For a good while now both of us have been dreaming about long-term cycle touring. We love cycling, we love travel and the outdoors, and we certainly do not love working. Our plan has changed several times over the year since we returned from Tasmania, but essentially the timeline was always to continue working until around September or October this year to have around $25,000 each for a few years of travel.
Our last blog post was about how we had 300 days until we planned to leave, and how we were going to try to make the most of our time in Newcastle instead of just waiting to go on an adventure. Not long after that post our plan changed again, my brother got engaged and the October wedding meant we had to push back our departure by a couple of months. We also decided to go straight to South America and to visit New Zealand on the way home if we still felt like it. We booked a flight to Buenos Aires for the 27th of October, which meant that on the first day of 2017 we again found ourselves 300 days from departure.
A few other things happened in those months. Tom got hit by a car on his ride home from work one night, and has since been struggling with a back injury (on the plus side he had to buy a beautiful second-hand Surly Long Haul Trucker to replace his broken bike). We had an excellent break over the Christmas period, and we even hosted 3 Swedish cyclists on Christmas night, swapping tales of adventures on the road. This particular encounter put a few ideas in Tom’s head about visiting Scandinavia and in particular Norway and Iceland, and over the next week or two he managed to construct the following argument for again altering our plans.
- I would like to do 5 years of cycling. Patagonia to Alaska (2 years), New Zealand (6 months), London to Australia via Europe, Asia, Darwin, Perth, Melbourne, Tassie (2 years), Scandinavia (6 months).
- I would like to do all that before the possibility of starting a family.
- Trying to do Scandinavia and the rest of Europe in the same trip means an inevitable freezing winter.
- I’m over working, did I mention that?
- We both have inheritances we can dip into to afford 5 years of cycle touring, and we’ll try to catch up financially when we return.
Thankfully Tanya saw some sense in this, and it seems that our plans have indeed changed once again. From the sensible reality of saving all the money we need before we leave, to an approach of ‘we have the means to do the things we want to do right now, why wait another 6-9 months?’. The older we get the shorter life is starting to seem, so we’ve decided to seize the day and go to Europe in April.
For 5 months we’ll be cycling around Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. That should be awesome. And then we’ll be home for a month to celebrate Toms brothers wedding and to get ourselves ready to cycle from Ushuaia to Alaska or thereabouts in 2018 and 2019. If that all goes well we’ll stop in New Zealand for a while on the way home and then weigh up what we want to do. The two likely options are work for another year and build a tiny house while we’re doing it, or to fly straight back across to Europe and start cycling home again, but that’s all a long time in the future.
The 300 days is out the window. There is under 2 months until we go on our already booked holiday hiking and road tripping around Tasmania for 3 weeks, and then we’ll have just a few weeks until we get underway. Flights are booked, gear is accumulating, routes are being researched. Our cycle touring dream is starting to feel much more like reality.
T & T