The Traveler

Background

As long as I remember I like to ride bicycle. I’ve learned to ride bicycle on a Blitz child’s bike made in the German Democratic Republic. That’s also the place where I was born (in the GDR). I’m from East-Berlin. Luckily the GDR doesn’t exist anymore and Germany got united. So I have travel freedom.

While I rode bicycle long time just for recreational fun it changed one day. In winter 2008/2009 the rapid transit railway, that I used every day to get to work, had massive problems. I was sick of waiting in the cold for an overcrowded train. I thought about to ride the bicycle to get to work. It was 21 km one way. At first I didn’t had the confidence to do this because of the long distance. But then I got used to it and loved to ride my bike every day 42 km through the city.

Soon the only motivation to stand up and get to work was to ride the bike. The job by himself didn’t fulfilled me anymore. I worked on a desk in a cube farm, solving customer problems related to their websites. When I grew up I loved to work with computers but after years in the office I just wish to have an outdoor job. I quit my job and worked as a bike messenger in Berlin. Also I sold aerial pictures (I wish I could do this for living). I had a license for microlight aircrafts and a friend who gave me the keys for his plane (what a privilege).

The idea of this trip

It was Guillaume’s idea to travel around the world on a bicycle. We’ve met in 2011 as we worked both as bike messengers. When he told me about his idea first time I thought that’s absurd. In this time I wanted to move from my apartment in the suburbs into the center but couldn’t afford it. The gentrification in Berlin was already going on. I figured out you can’t make a living as an bike messenger. I moved out of my apartment to my grandparents. I needed a change of scenery. Why not traveling for one year? Suddenly Guillaume’s idea doesn’t seem so absurd to me anymore and I wanted to join him. Fortunately he let me participate.

How this trip got started

Guillaume and me went on shopping tour. None of us traveled before by bicycle so we had to buy all the equipment. I was willing to sacrifice all my savings to travel one year abroad. Originally we wanted to start summer 2011 but my bicycle was delivered too late. Guillaume wasn’t ready as well so we delayed our start to spring 2012. We both used the time to try our new bikes and equipment. I went to Sweden and made a good experience on my first bike tour. In April 2012 I started from Berlin and traveled at first one month alone through Germany. In Munich I caught up with Guillaume and we cycled together towards east. In Dubai we split up (we were agreed about this) and I continued alone while Guillaume stayed in Dubai and continued later.