We are Chris and Sara-may and we are traveling the world by bicycle.
Bicycle? Why are you traveling by bicycle? Why not just by plane, or a train, take a boat, a car or get a motorbike. That is a frequent response of people we meet.
Our answer is simple. We want to have an adventure, freedom, and to get in good shape physically and mentally. The last two are dependent on each other. We want to get a deeper understanding in who we are and what we want. Cycling long distances can get you in a meditative state and gets you to places you otherwise might never end up.
The second important motive is to travel sustainable. In a world where you can now pay 10 euro to fly from one European capital to another, it is less obvious to go for other ways of traveling. Although unfortunately we had to take two flight. Because we got no visa for Pakistan, we had to fly from Oman to Sri Lanka and due to the civil war in Sri Lanka, the ferry service to India was cancelled, so we had to fly again. That’s also what you learn on the way: plans change, be flexible.
In the end, traveling by bicycle is not only good for the environment, you can also pay attention to your surroundings. With every kilometer, the landscape is changing and slowly the habits of people start to fade. They get replaced by new ones or they are mixed. Border area’s are really interesting in this sense. Here you see, borders are lines created by politics, but many people in different countries have the same habits and customs.
Chris uses a dynamo to charge his electric devices on the way and we know cyclists that use solar panels to charge bigger devices as a laptop or their electric bike 🙂 We unfortunately did not get sponsored for this, but these are great ways to travel. We also eat always at the local shops, filled mostly with locals. Then you know, you will get some good and cheap food.
We like to volunteer in sustainable projects, using the website http://www.workaway.org. On our way we have participated in so many nice projects and came across so many inspiring ideas: Turkish Erdem who was building an earth ship, working in a animal rehabilitation center and sustainable farm in Burdur, Turkey, we did a presentation about our travels in a German school in the United Arab Emirates, and we were helping two Indian ladies at their organic farm and restaurant in Auroville. Chris thereby volunteered in numerous farms during his half year of traveling in Europe.
Liberation of the mind
We both noticed that after years of studying, life is not written down in the books. It is out there, it is in front of you. It is in this moment. So in this moment you can make a decision of how you want your life to be. In order to make the best decisions there has to be a good level of consciousness. We noticed the human mind likes to live in the past or the future and it rarely lives in the present. Going on a cycling adventure can make you live in the moment maybe a bit more easily than while your in a daily routine. You just have to pay attention on the road 😉
We experienced that it can be quit difficult to get distracted from your dreams and wishes in life and to get caught up in expectations. So our aim is to to wake up with the sunrise, take time to watch the sunset, be conscious of what you eat, and pay attention to your ideas and observations and to hear your own voice calling instead the ones of others. Not saying we succeed in all this, but it is nice to try.
What do you discover while you travel? Helpful people are everywhere! In every country, in every size, they cover the globe 🙂 And that is so comforting to know. People give help in different ways. Sometimes through a smile, a hug, sticking up their thumbs when you climb a mountain, sometimes by giving fruits, vegetables or sweets. Sometimes by inviting you in their home for a meal, a shower, a place to have a safe comfortable night. Sometimes by a comforting chat or sharing a glimpse of their life. To cherish the helpful people all around the world, we have a gallery “Helpful people” of all the people we met that brightened up our days and journey.
Chris initial idea was to cycle to India, but when we got closer to the destination we noticed we just like to continue. We like to also see Nepal, Myanmar and so on. We are totally flexible and open for all suggestions. And in the end we are of course depended on visa regulations. This mix determines our route. However we would like to end up in Australia and start some Work and Travel.
How it began..
Chris left April 2015 on his bike from Freiburg to travel the world by bicycle. He first thought of hitch hiking, but he got inspired by a German guy who cycled to China and back. So Chris traveled for six months through Europe and supported some farming and constructing projects on his way. You can find the start on Work & Cycle. After six months on his way to pick some olives with a friend in the south of Greece he ended up in Athens. He send a last minute couchsurf request to Sara-May who was just nearly living a month in the Greek capital. She accepted, excited to host her first couchsurfer in Athens.
Sara-May hitch hiked the first of August to Greece with a friend. After three weeks her friend left and she traveled around the country. She was fascinated and captured by the beauty and at the same time tragic situation of Greece due to the economic and refugee crisis. Her aim was to write articles, but she could not sell and eventually ran out of money. After a ten minute google search she found a job in Athens as a Dutch customer service employee at Philips.
Chris eventually survived winter for four months in Athens, and because we hit it off so well we decided to travel together. Sara-may had saved some little money, she bought a second hand bicycle in Athens, for a month we arranged all bike gear. To see how that went, click here. To get an impression of our time in Greece, click Greece.
So we hope you enjoy our cycling stories and maybe you get inspired to buy a bike yourself and explore the world!
We are looking for sponsors that want to support us in getting us a new touring/trekking bicycle. After more than two years our second hand bikes are ready to be replaced. In every country we need to visit several bike shops and slowly our bicycles fall apart. So we are approaching Dutch, German and International sponsors that want to support us and join our journey around the globe 🙂 But we got already some great support one our way, look here.
Do you have any questions, tips, or sponsor recommendations feel free to write us!
Sara-may Leeflang Chris Wolf
T: +91 73 58 73 6088 + 49 176 619 555 00
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com