My “travelling career” started during my time at university. My diving partner Sepp and me explored Egypt with our backpacks and snorkelling equipment. During that time we created the idea to travel and dive along the African coastline with our own car.
Some years later we bought an old Landrover from 1963 and maintained every single part of it (except the differentials) before we started our journey through Africa. Due to political obstacles in 1991 we could not travel along the coastline – so we crisscrossed the continent instead (with snorkelling equipment on board).
On that journey I learned to love the independence to travel with my own mean of transport and I saw that you find nice and helpful people everywhere.
So after that long journey I just travelled once again as backpacker and started to hate the dependency on buses, shared taxis timetables and so on.
I realized that a bicycle would fit very well to me.
So on my first biket tour I bought a last minute flight to Morocco and spent three wonderful weeks there riding a bike in 1994.
My time of travelling by bike somewhere on our planet had started!
Since then I have cycled in many countries in Africa, Asia and South America. I prefer regions with different cultures to my own where I can learn things that never ever would have come into my mind.
For me, travelling is widening my mind and helps to build bridges to understand others. If I look at myself, I see that travelling changed my personality a lot – to the better!
And sometimes I have problems to return into my old “normal” life after a trip.
In my judgement my biggest risk cycling abroad is having a traffic accident!!!
That is way ahead of all the other risks (I never travel in war torn countries).
For me normally the second highest risk is sickness. So I really prepare myself to that.
As a protection against deseases that are transitted by mosquitos and no good protection exists like Malaria and Dengue in those regions I normally wear long trousers and shirts with long arms. And that alos provides sun protection.
I prefer to sweat in my mosquitos-safe shirt then then taking the risks of an infection.
When I tell friends about trips through tropical countries I am ferequently asked about animals like snakes and lions.
I regard risks by dangerous animals normally as quite low.
I use the word normally because close to national parks with beasts of prey like lions or hyenas the risk feels higher to me.
Of course, I know and never forget that there are bad people nearly everywhere too. So I always split my money and hide it at different places/bags. I never show any signs of wealth, even my purse for the day just contains little money and is stocked up in secret every day.
But overall I am not worried at all to start my next journey!
Let me end with some good and hopefully encouraging words from Mahatma Ghandi:
“Even the longest journey starts with the first step”