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IamA cyclist/hiker/mountaineer who just came back from West Africa, riding a bamboo bike for 5000km. So far I've cycled through 148 countries - AMA! (happy to help with any adventure-related project too!)

My short bio: My name is Patrick; I'm a regular guy from Germany, 29 years old, who at some point in school decided that he wants to travel around the world.

To my own surprise, that idea actually worked and by now I've been to 148 countries; most of the world.

I try to do interesting stuff when I happen to come across it, anything from diving, climbing a mountain, boarding down an active volcano, wrestling a crocodile, cycling across the Sahara in summer or Siberia in winter and other mischief.

My latest tour, which I finished a week ago, was in West Africa. I cycled a bamboo bike through Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and the Ivory Coast.

To give an idea of the area:

  • Ghana has coastal fortresses that were used in slave trading in the colonial times.

  • Togo is the voodoo capital of the world.

  • Benin was the home to the most bloodthirsty kings of Africa, in Abomey.

  • Niger, home to the Aiir mountains, is 80% desert, making it home to many nomad tribes like the Tuareg, even today.

  • Burkina Faso, the land of the honorable people, has a life expectancy of only 47 years... in Germany (my home) it's 87. I'll survive the entire current generations of Burkinabe people, and I have no idea how I feel about this.

  • Mali is home to Timbuktu, the great oasis trade town of the Sahara.

  • The Ivory Coast, former glorious example of economic growth in Africa, recently survived two civil wars; while previously able to build infrastructure like no other in the region, including a $300mio church in its capital.

West Africa was very polarizing for me, a tough tour. Interesting. Sad. Full of hospitable people. Of bad roads and Malaria, but also hidden wonders and memorable encounters.

I wrote a little bit about the tour here on Reddit, for those interested in a more detailed approach, especially if you plan your own tour: https://www.reddit.com/r/bicycletouring/comments/662xu1/west_africa_tour_report_infos_pics_gear/

And a map showing all my trips and visited countries: http://imgur.com/3Z1E01P

And the bike/equipment I used on this tour: http://imgur.com/a/S0YAU

If you are interested in my other tours, photos, etc, you can have a look at http://worldbicyclist.com/ or follow me here https://www.facebook.com/worldbicyclist/.

My Proof: https://twitter.com/World_Bicyclist/status/854343959539314688

Cheers, Patrick

PS: As always, I'll stay till no more questions are asked. :) If you are planning your own adventure, large or small, write me a message and I'll help as I can.

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How do you earn money for travel expenses? Or do you just save up before your tours?

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I save up before a tour; although I also program on occasion. I write blog posts for other sites, and I have sponsors for the equipment and bikes. That alone saves a lot of money.

Bike trips are inherently cheap, since you don't pay for transport. Stealth camping or couchsurfing is also free. Usually only the food and entry fees remain.

This trip to Africa was more expensive than usually, since I had two flights, I did need a visa for each country (Ghana alone was $200), I needed Malaria prophylaxis, and ended up spending more nights in hotels than usually. Being a tourist/white in Africa also means that you are often overcharged, since the locals assume that you are rich (completely right from their point of view), but it does not help to keep your budget down.

 1   0  

I thought I remembered you saying before that your family left you a house in Germany that you rent out?

 1   0  

For a while, yes. Not when I started, neither for the last years. My father lives in it now. It's a bit complicated.

The savings from the house I still have; they are on the bank.

 1   0  

How supportive are you parents of your lifestyle?

 3   0  

My mother supports me as she can; she likes that I don't waste away in an office, while on the other hand she worries about the long-term effects, especially pension/old-age.

I don't have any contact with my father.

 1   0  

Wow great man...Seeing the world has always been one of my long term dreams. Let's say how long would it take to cover whole of Africa ?

Do you think you have enough time to travel all the countries in the world?

What about health issues you faced travelling through the desert?

And Gesundheit brother. All the best for the road ahead.

 3   0  

A friend of mine, Francis Tapon, is currently traveling every country in Africa. He is going by car and it will take him about 4 years. He spends a month in each country on average.

