We're extremely privileged to be able to travel the world—even on a shoestring budget—and thus feel a little silly accepting donations to help us have the time of our lives. We'll be stretching our dollars as tight as we can (so lots of camping, cooking, and pedal-powered transit), but when the money runs out, our journey will come to an end. If you'd like to keep us on the road and sharing the ins and outs of our trip, or just want to treat us to a warm meal or warm bed while we're on the move, we'd certainly be so, so grateful (but don't expect it one bit). We'll be tracking our expenses and publishing detailed cost breakdowns once we depart, in case you want to see where our money is going and how far we can stretch it.
Separately, keeping this website up and running costs a few hundred dollars per year. We're putting a lot of work into making it a free and accessible and useful tool to get more people traveling by bicycle—and making it all available under a Creative Commons license—so if you would like to support the site, we'd totally welcome that and keep any donations specifically for it tucked away with just that purpose in mind: web hosting and domain renewals, and nothing else. Just tick the box letting us know on the next page.
Here are a few more ways you can help.
- Give someone a bike. If you do find yourself with some extra cash but would rather give it to those who need it more than we do, World Bicycle Relief is a wonderful non-profit providing locally-assembled bicycles to those who could really use them to get around (to school, a health clinic, or a job) in Africa, South America, and southeast Asia. Learn more about how bicycles can improve education, healthcare, and development here, or head on over here to donate to World Bicycle Relief (about every $60 buys a bicycle for someone who needs one, but you can donate any amount).
- Give someone a couch. During our journey, we'll break up our long stretches of wild camping by staying with WarmShowers hosts. WarmShowers is a free, worldwide "hospitality club"—basically a big group of really generous, (extra)ordinary people who give traveling cyclists access to a spare bed, couch, spot in the backyard, meal, or warm shower for a night or two (or more, if they want). It's part of the informal gift economy, where humans give to other humans without expecting anything in return. Hosting through WarmShowers (which you can do as often or as infrequently as you'd like) is a great way to put some good karma out into the universe (karma that may find its way back to us, or you, down the road), and also to meet some truly interesting people with some great stories. I've personally hosted WarmShowers travelers, and my experience has been nothing but positive. (If you're intrigued by the idea of hosting, and are open to more than just bike travelers, Couchsurfing is a similar network that includes backpackers, road-trippers, cyclists, and more.)
If you're not set up on WarmShowers but do see some scraggly travelers with overstuffed panniers wandering around your town, totally feel free to help 'em however you feel comfortable. Bike tourers are trusting (and trustworthy) folks, and we've benefited from some really amazing (and spontaneous) generosity from complete strangers in the past. It's one of the greatest highlights of traveling slowly enough to meet people, and bike tourers really try to pay it forward (and pay it back) however they can.
- Give someone your attention. If you find yourself behind the wheel of a car, please be really, really careful. Cyclists like us are really vulnerable on the road—not so much from lions and and tigers and bears, but mainly from perfectly decent folks who get a little too comfortable driving a little too fast and taking their eyes off the road for a little too long. Each year, 1,200,000 people die in vehicular crashes (either inside an automobile, on a bike, or on foot), which is an astounding 3,300 deaths every single day (twenty to fifty million people each year are just a little luckier, surviving crashes disabled or injured). Probably three or four people have died from a crash since you began reading this page a few minutes ago. In America alone, 100 people were killed by vehicles, and their drivers, just yesterday, and another 100 will be killed by the end of the day today. World-renowned bike tourers like Barbara Savage and Mike Hall have crossed entire continents and escaped from pretty sticky situations over tens of thousands of miles only to be run over by a careless driver. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for most people, especially bike tourers and folks under thirty. People like us.
In short: moving vehicles are dangerous. We're hoping to come back from this trip alive, so please, for us (and everyone else), never, ever text and drive, never, ever, drink and drive, always give cyclists and pedestrians a wide berth when passing, and if it's too difficult to pass safely, just slow down and wait. We—or friends we're bound to make on our journey—may be coming to a town near you at some point in the next few years, and we'd rather meet you smiling from the seat of our bicycles than stuck somewhere under your car.