After I successfully quit my PhD in the beginning of 2015, life asked me a question and was demanding my answer: how to proceed now? Returning to my old pre-PhD life, signing at a major utility and making a good life in energy industry? Or, allowing myself to face the uncertainty which was obviously there and staring at me and give it the chance to become the beginning of something new. I decided for the latter.
I have discovered that even the mediocre can have adventures and even the fearful can achieve.
― Sir Edmund Hillary
After a few months of learning basics in bicycle mechanics, camping gear, offline navigation, nutrition and much more, I felt perfectly prepared. I had a plan, the route for my first great cycling adventure was set – Berlin to Istanbul it should be – I was ready to take off. How little I was prepared and what my plans were worth I would learn later along the way…
I vividly remember this day in early autumn 2015 when I set sail. Despite thunderstorms already on the first day, heavy rains for a huge part of the first stretches, broken material and countless days of aching muscles in rebellion – this journey made me fall in love with cycling not only as a mode of transport or travelling but as a life philosophy.
Decelerated but still fast enough to travel long distances cycling became my perfect escape from daily life. Not only on long journeys traveling for several months – even though I admit, I love those trips – but also on short rides for a day or even a couple of hours I make myself a gift: peace of mind. No matter how stressful the day might have been, when I am in the saddle everything calms down and life is good.
Maybe my journeys will inspire you, maybe some route advice might help you, maybe the gear lists are useful for you, maybe the photos spark your wanderlust. Most of all, I hope you will find what you are looking for on your journeys as I did and still do on my cycling tours.
All the best and maybe we will meet on the track one day.