It is hard to believe that I am back in Berlin these days, starting my self-employment as an author, speaker and photographer, narrating the stories of this cycling expedition. The goal of cycling the next continent is on the horizon, so I am maximally motivated to get things going. Just as last year, I selected 13 of my favorite photos from my journey, one per country I cycled through. 13 moments that meant a lot to me, both while I was taking the photo and now, in hindsight. Ready to follow along for a little mental journey?
First things first: I have a little New Year’s surprise for you. And I am very excited about it! When I first arrived in Thailand, I realized that this is the 12th country I will be exploring solo by bicycle. This felt like a good time to look back on where this journey has taken me so far. The thousands of kilometers, the challenges, the joys, the epic landscapes, stunning culture and the many people whose kindness I will never forget.
[photos were taken at my winter/spring destinations: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and the Canary Islands]
‘Aren’t you afraid?’ That is one question I get quite often, from friends and family back home as well as from strangers on the road. Am I? The short answer is: No, most of the time, I am not afraid. I trust. That may sound weird at first. I feel that in most of our societies, trust is a rare commodity. We are stingy with our trust. The go-to-mode is to distrust someone first and check whether (s)he is trustworthy before buying in. Better be safe than sorry. My months of cycle-touring up to now have taught me lessons that are quite different from that. And I have started to believe that the world might be a better place, that human communication might become a lot more human indeed, if we changed our perspective on trust. Here are the three lessons I have learned so far: trusting others, trusting yourself and trusting the universe. For me, these make the world shine in a new way.