I was first inspired to go cycle touring in 2010 when I was hiking in Macedonia and seemingly out of nowhere a bike laden with a guy and his luggage casually rolled past. I never knew travelling on a bicycle to be an option before then and I was instantly enthralled.
How free must it feel to get around under your own steam and schedule?
As I continued backpacking through the Balkans on my two-year, post-university journey, my own plans for a cycle trip slowly evolved. I decided I would ride across USA and into Canada where I would find work to replenish my travel funds. After running out of money backpacking in Europe and working in Wales for five months, I eventually found myself setting off from a friend’s house in Charleston on a hastily set up bike.
I gave up after two weeks.
In these two weeks I rode across South Carolina and Georgia and learned three important lessons: (1) a bit of training might have come in handy, (2) riding in southern USA in the middle of summer (and during a heat wave at that) is dangerously unhealthy, and (3) if I was ever to again feel like the hardy, adventurous spirit I thought I was, I would one day have to give it another go.
Following my failure, I spent what little remained of my money on an adventure in Central America before returning to Australia to subject myself to a career. Despite landing a dream job, I couldn’t help cast my memory back to my failed bike trip.
Maybe I should think about trying again?
As I began to think about it seriously, I wondered: Should I return to America to conquer my unfinished business? Should I ride around Australia to get to know my own country? Or should I try it in a place I hadn’t yet been? It wasn’t long before a little idea sneaked into my head that would set me on a path of no return.
Why not just ride around the whole world?
From the moment I’d thought it, no way could I consider a lesser endeavour than cycling around the planet. My future was set. I would keep working for a couple of years to save some money, then ride out of my driveway and chase the horizon until one day it would lead me home.
What’s this about making videos? Read more