I've travelled about 15 months so far in Africa and there are still 13 mainland countries and 6 African island states left. It takes a while.

Yes, I could easily visit every country by just flying there and spending a few hours/a day. A girl did that recently, visited every country in the world within 200-something days. Not quite the same though.

No health issues in the desert. :) Worst I had was dengue fever when I was in Indonesia.

 1   0  

Awesome man. Are you on instagram or Facebook I wanna see your posts. All the best.

Danke schon for replying.

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Being a tourist/white in Africa also means that you are often overcharged, since the locals assume that you are rich (completely right from their point of view)

Still kinda racist.

 3   0  

Yes, but they don't mean it that way. I got dozens/hundreds of calls of "Hey, white man", "Le Blanc", "Yovo", etc a day, all meaning: There is a white person.

 3   0  

Average km per day?

Average km per hungover day?

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150-175km on riding days.

0 hungover days in the last 10923 days.

 1   0  

Do you not drink? Or just very little? Or exceptionally blessed?

 1   0  

I don't drink. ;)

 3   0  

What advice would you give someone in his early twenties who's wish it is to primarily travel? I feel like that's what I really want. here in Germany people working get like 4 weeks of vacation a year and that sounds horrible to me. But how does one afford to permanently travel? Get a degree? I dont want to get a degree for the only reason to earn money to be able to travel.

 2   0  

Well, I'm from Germany and I started when I was 19.

If you want to travel most of your time, you have to forsake some basic first-world things like a stable social circle, a flat/home, a car, financial/job security, maybe even higher education. You'd have to downsize your material belongings, so that you can fit everything in your backpack.

If you can do all that, you are no longer location-bound to a rented flat or job. That allows you to move freely.

Now you need money. Travelling does not cost a lot, especially in warm/tropical areas. The slower you travel, the less money you spend. The more independent (hitchhike, hike, cycle), the less you spend, and the more you camp, volunteer, do WOOFING or couchsurfing, the less you spend.

Still, the amount will never be zero, so you need to earn, too.

There are three approaches:

  • Seasonal work on the go. Fruit picking, hostel work, winter-season work like waiting tables in a ski resort, farms...

  • Freelancing/Your own business online. Take a laptop, do websites, programming, app development, design... obviously requires a few years of training before hand.

  • Work, safe, then travel. Spend a year or five saving all your money, then travel low-budget for as long as possible. When you run out, stop and work again; for example English-teaching is very easy to do and easy to get a job at, in Japan, Taiwan, S-Korea...

I would not advice on getting a degree if you don't plan on using it. It's perfect for a well-paying job in the first world, but wouldnt help you on the road.

As an example, my first trip I planned with 1000€ a month; ending up spending less than that. The year after that, after I learned what I need and what I dont, I travelled on 300€ a month. That's only 3600€ a year. Now, with some savings, I voluntarily spend a bit more for a higher creature comfort level, around 6000€ a year.

 2   0  

During your tour, what was your most favorite country you visited, and why?

Also, I've been planning to possibly tour. What would I need to do in order to be in best shape for one?

 1   0  

On the entire tour, I'd say New Zealand or Japan or Nepal... hard to pick an ultimate favorite country.

On this part of the tour, West Africa, it's Ghana, by far. Not only did I not face any problems with the language barrier (they speak English), but the coast line is top; the country is more developed than most of its neighbours, and it was the start and end of the trip; I saw it twice. Once as a newcomer to western Africa, once with all the experience from the trip.

You don't need to be in top shape to do a bike tour; the worst that could happen is that you need more time. Or, if your time is limited, that you cover less distance. Best training for a bike trip is of course cycling. I'd say training for it is the same as always: Eat well, sleep well, ride your bike. Start with shorter tours, see how you do with luggage and sitting in the saddle all day. Then try the bigger tour.

But seriously, anyone can do a tour like this. It does not matter if your ride 20km, 80km or 200km a day.

