Two bikes, four panniers, and lots and lots of long, dusty roads.
In the summer of 2016, we flew to Iceland with our bicycles and enjoyed a delightful month riding around the country. We cycled over a thousand kilometers and camped for twenty-six nights straight and, by the end of our time there, agreed that we wanted more of it: more peaceful pedaling through gorgeous landscapes, more sleeping in open fields under clear skies, more quiet sunsets and more friendly people and more adventure and, importantly, more time together too, living life on simpler, more meaningful terms. So we decided to quit our jobs and bike around the world.
A few qualifiers. For one, we're not breaking any world records: not the longest 'round-the-world bike ride, nor the quickest—not necessarily even a proper circumnavigation. We have neither a firm route nor a timetable, a sponsorship nor a place we need to be, and so we're comfortable just pedaling where the winds and the world and our own hearts take us. We started in South Africa in July 2017, cycled for five months to Dar es Salaam, flew to Morocco in December, moved slowly east through Europe, then flew from Istanbul to Almaty in May 2018. We're working our way through central Asia, then we'll probably journey toward eastern Asia and we'll maybe even dip down into Australia before flying over to South America and slowly pedaling north back to the States. So maybe that'll happen, but it all depends how we're feeling along the way.
Our actual route, updated occasionally. Green lines (approximately) mark our cycling route. Grey lines signal where we took planes, trains, buses, ferries, or hitchhiked, and pink lines show where we've cycled on past trips.
We're prioritizing memories over mileage, meaning that we're fine taking breaks—short weeks out of the saddle here or there, or longer stops to relax, live, or work—and we won't be too terribly disappointed if we don't come full circle but end up having a great time of it anyway. We're riding self-supported (just us, our bikes, and a few panniers stuffed with clothes and food and a stove and a tent) and we're getting by on a pretty tight budget. And while we bike the overwhelming majority of the land we cross, we're not above catching a ferry when there's water in the way, booking a flight when there's bureaucracy in the way, and hitching a ride when a stretch of road is dangerous or just awful.