Does the world need yet another traveling blogger?
Hello! My name is Mika, and i'm about to leave on a 45-day bike journey from Copenhagen to Istanbul. This will be my greatest adventure to date, and yet finding a way to document it that could also be easily shared with others has probably been the most challenging part of the preparation!
First of all, i don't exactly know why i am doing this, even though this trip in particular has been brewing for the past several months, and in a way i have been preparing for it for over a year now through a dozen or so 2- to 10-day trips experimenting with my gear and testing myself. Furthermore, i don't even know whether i'll actually reach Istanbul, which i have eventually decided to use more as a guide to these 45 days on the road than an objective in itself.
The first time i felt really inspired to leave on a bike trip must have been when i met Dave Conroy, whom i had the pleasure to host at my place in New Jersey back in 2011, when i was attending graduate school at Rutgers University and living in Central Jersey. My home in the New Brunswick area was about half the way between New York City and Philadelphia, and turned out to be a good place for bike tourists to take a break along their way between the two cities. Over the following couple of summers i got to host several other parties of bike tourists, and what struck me the most about those encounters was how different their motivations were. While for Dave bike touring had become a lifestyle (he's still doing it and going strong!), there were also people like Steve and Taylor, to whom that was part of their gap year adventures, or Greg Poulton, who used his bike as a tool to connect with people and places in his country.
What i seem to have come to appreciate the most in my travels is the process itself — not only the routine: set up camp, take it down, advance, repeat, but also dealing with the disruptions: the melted chocolate all over everything in my handlebar bag, the occasional mechanical problem, or the tick infestation inside my tent. These trips have thus been very private so far. The last method of documenting them i've been experimenting with — and really liking! — has been to take a limited number of pictures with a film camera, and write on the backs of the developed photos upon my return! So, i'm not sure how much i have or want to say publicly, and whether that is enough for a designated blog. But perhaps i could use this platform to reflect on that and, along the way, share some pictures and experiences with the family and friends who won't stop asking for them ;-)