After looking at the world map for months, we came up with this rough itinerary (and it’s still flexible!):
Planning your trip is all about making choices. Initially we wanted to travel South America, Africa and Asia, but 1 year is simply too short unless you want to rush through everything. You also need to look which destinations are connected by flights, which is the main reason why we’ve added a stop-over in New Zealand. (Europe was also a stop-over option, but that didn’t work for me mentally).
We also wanted to combine some destinations that are on our wish list since a while: the Himalayas, Hong Kong, Bolivia, and some regions where we could potentially do some volunteering work. Namibia was also on that list, but connections just didn’t work out.
Of course we try to have the best weather possible! This mainly means no rain and not too cold/snowy. When we decided to leave 2 months later than initially planned, we still swopped the whole thing to avoid rainy season in Asia.
But this is it for now. Besides the big intercontinental flights, nothing is fixed. If you see this map now, we will just be able to travel a tiny part of the big big world! I’m curious to see how much it will still change!
- September 2018 : Nepal
- end of January 2019 : Hong Kong
- February 2019 : New-Zealand
- March 2019 : Chile
- August 2019 : Colombia or Ecuador
In case you’re in the neighborhood by that time, let us know!
Initially this gap year wasn’t about cycling at all. But we quickly agreed that we didn’t want to do the classic backpacking.
So what made us decide that a bicycle would be a good idea:
- We like cycling a lot more than driving a bus or a car. The latter ones even make us sick, so that wasn’t much fun to look forward to.
- We heard about a great cycle adventure in the Himalayas a few years ago and have been dreaming about it ever since.
- We want to travel slow to take a good look around, still have a good pace to cover some distance.
- We’re not interested in the big touristic attractions. We prefer seeing all the aspects of a country (not only the pretty, busy ones), being in the middle of nowhere, meeting with the people, taking a deep dive in local life.
- We want to be flexible and go wherever we want. Or take the roads that locals indicate we definitely should go.
- We want to take along some camping gear, to have the freedom of sleeping in the middle of nature (where possible), but also to save on our accommodation budget. And you just carry more easily 20kg of luggage on a bicycle than on your shoulders!
So here they are, our most important belonging during the trip: 2 spanking new travel bicycles, ready to bring us to new places and make us sweat! I just hope we won’t have too many flat tires…
Friends and colleagues ask us sometimes how we came up with the idea to take a career break and travel the world. It’s not an idea you wake up with one day and just do, so what is making you go?
Still the idea is not really unique. A lot people say they dream about travelling the world one day. But then life happens and in the end it doesn’t feel very feasible.
Taking one year off means you will not work, not have an income, and then you run out of money. While some costs keep coming. You’ll still need food and a place to sleep right? It’s also saying goodbye to your comfortable life, where you feel safe, and in which you have limited stress about what’s happening today or tomorrow. Nothing works better than the daily habits in which you became super efficient over the years. You feel comfortable knowing where you’ll sleep tonight right? And what after this year? Can you just pick up where you left? Or will you need to start all over again?
There are enough reasons to not take the decision. But on the other side there are plenty of pros!
You’ll get to see parts of the world that would otherwise take you 10+ years of traveling. You’ll learn to be flexible and open minded. You’ll grow personally more than in just 1 work year. You can spent more time with your special someone. But most of all you’ll die with memories instead of dreams.
We learned a while ago to choose the direction of life with our heart, not with our head. Decide what you really want based on how passionate you feel about something, then still use your brains to realize it in the best possible way. Use your intelligence to tackle the practical challenges you’ll encounter. All of them can be overcome with common sense and a little help from others (whether closeby or from other experienced travelers that are all over the internet, really). It will make you much happier than being good at something you don’t even like.
So if you ever dream(t) about traveling the world, then listen to your heart and I’m sure you’ll find a way!
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that god-damn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac