Why am I doing this ?
I like hitchhiking for a lot of reasons: it's a bit of adventure, it is quite cheap, you get to meet a lot of different people and a gain insight into the people living in a country.
Most of all I like the psychology of hitchhiking: the mood swings between desparate waiting and the kick you get when somebody gives you a ride. A hitchhiking trip is a bit like life itself: Sometimes you are stuck, sometimes you are moving.
Then I like Russia. I like the sheer size of it. I like its culture and its fascinating history. I like the language though mastering it remains a struggle until today.
Some years ago I found the site of Academy of Free Travel, a Moscow based hitchhiking club.
I still remember the thrill I got reading the travelogues and finding out that hitchhiking in Russia is very well possible without paying. Being an ordinary tourist in Russia, just visiting the cities, you easily get the impression that everybody charges for a ride but those are just unoffical taxis. Outside of the cities hitchhiking is like hitchhiking is supposed to be: drivers looking for company and travellers looking for transportation helping each other out.