 2   0  

Welcome back from your journey! Dark question, is the extent of poaching endangered species something in the general consciousness of most Africans, or is it just another non-essential concern?

 3   0  

I'd say no one cares. Of course rangers and people in the safari business do, but I met not one African who bemoaned poaching.

In the area I travelled, almost all wildlife of that sort has been exterminated. Only small national parks remain, and even those have been devastated for example by the Ivorian civil wars.

But if you live in a third-world country, lacking sanitation, food, clean drinking water, education and all kinds of other basic human necessities, thinking of animals (many of which are dangerous to you) is a low priority.

This is only my personal experience though, I'm sure other travellers have made different ones and met people that fight poaching.

 2   0  

What countries had the worst drivers with complete disregard for cyclists?

 5   0  

USA / Australia

Of course there are always countries like India, Bangladesh... or any third-world country in Africa with insane traffic in the cities, but there you wouldn't find anything that's hostile especially to cyclists. Rather to everyone who does not look out.

For example the people in Iran are absolutely friendly to foreigners, bikes or not, but the traffic situation is a mess.

 2   0  

What's next on your bucket list? What life long lesson have you learned from all your trips?

 3   0  

For this year I might visit Algeria; make a paragliding license; carry a bike up Mt.Kilimanjaro and ride it down; do a long (3-4 figures) UL hike in Europe; do a few Via-Ferratas/climbing routes in the Dolomites; and visit 6 more countries in Africa (South Sudan, Dem.Rep. Kongo, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar).

Not sure how much I can finish of these ideas; mostly due to budgeting. The West Africa trip was expensive already, East Africa would cost even more because of the flights to the island states and the Kilimanjaro permit.

Lessons I've learned a lot. Mostly about myself, what I need, what I want. That the world is small, that people are kind, that they are pretty much the same, no matter if they are from the US, Iran, Cambodia or Zimbabwe. Same desires, fears, hopes... As a person it made me really optimistic, trusting.

So yeah... life is short, do stuff! Don't wait!

 2   0  

Do you listen to music or podcasts while cycling? Do you buy a sim card in each country?

 1   0  

No and no.

The traffic in most places does not permit me the luxury of listening to music. Even on bike trails, rare as they are, I prefer to be able to hear my surroundings.

I do have a smartphone with me, but mostly use it for the wifi, alarm clock and music (while not cycling). A sim card would only allow me to call people, yet in most countries I don't know anyone to call. Exceptions are couchsurfing hosts; having a phone makes it a lot easier to communicate with them.

 1   0  

You should download the BBC iPlayer Radio app and listen to BBC World Service.

It's so good.

 1   0  

Wouldnt that require internet?

 1   0  

I listen to it while bicycling, but you did mention you use your phone for wifi. I'm not actually sure how it works.

 1   0  

I use the phone to use the wifi I have in hostels or restaurants. Not 3G. ;)

 2   0  

What's your favourite memory in your tours thus far?

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Oh my...

There are a lot. Anything from profound (mostly due to hospitality of the people I met), to most basic (the taste of food when you are really starving, or a hot shower after a week of cycling in the heat/dust).

But the favourite?

I don't know. Maybe the exact moment I turned the key in the lock on the morning of the 11th May 2007, the day I started travelling, thinking "I won't be back here for quite a while".

Or the moment I arrived in Cape Aghulas, the southernmost point in Africa, after riding there from Germany. Almost a year on the bike, and this was the final part, the last destination. I was 21, I had just ridden across the Sahara, through the Ethiopian highlands, the rift valley, with military escort through Somalia, through game parks with elephants, giraffes, even lions... no mountain pass, no traffic accident, no border, nothing had stopped me. Just me, I did this, travelled all this way, just on a regular bike that you can buy at the next corner.

I sat there for hours, staring at this milestone that says "the atlantic meets the pacific at this line".

 2   0  

That's beautiful. Although the Atlantic meets the Indian ocean, not the Pacific :)

 1   0  

You are right. Somehow my mind always splits the world map into Atlantic and Pacific sides.

