She told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudis are distinguished by generosity and unique in hospitality
The "Covid-19" pandemic restricted the marches of many travelers around the world who were planning to cross countries and continents, and ended up with the closure of borders and curfews. This is indeed what happened with a Roman traveler who had entered the borders of Saudi Arabia by land alone, with her motorcycle.
The traveler arrived in Saudi Arabia last February, with her motorcycle, after passing through more than 16 countries between Europe and Asia. The beginning was in Milan, Italy. But as soon as I entered Saudi Arabia and reached the city of Jeddah, a curfew was issued as part of precautionary measures to limit the spread of the pandemic. At the time, she was on a visit to a Saudi family, and due to the quarantine decision, she was forced to stay in their hospitality for 5 months.
In her interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, traveler Elena Accenti says that she was planning to stay in Jeddah for a week, and then go south, but with the curfew decision, the Saudi family welcomed her, promised her part of it, and assured her that they will overcome the pandemic together.
Accenti stayed in their guesthouse for 5 months. In the course of her speech, she said, “I cannot express how generous this family is. In a short period, I became one of them. During the first three months with them, I would babysit their children and help them with their homework. I also participated with them in carrying out household chores, and I lived with them the experience of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. She expresses this by saying that her spirit has become Saudi with the passage of time.
After the month of Ramadan, last June, life began to return to normal, and Accenti was infected with the Corona virus, so she was forced to stay with the family for about an additional month. After fully recovering, she continued her march to the south of the kingdom in July.
The Romanian traveler, Accenti, who regularly shares her adventures through her accounts on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, says through her @Helebiker account, that she has a master’s degree in “Drama Therapist”, but her profession today has not She is a model, according to her description, and over a year ago she turned into a traveler seeking to fulfill her dream, which is to visit various countries of the world with her Harley motorcycle.
In 2018, she began her first adventure with the bike, which crossed 7 countries on the African continent, from Morocco to Burkina Faso, and her round-trip journey took nearly 4 months.
Today, Accente alone is embarking on its new tour around the world through which it seeks to communicate with different peoples, with the aim of spreading tolerance and establishing a global network of relations.
Accenti says she has fully financed her trip, as she saved some money and sold her car for the trip. She adds that her initial budget is about to run out, but that she is deconstructing an alternative financing plan, based on her knowledge and experience in the field of dramatic acting and drama treatment, through her work wherever possible, and she may perform other jobs, if she is unable to practice Her work is in her field of specialization. She has an online store selling T-shirts with her logo on it and inspiring messages.
And from Milan, where Accente set off a transient trip from many countries, such as the Balkans, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia, to Romania, and from there to Moldova and Transnistria, where it crossed Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, and then began its journey in the countries of the Middle East, reached Lebanon by ferry, and entered To Syria, until I reached Jordan, and finally crossed the border to reach Saudi Arabia. Thus, she will have visited 17 countries on her trip, and the list is still long, as she is on her way to visit the countries of East Asia.
Accenti entered Saudi Arabia 7 months before the outbreak of the virus, and began to explore the Kingdom, from its north to its south. And during her journey, she came across interesting stories. The beginning of her journey was from Tabuk (northwestern Saudi Arabia), and she continued her way southward on the western strip, crossing Amlaj, Al-Ula and Yanbu, until she reached Jeddah, where she stayed for 5 months.
After the return to normal life, Accenti returned to continue her journey in exploring the tourist treasures of Saudi Arabia, visiting the Al Waabah crater (a volcanic crater near Medina). Then she continued her way to Taif, and from there to southern Saudi Arabia, where Al-Baha and Al-Namas, and visited various regions of Asir, including the city of Abha, and reached the Jizan region (southwestern Saudi Arabia), and visited the Farasan Islands in the coast. In the mountains, she visited both Fifa, Al-Reith and Wadi Lajab, to reach after that to the Najran region (southern Saudi Arabia), where the homes of Saudis hosted it, from the north of the kingdom to the south. About hosting, she said: “Throughout my trip, for a period of 7 months, Saudi families took care of me in an incredible way.”
“All the areas I visited are unique, and so are their inhabitants,” said Accenti of her visit to Saudi Arabia. “The cultural difference increased my admiration for Saudi Arabia, and increased my interest in learning about new things and identifying them on a personal level,” she says. And she continued: “The Saudis are distinguished, unique in their generosity and hospitality, which they do not set conditions for.
In addition to their openness to coexistence and hosting a foreigner there; I love everything in Saudi Arabia. In it, I felt that I belonged to the place, acted like the Saudis, and learned their culture. ” She indicated that during her trip, she was not staying in hotels, but rather being hosted in people’s homes.
The Roman traveler seeks to complete its journey as soon as the borders open again, to visit some Gulf countries, until it reaches South Asia, and begins to visit many countries on the continent.
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