As we are getting closer to the departure date we want to share some of our thoughts and preparations from the last year. This journey has been in our heads for a long time and we slowly started speaking about making it a reality around September 2012. Then we realized that if we wanted to do this we needed to make some choices and decisions. Our idea becoming real now.
Saving up money would be an issue so we had to start saving hardcore. That meant we trying to set some weekly goals, this is not really our strongest side and when we now look back it could have been done more efficient. Well we did it in our way and things are looking okay and we should reach our goals on savings.
We researched, ‘see our links‘, and used our experience from travelling as backpackers to set our daily budget for the journey. This came out at around 20€ per day per person. At this time we were thinking of travelling for a year in total as we had not set the route completely yet. One year would mean 20 x 365 = 7300€ per person. For some people this is not a lot of money and for others this is a great deal of money. For us this is a great deal of money and we could see that we really needed to save on our costs. So less eating out, ordering take-away and so on.
As time was moving on we started to have our own project meetings, not to make a strict project, more to have some goals and share our ideas on the subject and to make sure that our idea became real. Both of us have a lot of ideas in our heads and can drift in our own direction sometimes if we don’t get our ideas and thoughts aligned. See below some of our meeting notes to get an idea what we have been talking about in our meetings.
A rough route was made and we could see that time would be a factor and also we could see that seasons would play an important role. For the research on seasons we use/used the site World Reviewer and also WeatherSpark. These two sites give a nice overview of temperatures worldwide.
[one_half last=”no”]Our journey evolved and we had the general plan ready: February 2014 we will leave from Rotterdam. Due to work and savings we will need to work until then. Also the seasons were calculated, so leaving in the European winter we are able to enjoy the spring in the south of Europe and Turkey. You can see our rough route here ‘The journey‘, and if needed we can be in Central-Asia before winter starts. We could calculate from Google Maps that our route is around 25.000km, we know that we will try to average a 450km per week that means 55,55 weeks on the bicycle. We want to stop and stay for longer periods along the way so we extended our journey to one and a half year, this is more used as a goal for our savings. We now calculate with 500 days on the road.[/one_half][one_half last=”yes”]
We have been reading and following a lot of people on the road to try and understand some of their greatest challenges and obstacles. This also has a down side as there is always someone else with a great idea and going through the places we’ll go. This might demotivate sometimes as you feel there is nothing to do or see when everybody else goes there. Well this is when you get into all these blogs and websites and you forget yourself and what your own motivations are. When you go back into yourself and find these back then it all feels good again and you believe that this is the right choice 🙂 .
The next project was getting new bicycles. Because we were inspired by all the blogs and websites on bicycle touring, we already had a clear view of the bikes that were available in our area. We had a good eye on the Santos Bikes. We went to the “Fiets en Wandelbeurs” where you can test many brands of bikes and also the Wereldfietser Beurs where many brands are represented. We narrowed it down to Santos (aluminum) or Avaghon (steal), both great bikes. We test rode these bike several times and our final choice was the Santos Travelmaster, due to the good feeling of the bike. This was a very personal choice.
[one_half last=”no”]Our Bikes, bags, tent and a lot of gear were prepared before setting off for the test journey 23 days in the Pyrenees. With this trip we would test ourselves and the gear in order to make a final decisions on our journey and we would know if we really wanted to do this. The trip was tough and many mountains were topped. Camping and biking and we both enjoyed this and agreed that this is “the shit”. Are we ready for the journey? Well there is still a need to work on preparing ourselves mentally, physically, work on savings and other stuff which we will explain in part 2 of ‘Our idea becoming real’.[/one_half][one_half last=”yes”]
In part 2 of ‘Our idea becoming real’ we will cover: vaccinations, insurance, route planning, training our joints and other things we are thinking about. Give us time and part 2 will appear.