Matt thinks it was his idea first and I think I came up with it. We also can’t remember the exact time we first talked about it. So “who?” and “when?” are difficult questions to answer. But “why?” is the hardest one. It is hard to answer because we can’t refer to a single cause. It is a product of many reasons as to why we leave Switzerland in three weeks with two bikes, a few bags and a vague plan.
First of all, a cliché reason: We want to see the world, we want to go on an adventure, and we love travelling. When we are old we want to look back and say: We did it. We lived our dream.
But that is not the whole reason why we are going on a bike touring adventure halfway around the world. The majority of people would agree on the “I love travelling” part but not all of them go on a trip like the one we plan.
A very pragmatic reason for us is: We do not know where to live yet. Do we want to build a life together in Bern or in Melbourne? My home or Matt’s home? Or even somewhere in between? At the moment we can’t decide. As we do not know where to live, we might as well go and see some places. Maybe we will find our future home on the way.
Why are we doing this trip by bike? Wouldn’t it be easier by car or by train? Yes, probably it would. More relaxing, clean, comfortable and safe too. But how much more will we experience on a bike? Travelling by bike will remove barriers between us as tourists and the locals we meet. For example we will never have to wind down a car window to be able to talk to someone on the street. Being outside 24/7, we will see every sunrise and every sunset. Probably we will get enough vitamin D and fresh oxygen for a lifetime. Plus we can eat whatever we want to and however much we want to without getting fat. Say hello to three chocolate croissants for breakfast. Grand.
As often as possible we want to take the unbeaten path. We will ride through the little country side villages in between the big cities. We will experience places that are far removed from busy cities with good train connections or big airports. Places that are pure and genuine and not adapted to the needs of tourism. Places where the locals are not tired of foreign visitors yet.
Throughout our journey we will undoubtedly encounter many difficult situations. We are going completely out of our comfort zone. The struggle will urge us to learn. And overcoming these difficulties will hopefully give us more self-confidence to meet the next. We both love the challenge I guess. We want to push ourselves through sweat, mud, sunburn and bum pain. Those things may sound horrible at first but we believe that it will make us appreciate a warm shower, a good dinner and a dry tent so much more.
And now to the number one reason as to why we go on this bike touring trip: Meeting people. Meeting people of different cultures and countries all over the world. Finding out what others struggle with and what others need to be happy. Simply talking to people who have different points of views, different religions, different ways of talking, cooking, celebrating, partying, learning and consuming it all. We want to taste the secret of each cultures cuisine, celebrate ancient traditions and live, laugh and learn alongside them. Hopefully through those experiences we will unlearn all the stereotypes about other cultures that we have in our heads.
Exposing ourselves to different cultures makes us reflect upon the way we live. In our lives in Australia and Switzerland Matt and I have everything. We can afford a lifestyle where we are well fed, warm and have a roof over our head. We both have had a good education and are surrounded by kind friends and families. Yet we can still find ourselves complaining. We hope that after this bike touring journey we will value the things we have a little bit more.
Thank you for reading our first post. We promise to take you on our adventure throughout this blog.
Talk to you soon
Matt and Jasi