My motivations and reasons
My goal with this cycling trip was actualy just to do it! Becoming the first and youngest solo Dutch cyclist to go around the world by bike was an extra. I got motivated to do this on an age of 6 years old, while traveling in Australia with my mon and sister. 16 years later I finished my studies and had the chance of a lifetime: Cycling around the world! Instead of paying of my studie depths I decided to spent my hard saved money to experience the world. Not one, not two but seven continents.
This page will give you more information about this. More about me can be found here.
Inspire each other, live your dreams
The world is becoming smaller by the minute. I don’t mean the fact that we are rapidly burning all our fossil fuels. Not another gloomy end of the world story. No, this is a story about hope, about people working together, about living your dreams, about single individuals connecting and making a difference. I noticed while traveling how others seemed to get inspired by my story, and ofcourse how people inspired me to live to my full capacity. More about this can be found here.
This is the only continent that I hit twice on this trip!
I left going towards the south east and entered going towards the north. The start and finish were in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Because Istanbul is build on both Europe and Asia it's the perfect city to exit or enter Europe. The east of Europe is rougher than the west and the south is hotter than the north. I left on the first of september 2015, just after summer, which actually doesn't mean anything with the current weather changes. I had insane rain, storms but also days with temperatures of +35C. In the eastern parts I met a lot of local families that helpt me out, but I also had parts where I saw bears! Probably the most beautiful country was Macedonia. The water turns blue here, there isn't any plastic on the streets and the people are nice... When on my way back I saw a completely different side of Europe: coming from Africa I entered Spain in the south. The oversized, fat and lazy people overwhelmed me. These parts of Europe are touristic but as a cyclist I could for sure find some wild campingspots. The hot weather, the sea and the big amount of tourist was a bit of a shock
Cycling from the west towards the east I discovered some, for me at least, unknown countries. Georgia, Kazachstan and Nepal for example. I cycled in the blistering cold windchill of minus 20C, coming from the Siberia parts of Russia, and making the trip though Kazachstan and Uzbekistan extremely hard. I got frostbite, something I didn't even know what it precisely was until I got news from my standby doctor about what I should (not) do. This however was after 14 days cycling through the cold dessert. Because this extreme cold weather hit me 2 months earlier than planned I wasn't ready and eventually needed to take a flight to Nepal. The passes in the Himalaya, the trouble at the time in Kirgizië and my own medical situation made is simply impossible to continue. That flight I took to Kathmandu, Nepal, was probably the second best thing I did in my life. Why? Well I met my current girlfriend here, and that partly gave me the energy to pick myself up again and mentally deal with the situation I was in. I eventually continued and got to Bangladesh. Here again I was in trouble because the permits that where needed for the areas I wanted to go to, where extremely hard to get. After a super cheap flight I choose to go to Vietnam and go further south from here. The most south I got in Asia was 200m into the sea from south east Bali.
This was my continent. The whole time I was cycling from Hanoi, Vietnam toward Bali, Indonesia, I was training for this part. A 6000km dessert stretch, extreme heat and many other dangers. Never the less I just really like the Australian way of life, so after getting here in the north, Darwin, I ended up speaking that insane Aussie language again. When cycling like a nomad through extreme conditions I finally made it to Uluru. The center of Australia! This was where it all started for me: While traveling Australia with my mom and big sister we met 2 cyclist in the middle of the outback. Literally 3000km of sand in every direction, and there they stood with there bikes... Amazing! I want that too! 16 years later...
Yup, I did it but actually was only half way. After all I stil needed to cycle +3000km to the south coast and than back up towards Sydney. The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne and Sydney itself brought back memories that where long forgotten. After some short brakes I decided it was time to go, New Zealand or Hawai?
An astronomer gave me a spot to crash in Hawaii and after a day we where in a sailing race. Playing beachvolleybal and cycling around a volcano was already sick but when I arrived to Alaska my mind just got blown away. First of all the scenery, than the 24 hours a day daylight and than the animals, the open space and also the many many poor people in Alaska. It was all new for me and i just couldn't believe I actually was in Alaska! All the way towards Fairbanks, North Pole and through the 'Top of the World' highway to Dawson City. More more more and you will just get bored of how much insanely beautiful scenery there is. Weeks up on you cycle through some of the most beautiful places on earth. Than the cycling walhalla is there, the north west coast of The United States of America. A big shock, many people on bikes everywhere... The reason was simple why they all where here: It's just stunning.
National parks, like Death Valley, where empty. Way to hot for 'normal' people and yes, I had to put my bike in trees to prevent my tires from melting! 52C was the hottest temperature I had, in the shade, and maybe Las Vegas was the coolest but also the craziest place I have seen in North America. After cycling almost north-south and west-east I entered Mexico! Cartels, deep blue water and centuries old cultures amazed me. Jungle, Toucans and more jungle brought me to Belize. The Caribbeans!