 2   0  

What was the tastiest dish of food from your African tour? Any plans for adventures once you eventually visit all the countries?

Also, I have been following your tours since you posted imgur albums of siberia on reddit awhile back. It has been a pleasure following your tours. Keep up the awesomeness!

 2   0  

On this tour I had mostly simple food, but I really love the riz aveq sauce arachid; aka rice with peanut sauce. I mean, I also had pizza and one portion of Tiramisu on the tour, but I guess you didn't ask about continental food. ;)

Yes; I'd love to sail around the world and climb the Seven Summits, fly to the ISS and Mars and build a time machine so that I can visit not only all places, but all places at different times... Venice at its prime; the gladiators in Rome; watch and re-watch epic volcano eruptions...

Thank you! The Siberia pics are easy on the eyes too, they always get a lot of attention. :D

 2   0  

Hello, I have really enjoyed following your journey and am happy this last one was a success.

Do you plan on revisiting countries to travel them more thoroughly?

 1   0  

Some yes, some no. It mostly depends on outside influences.

Mali for example I'd love to visit properly, seeing a lot more of the country. But the current security situation makes this impossible.

China would be another one. I spend close to 2 months there, but that is only enough to see a tiny fraction. Yet to properly travel there, I'd need to learn Chinese or travel with a Chinese-speaking person.

Bhutan is another, their visa policy with a $250 price tag a day is a but much for me... I'd love to visit once they open their borders for less fortunate tourists. ;)

 2   0  

What were the things you packed on your first trip that you regretted bringing along?

 1   0  

Pretty much everything. A 80l backpack. Jeans. Normal knife/fork/spoon from the kitchen. A 1kg chess-board (now I have a tiny one). Too much clothing, especially two pairs of shoes.

I didn't even make a list for that first trip, which was a 1-year round the world tour. But if I were to make one today, it would look very different and a lot slimmer.

 1   0  

I love chess as well. How often do you find someone to play against you? I plan on taking a small one with me when I go back pack next year.

 1   0  

It's quite easy if you are staying in hostels. Otherwise a bit rare. But the rules are the same worldwide and you can even play with people that do not share your language, which is great.

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What was the scariest moment for you? Were you ever targeted for your belongings?

 2   0  

I was free solo rock-climbing in Jordan, in the canyons near Petra. My hand-hold broke off, while I was fairly high up a wall; I would have been dead... but somehow I managed not to fall. I crammed myself into a niche on the wall after that, pale and shaking; trying to rest for 10-15 mins. I was 20 and stupid, that's my only excuse.

Yes, I got stolen from a couple of times; once robbed at gunpoint. Last year, in Lebanon, by a soldier.

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Cake or Pie?

 2   0  

Pie-flavoured cake.

 1   0  

Or cake-flavoured pie.

 1   0  

This changes my life as I know it.

 1   0  

I'm so, so sorry.

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Any medical prep that you did before your start of the trip? Like vaccinations? What are your most needed first aid kit must haves other than bandages and antiseptic?

 1   0  

Vaccinations, yes, of course. Malaria prophylaxis too, aka taking pills every day for the duration of the trip in West Africa.

Gloves for the first-aid kit, also painkillers. If you need to ride a bike to get to a doctor/hospital, you'd better be able to do so even when injured.

 2   0  

17 yo here I too have a dream of travelling how should one start and plan about it ? Also any Bad experiences that you faced while travelling ?

 2   0  

Travel "short" term, like 6-12 months, before going back to your life/work/education, or travel "long" term, aka open-ended?

Yes, bad experiences are part of it. Extreme heat/cold, hunger/thirst, illnesses, tropical diseases, being stolen from, being robbed, physical exertion, bad experiences with people... but despite all this, the positive experiences are way more numerous.

 1   0  

I was talking about long term I've been to Trekking with a close Friend of mine a couple of times and its really great In that moment of time i forgot all about the problems i was facing it was like an escape to the shitty life we live being close to the nature feels so damn good Also here in India there are so many amazing places to visit which brings you close to nature So I've always wanted to Travel long term

 2   0  

I do not recommend using travel to "escape a shitty life and problems". Those wont go away, just because you try to run away from them.

