I just discovered an unpublished blog post from before I even started this trip. It was supposed to be in a quick introduction to my trip and the reasons behind it. At some point I probably realised that it sounds quite pretentious and so I decided not to publish it back then. I realise that a lot has changed since I set off in April 2012, but then some things didn’t change.
This will probably turn into a FAQ page later, but for now I’ll leave it at this:
Instead of answering by saying “Because I can” I will instead give you some of the many many reasons that led me to ride my bicycle around the world:
I am curios about the unknown and there are a lot of places on that are unknown to me. I want to see as much as I can of as many places as possible. I don’t just wanna check those places of my bucket list, I wanna go there, live there and satisfy my curiosity no matter how long it is going to take.
I love being outdoors, I love nature and everything living in it. I love falling asleep on gras or sand while listening to moving water or the sound of the wind blowing through trees. I am fascinated in everything about the micro (watching tiny insects) and macro (looking up at the stars) universe and find myself humbled to witness all the beauty that you can find by stepping outside your door.
Oh and did I mention fresh air?
You will never meet more interesting and unique people than those you encounter on the road. I am amazed at how easy it is for travellers – and bicycle travellers especially – to create friendships without regard for differences in gender, race or age.
And then there are locals who are sometimes so unbelievably kind and hospitable to you just because you are an interesting traveller. Not only do people offer directions, but they offer food, invite you to a drink or even to sleep in their house.
Let’s admit it, there is no greater feeling than being free and happy. When I am riding my bicycle with no plan on where to go and nothing to worry about except maybe what to eat and where to sleep I experience pure freedom and happiness. And there is nothing I enjoy more.
The freedom and the lifestyle on the road makes stress a thing of the past and opens your mind to whole new possibilities. I am never more focused and clearminded than on a free day lying around in the gras by myself or with close friends.
I am 24 years old, I just graduated from university and I don’t see any reason to delay my dream any further. Right now I don’t worry about career or family planning or most of the things people my age worry about. I believe not is the time for me to stop living a “safe” live and to just do what I want to do. No duties, no dependencies only FREEDOM.
Why do you ride a bicycle?
I’ve done backpacking, I’ve done resorts and while backpacking is fun, I feel it is too constraining. I don’t like to end up in tourist hubs and I don’t like to rely on public transportation. Additionally, now that backpacking is a mainstream sport the people you meet become more superficial and boring. No I want to move at my own pace and take the time to see what I want to see (especially what’s in between cities). Riding a bicycle is also more relaxed and you end up being outside most of the time. Also I have met the most interesting people on my previous bicycle trips.
Are you rich?
Well depends … from a Western point of view I am not rich at all, ask someone living in Mali and he will surely tell you otherwise. The truth is you don’t have to be rich to do what I do, you only have to adjust to a new livestyle. I’ve been saving money for years and what is more important: travelling by bicycle is really cheap. Some need as little as 100$ a month and other travel on 10000€ a year. I am probably in the middle at around 3000€ a year. My savings should last quite some time, so I don’t have to worry about money the first few months/years. Being a software engineer by trade it is also farely easy for me to find work along the way or to get some work from customers in Germany (sometimes being a nerd does pay off).
How long will you take?
I don’t have a deadline and there is no fixed route. So the best answer I can provide is: I take as long as I am having fun riding around the world. If I get bored after half a year (which I doubt) I will find something more fun to do (although I couldn’t think of anything right now) and if I am still having fun after five years … well … so be it.
What do you bring along?
Pretty much all I own right now. Basically I do have a bedroom (tent/hammock with a matress and pillow), a kitchen (stove, kitchen ware etc.) and a livingroom (the road, which also serves as my bathroom ;P). See the gear section for more details.
Are you crazy?
I like to think I am not (although I’ve been told otherwise). Different and a little weird … yeah probably (I guess you have to be in order to ride a bicycle around the world) … but not crazy.
Is this your first big trip?
Big as in really big, yeah. So far my longest trip was six months and there have been a couple of shorter trips between one and four months which I spent either cycling or backpacking.
Are you travelling alone?
Yes I am. At first I was gonna ride with a buddy of mine, but after my last bicycle tour I made up my mind and decided to go solo. Although I am not as socially akward as other nerds, I like to think of myself as a loner. A happy one that is. I am best in 1on1s and small groups and I am not too comfortable in big groups of people because that is when people get crazy … I like spending lots of time thinking about the universe and learning more about myself and travelling by oneself is one of the best ways to do so.