The following pages contain all information relating to my bicycle journey. I called it Soulbiking because it was meant to be a sabbatical in search of personal freedom and soul resting. Actually I'm not as much of an esoterical nutcase as that sentence makes me sound like and the practical reason for choosing that name is because it just sounds cool. Also there are about a quadrillion pages about bicycle journeys on the net but no one uses that word, so it's a good unique keyword for search engines. Anyways, dive right in, have fun, and get your own bicycle out of the garage some time...
A journey. By bicycle. I don't know for how long and have only vague ideas where. I always say it'll take as long as it'll take or as long as motivation, health and money last me. I figure I've saved enough cash to keep me afloat for a couple of years. Health will hopefully last for much longer than that. And motivation? ...who knows. There are so many reasons why one may quit. Homesick. Missing friends and family. Tired of fighting the wind, the rain, the mountains. Tired of being homeless. Tired of being lonely. Tired of being tired. Or the positive alternatives. I might find home. The girl of my dreams might find me. I am not determined to "finish" this at all costs. First and foremost the trip is to be a positive, fun learning experience. An adventure I can undertake, because I'm young, healthy and unbound. An adventure I want to undertake because I want to see more of the world. Experience it first hand. Because I am frustrated with lots of things in our modern society and how things work here. I'm not saying it's better anywhere else in the world, maybe it's not. But I want to see the alternatives with my own eyes, so I truly have a choice.
In my eyes it's the perfect means of transportation. You are fast if you want/have to be, while being able to carry all the equipment you need with relative ease and comfort. You are free to go wherever you want to. You travel by your own muscle power and win back the feeling that the earth is a huge and marvellous place to be in. It's good for your health and you enjoy the effects on your body and the satisfying exhaustion after a day of pedalling. It's environmentally friendly. It is a social vehicle, you are open, slow, interesting - easy to communicate with. It doesn't cripple your senses, shield you from your surroundings, so you experience the effects of weather and landscape directly and pure. You don't rush by sights and experiences. It's a relatively simple mechanical device - you can repair and tune it yourself and even in the unlikeliest of circumstances.
I find it a little bit sad that this is almost always the first question asked. Money sucks. Big time. But since you've asked... I've worked and saved for this tour for more than 3 years now. I have a very frugal lifestyle. I do not own a car. I do not smoke. I seldom drink. My clothes are no names and I wear them out (I bought my last pair of shoes in 1998 - and yes, they are still fine). I don't spend any money on cosmetics or the haircutter. I do not go out to bars or discos and drink away $50 in an evening. I go on self organized camping trips instead of five star tourist traps. I eat in the university cafeteria.
And besides all that I'm privileged to come from a relatively wealthy family and live in a wealthy country and have a hobby that at the same time makes for a well paid job. Thank you fortune.
Trying to find one that'd share my "Fernweh" itch and come explore the world with me. And yes. The tour has been in my way a couple of times already, and yes, it is damn hard, and no, I won't stay. No topic for a stupid website FAQ. But come on over, have a couple of drinks with me and I might answer your questions... ;-)
If I only knew. The idea is to start with the "Europe tour" as I call it. Along the Danube to the Black Sea. North from there, west through Scandinavia, south again. Meet a friend in Spain and continue on through Africa. Climb Kilimanjaro and set sail to east coast America. Cross Canada east-west. Be done with it. I do not plan that far ahead. Actually I almost don't plan at all. I do not want to create and raise expectations which I'll have to fulfill later on. Even if they are only my own. Above all this tour is supposed to be fun. No stress allowed. One reason I go on this trip is to experience the freedom of living without time and direction. No deadlines to achieve, no places to reach.
As I already said in the introduction: as long as motivation, health and money last me. However long that may be.
Birthday party on March 16, 2004. Leaving in the days after as soon as my hangover will have left me ;-)
I've quit my job for March. No idea what I'll do, want to do, can do, when I'll be back. Maybe apply for the same job in the same company again. Or become a diving instructor on Sri Lanka. An astronaut. A firefighter. A lottery millionaire. Same goes for university. I won't have my diploma when I leave and I seriously doubt I want to go back to university routine when I'll be back.
Check out my motivation pages. In short: I'm a dreamer, an explorer, an environmentalist, a Hippy, an outdoors lover. Or try the spiritual reasons: finding oneself, experiencing your own limits and moving them outward, proving oneself. Or the practical ones: it has been a dream of mine for so long, now is the time to go for it, I'll probably never be as young, as healthy, as free and unbound again. Or the heritage ones: I'm a child of two worlds, always torn between them, trying to find my place. Or the negative ones: I'm frustrated with our society, our way of living, want to learn about alternatives. Want to flee a whole lot of stuff and some folks and memories. Or just curiosity? Fernweh?