You have an Indian passport?

 1   0  

I guess yeah maybe they won't solve but atleast i could forget about them for some time and No i don't have it yet

 2   0  

I meant: Are you an Indian citizen? Aka: What nationality are you?

 1   0  

Yeah I'm Indian and yes i do have Indian citizenship & sorry i got confused what exactly were you talking about back there

 2   0  

It's because different nationalities have different visa regulations. For example the US, Canadian and EU passport holders have it easy to get visas, while people from developing or third-world countries face more issues, more forms to fill out and even higher prices. It can be a huge burden, that's why I asked.

I'm also only familiar with the visa regulations for Germans, so I don't know how good/bad the Indian nationality is in that regard.

 1   0  

I don't think its that good i mean many and trust me many students find it difficult to get visas to study abroad so i don't think its on good terms

 2   0  

I agree, although tourist visa and student visas are very different from each other.

 2   0  

Do you miss anything about having an apartment, social circle etc? How often do you contact your family?

 2   0  

Right now I do have an apartment! HAHA! But only for about a year. On the road I mostly miss the conveniences of having an own place: Storage space; your own bathroom; access to a sink that gives unlimited drinking water; a kitchen that can heat food (wow!); a refrigerator (WOW! I can store food and it doesn't spoil? Fancy).

The internet makes it easy to stay in contact with people, so probably about as often as any other person that does not live at home anymore.

 2   0  

which country's food/water caused the most intestinal distress?

 1   0  

Ethiopia / India

 1   0  

was it a particular food item that did it or just in general -- how would you prepare for it next time?

 2   0  

Just happens. You probably won't be able to figure out afterwards what exactly it was.

No preparation possible, except to bring some more Imodium. ;) If it happens, just let it run its course.

 1   0  

Could you describe the moment where you came closest to calling it quits and heading home? (If such a moment existed, as it seems you have a very strong drive).

 2   0  

I had some bad moments, usually whenever items got stolen (passport/camera at one point, which was far from good); but I just want a break after something like this, not quit and go home.

Usually a good rest, a hot shower, a nice meal, and a nights sleep fixes such things.

On a larger scale, sometimes I wonder if it is worth it to truly travel to "every" country, including war-zones, super-expensive places, etc. A lot of the small Pacific or Caribbean island states are rather similar, but cost an arm and a leg, both in flight and accommodation costs. Is it really important that I've been to Trinidad AND Tobago? Or is St. Lucia really that different from St. Knitts or St. Nevis? I know Martinique is officially France, so should I go there, even if it's not a "real" country?

Those thoughts, yes. But quitting because of problems? No.

 1   0  

Am I the only one who came here expecting a Flintstones-type bike, with bamboo wheels ?

:)

 1   0  

So far, yes. :P

 1   0  

I want to start a trip this year without traveling to a start point.

So where would you suggest to ride from Bavaria (near Ingolstadt, Danube)?

 1   0  

I'd need more info; how long is your trip? How far do you ride a day?

Since you live near the Danube, why not ride the Danube river trail? It goes all the way to the black sea, almost till Istanbul. Nice sights along the way too.

 1   0  

I planed to ride about a week.

Do you think the way upwards the river would be OK to ride, too?

Because I'd wanted to stay in Germany this time

Same with the EuroVelo tracks, from where I start I would be in the Czech Republic in a day and not see much new of Germany.

Do you think it's better to travel (by train) to a starting point and ride back home or the other way around?

 2   0  

Trains or even buses in Europe are perfect to go to a starting location, especially if you use the 19€ or 29€ Sparpreis-tickets. :)

Cycling on the river is fine, no matter if up or down. Most people ride downriver though, because they are lazy. Less uphill that way. ;)

 1   0  

Do you film any of your adventures and have uploaded it on the interwebs so we could see? P.s. I've seen your photos on FB and it looks awesome

 2   0  

Filming is a lot of work. You need to set up the camera, ride back, record yourself, ride to the camera to collect it, watch the footage to check if it's ok (or redo it); later on cut and edit it, and the file size is prohibitive when traveling in third-world countries with third-world internet.

