January 20, 2020
Biking Borders #1
The magic of traveling slow
Biking (Photo 0)

While we travel, we collect fragments of impressions, images, experiences. This mosaic then turns into memories we remember for a lifetime and into stories we tell over and over again. Going from Berlin to Beijing by bike, Mapify user whereisnono is currently collecting one-of-a-kind impressions. What follows, is the first chapter of a story that is yet to be written.

The magic of traveling slow
Have you ever visit a far distant destination? Sri Lanka, Mexico, Canada, Australia maybe? Of course you have… and by doing so, you have probably got on a plane. That’s the common way of traveling, of making your way from A to B. But what if you decided to travel really slow? Imagine going all the way from your home country to the other side of the world and experiencing every street you go through individually.
Wouldn’t that be interesting and exciting? Well, I can tell you it is…

If one would have told me a year ago that I would go by bicycle from Germany to China, I would have simply laughed. About him, about the idea of me biking that far and about the possibility that this is actually a thing to do: “bikepacking”. But now I am sitting day by day on the saddle and slowly making all the way from Berlin to Beijing. That makes a total distance of 15.000 kilometers. The route leads across countries such as Kosovo, Iran, Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan – countries most people do not even know they exist. I do understand that this sound like a route too long to cycle, like a dangerous adventure or simply like something that is not possible.

Breaking it down, it is rather simple: you pedal and you move forward. Kilometer by kilometer, country by country and day by day. Thinking about it this way makes it way less insane and impossible. In fact, making your way across foreign countries by bike can be a breathtaking way of traveling. Biking makes you experience countries in an intense way. You have so much time to actually process the experiences you make and turn them into well sorted memories that will make a permanent impression of your favorite faces and places along. What I truly treasure on our route so far is this: People invite us into to their homes, they host us and they are interested in our journey and in our story.

What is my story behind this story? I am not doing this bicycle journey because I love cycling. In fact, I have never cycled more than 20 kilometers in my life. I am doing this journey in order to create awareness for educational problems. It’s a combination of having the adventure of a lifetime, doing good and constantly being outside of the comfort zone.