It really works.
I was most shocked by the Cape of Rock in Portugal. The indescribable beauty of nature made me take a fresh look at my life. I suddenly realized that the world is so vast and beautiful and there are so many unexplored places left .
.. And life is so short, and you need to have time to see as much as possible.