So... I tried on one trip, from Germany to Japan and back, but except some short video-diary entries nothing much came of it.

You can find some better pictures here http://www.worldbicyclist.com/blog/?cat=2 or for example here: http://imgur.com/a/8FWHU :) Or http://imgur.com/a/DU9Vc ... I upload on reddit, imgur, facebook... one day I'll sort it all and make one nice gallery. ;)

 1   0  

How do you book cheapest flights?

 1   0  

Ita Flightmatrix, https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Check 3-6 months from today, while using "See calendar of lowest fares", while having 5-6 departure airports and everything in the general area you want to visit.

Got to NY once from Europe for 200€; or from Germany to North Africa for 100€. :)

 1   0  

Could you tell us about getting fever/exotic diseases shots? How often you get shots and when traveling to which countries?

 1   0  

Shots? If you mean vaccinations, there are not really that many against exotic diseases. Malaria, Dengue fever, Ebola and the like you still get, take meds, die or go on living.

The other vaccinations are standard vaccinations, like rabies or yellowfever. I went to a small tropical travel clinic in my home town, paid 800€, got 800€ from my insurance back. Immune to everything they can make me immune to.

Some last for life, others 5-10 years. I should probably get a new rabies vaccination.

 1   0  

Yup, I meant vaccinations. Did you get any side effects after any of these vaccinations? Like feeling sick or something? I've had vaccinations only when I was a kid and media constantly brings fear about complications of vaccines.

 1   0  

No side effects.

No serious media outlet would talk about vaccinations and fear together, unless the lack of vaccinations is the cause of fear.

Hope yours did not run out yet; when was the last time you checked?

 1   0  

How did you like the Ghanaian cuisine?

 1   0  

I do have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the African cuisine in general. Give me Indian, Mexican, Japanese...

 1   0  

Are you interested in doing the Euro Velo routes?

 2   0  

I cycled a few of them; like the Rhine river and the Danube river trails, or the coastal part in southern France and the Adriatic coast, but I never considered riding a special trail.

I like selecting destinations, places I want to visit, and use the bicycle as a transport to connect those places. Usually the route is far from scenic.

 1   0  

I'm an aspiring long-distance bicyclist myself. I've never done any kind of cross-continental thing, but I've biked for hours at a time to get to neighboring cities before.

My dream is to do all 15 of those EU bike trails; I think it's interesting that you're not so interested in them. I guess it's because I'm not from Europe.

 1   0  

I don't think that is has anything to do with my origin. It's just that recreational cycling is done on bike trails, riding the trail to see the trail. I use bikes as transport, I want to go to country X or city Y and just happen to go by bike. ;)

 1   0  

These may be not very interesting questions, but I've never seen you address them before. Bugs? How do you feel about insects and pests and is it an issue you have to deal with very often? Do you prefer doing the offroad mountain bike thing, or usually stay on roads?

 2   0  

It's not a big deal, but than again I don't mind them much. The only two I look out for are mosquitoes (due to the diseases they carry) and beg bugs, because they nest on your clothing/camping gear and are near-impossible to get rid off. It would suck to carry them back into a flat or hotel and infest the place.

My tent is fairly insect-proof, it's no trouble when camping.

I stay on roads. Off-road mountain biking is recreational, I want to go somewhere, reach a new destination, cover distance. Roads are a lot better for that.

 1   0  

What mountains have you climbed? Fellow climber here.

 1   0  

Eiger, Watzmann, Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Huyana Potosi, Kala Pattar, Fuji, Zugspitze... I'm trying to do more in future, but it's difficult on tour, because I dont have my gear with me all the time.

