Weeks I stayed Berlin
North Coast 500 - View on Little Loch Broom after a very grueling ascend

When I was meeting people on my journey, they had two questions. The first one, are you not scared? The second one, why? No, I was not scared. Very easy answer. But, the why question got me. Because I had only one answer. Because I can. And honestly, that was true. I never had the dream to go on such a long-distance bike trip. I simply wanted to have a significant break and a challenge that seemed worthwhile. I had money saved, and I had time. Good enough.

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Tenting in Northern California

This one keeps me awake at night. Like really. Yesterday evening I was listening to how to wild camp and I saw myself sitting alone at night in a forest and peeing my pants. Hearing sounds, imagining the worst. Usually I listen podcasts about serial killers to fall a sleep. So my repertoire how bad could look like is gigantic.

Long story short. I would love to say that I just camp wherever I find a good slot. But I can't. At least not now. I will need to get comfortable with the idea and slowly ease in, ideally with some companions. But it will happen. In the meantime I'm figuring out some alternatives.

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IMG 0051

When traveling for business, I'm really good at packing. During my life I have assembled quite some clothes, but magically they're all fitting together. So I can pack quite minimal, generally I only fly with hand luggage. Hiking similar. And while this might sound not too charming, I prefer to stink a little bit rather than killing my back. The first time I packed my panniers though, wow, I hardly could ride the bike. To be fair, I packed cookbooks and all crazy things. Volume was fine, but weight was not.

Now I need to pack for a year. And I'm going to do mistakes. Good thing is, I can ship things home and if I really miss something, I can buy it. So there won't be too much drama.

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Eurovelo 4 - my Surly Disc Trucker in Dieppe, Normandie

There are people who do a lot of research when looking for bikes, considering this, considering that. I'm not like that. I do usually have a picture in my head of what I want. And it's basically impossible to convince me of anything else. Similarly with my bike. I did have already two bikes. A Canyon road bike and a beautiful city bike, custom made for me by Santucci Cycles. Both were not made for the tour, so I needed a new one.

Some time ago I lived in San Francisco. There I encountered for the first time Surly bikes. Steel frame, and slightly old-fashioned looking. Back then I thought about getting one, now was the time!

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The idea for this trip is to go with the flow. That sounds cheesy, but that's the plan. I don't have an end date, I don't need to be anywhere at a specific time, at least for the time being and I have no idea what I'm going to find on the way. Some roads might suck, some areas might be tempting to go once I'm closeby or I might meet people that I want to team up for some time. I want to leave space for serendipity. But I made a rough route, it might change completely though, but I need to start somewhere. The starting point will be Brindisi, a small town in Puglia. From there I bike up to Scotland and down to Tarifa and then up to Fulda. That's the plan. It's a rough 17500km.

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Amore store postcard

Wednesday is my last day in the office. I quit. It's not quite like quitting earlier. I quit often and I mostly quit when I felt my job was done. In this case my job is done as well. What makes it different is that I don't want to work anymore. That's a bit off, I want to work, I love to work. But I decided to take a significant break and keep it absolutely open what's next. I don't have another job lined up. I'm allowing myself to go on a little adventure.

And I'm curious where I end up.

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Mood: happy :)