But this summer I'll head to the alps again. :)

 1   0  

Do you keep a professional job when you return home to earn a decent income? I want to travel but I am afraid I will not be able to find a job with a similar income if i return

 1   0  

No, I never really had a proper job. Don't plan to either. Once I settle down, I'd rather be either a freelancer or start my own company.

 1   0  

Will you take any more questions today?

 2   0  

Sure.

 1   0  

Do you use the same bike for all of your trips? How often do you need to repair your tire? Replace your tire?

 1   0  

Why did you ask 28 different questions over 22 different comments? I mean... wow.

I use a different bike each year; I don't need to repair tires at all, you replace them instead; I replaced them once ever 5000-10000km.

 1   0  

I'm sorry. I had alot of questions on my mind. It's okay if you don't answer them all. Most people do not. Thanks for having the Question and answer session on Reddit.

 1   0  

To be honest, I thought you were trolling, but seems I was wrong. I'll go through them, give some answers. :)

 1   0  

Besides English and German, what languages do you know?

 1   0  

Spanish, Latin.

 1   0  

What are the most dangerous countries you have been to in terms of crime?

 1   0  

Somalia ?

 1   0  

What do you think of the bike trails in the USA?

 1   0  

In comparison to Europe, they are like a really rare unicorn. You have next to no bike trails at all, sadly. :/

 1   0  

How many bikes do you have at home?

 1   0  

4 atm.

 1   0  

How much water do you consume daily on trips? What are the Challenges of getting clean water in some places?

 1   0  

Depends highly on the climate, but getting water has never been a problem.

 1   0  

Do you you take donations for travel expenses on GoFundme or other crowdfunding websites?

 1   0  

If you want to give me money, feel free, but I don't have any crowdfunding for my tours. I pay them myself.

 1   0  

How do you stay safe from robbery?

 1   0  

You don't, it's pure luck.

 1   0  

How do you protect from Sunburn?

 1   0  

Long clothing, baseball cap and sun-creme.

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Favorite alcohol drinks?

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None. I don't drink alcohol.

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When do you plan to take a trip to the USA again?

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No idea.

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Which country in Africa has the most difficult terrain to cycle across?

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Kongo.

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Best snacks to cycle with?

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Nuts.

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What are your favorite subreddits?

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Who is your celebrity crush?

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I'm not quite that age anymore. ;)

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Have you thought about writing articles about your travels for magazines?

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Yes, that happens on occasion, but I don't have any recurring gig.

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What mountains have you climbed in Africa? Europe? USA?

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In Africa none (no gear with me), in Europe a couple of 3000-4000 in the alps, including soloing Mont Blanc, the highest mountain of Europe, and in the USA none (no gear with me).

I climbed a few more in South America and Asia though. And NZ.

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Do you have any favorite sports to watch? To play?

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I don't watch sports, except Starcraft replays. ;)

Same for sport (games), I don't do those. I do sports, like athletics, training, mountaineering, cycling, but these are not things you play at.

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What types of music do you like to listen to?

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Most, except hiphop/rap. Big fan of movie soundtracks and background music from games, as well as rock and metal.

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Howdy,

A few here, sorry ha.

  • 1. What bike did you use on your recent trip?
  • 2. How did you deal with transporting/packaging the bike to airports etc?
  • 3. Most useful item you use while on tour?
  • 4. What camera do you use? DSLR or point and shoot?
  • 5. Do you use Google maps etc to navigation or use actual maps?
  • 6. Any plans for your next tour?
  • 7. With your experience, what would you reckon a RTW trip would cost by bicycle?

Thanks!

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  1. Bike http://imgur.com/a/S0YAU

  2. Took the bike apart, put it in a box.

  3. Kindle.

  4. Point and Shoot, tiny one. Sony DSC WX220.

  5. Garmin GPS

  6. Yes. East Africa, Alps, Algeria... lots. :)

  7. Wow... good question. Lets say 5-10$ a day for food, accommodation is free (camping/couchsurfing), you need about 500-1000$ for the flights, about 1000$ for the equipment/bike, and you need to pay the visas for the countries you visit, which depends on your route. 5000$ as a minimum I'd say.

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So, just the one water filter? How did that work out? Can you add any more color around your experience looking for water, particularly in the dryer parts of Africa?

Also, was the sunscreen sufficient? And did you chafe at all?

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I did not use the water filter. It's emergency gear.

You buy water at the nearest shop. Like every other person. You get water literally every few kilometers; there are women on the street with boxes selling 500cl bags of water. I never carried more than 3L of liquids. Longest distance was maybe 30km, 40km? without a shop that sells something to drink.

I did drink a lot of coca cola and especially soy milk and chocolate milk; the last two are great sources of calories (fat/protein).

Sunscreen was fine, no sunburn, but I dont easily burn. No chafing.

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Thank you! Is that water safe? I only ask because I've had bad experiences buying water in places like India where they sell these little sachets that have water from questionable sources.

I've been contemplating riding a motorcycle through parts of Africa so what you've shared so far has been tremendously helpful.

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Water is safe. Some countries even have clean drinking water from the tap. Like Gambia, I did drink the tap water in the capital without any ill effect.

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Any websites/subreddits you would receommend to someone wanting to travel? :)

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maps.google.com should be all you need.

But no, not really. https://matrix.itasoftware.com/ is great to find flights, and https://www.couchsurfing.com/ for accommodation and meeting people, but other than that, you don't need to internet. ;)

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Hi patrick, how do you deal with friendship and life on the road? Keeping a circle of friends or social life was really big drag on traveling for me, and I'm always curious to hear how other vagabonds deal with that aspect of life.

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Most of it is online by now, people I keep in touch with... but recently I spend more time in Germany and had the opportunity to get to know people better. Rock climbing, an RPG evening, movie theater... all that normal stuff I skipped because I was always travelling.

On the road I was either alone, or traveled with my girlfriend or other people I met. Probably around 50/50.

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Did you come across ppl who've never or rarely seen a white person? What was thier reaction?

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Blank stares. Small children that have never seen a white person can be fun though, they are a mix of curious and terrified.

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Haha that's funny​ and cute. So how would you react if they were scared of you? Also did you come across any parts of West Africa that were surprisigly well off?

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The Ivory Coast is more developed than the other countries, but other than that, not on this trip.

If they are scared? Blank stares, followed by running away and hiding. Then, slowly, comes the curiosity.

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Hi, I work for one of the 3 major USA airlines and have flight benefits that give me free flights to almost every part of the world as long as the flight has an unpaid seat. Just this month for example I have been to Hong Kong, Belgium, and Cabo in Mexico. I am getting pretty bored of it recently. Not very motivated to go anywhere and there are still many places I havent been to yet. It is mind boggling how far you have gone and for how long you have be doing this for. How are you not bored and still motivated to stay on the road and keep on peddling?

Also, you have so much experience seeing so many parts of the world. When you are done travelling, what city has the best combo of weather/vibes/cost of living that you would want to call home for say 10 years?

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How could I be bored? That's a really strange question to me. It's my life, it's what I chose to do. I mean, I'm not just visiting a place, but also do different activities per location; aka mountaineering in the alps, diving on the coast, hiking in National parks...

I'd go to western or northern Europe. Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Norway...

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What illnesses and injuries have you gotten on your trips?

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Dengue fever and a crocodile bite, for example.

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Yikes. How was the recovery?

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One week laying around doing nothing for dengue. Croc bite I patched up and was cycling and camping within 24h.

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The croc bite sounds... interesting. :) Can you tell us more?

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I had been invited by the owner of a crocodile farm in Mozambique, back in 2010. He wanted to go croc hunting, and I joined in... little did I know that he catches them with bare hands, alive for the farm. I'm not good at catching crocodiles with my bare hands, but I still have both of them. ;)

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Do you own a car? If so which company and model?

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Never owned a car; nor have I driven one, except for the driving test once.

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What essentials do you carry with you on all cycling trips?

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First aid kit, Kindle (ebook reader), and a spare credit card and passport. Those are always with me.