Why did you decide to do it?
I (Ryan) saw an after dinner speech by someone who had cycled round the world – I’d never previously considered that people did that sort of thing, and it blew my mind! After spending a few months reading about various trips, we decided that it sounded like something we had to try for ourselves.
How much did it cost?
We saved up enough for a budget of £10 per day per person. You can cycle tour on much less (or much more). To reduce costs spend more nights camping for free in your tent, cook more meals on your camp stove, spend more time in cheaper countries (e.g. South East Asia as opposed to Western Europe or Australia).
Where did you go?
We’ve made a map of the exact route we took here.
How did you cross the oceans?
We took a boat from England to France, flew from Singapore to Australia and Australia to New Zealand, and took the ferry between islands in New Zealand. The rest of our route was on land.
Where did you sleep?
Usually in our tent (in a forest, behind a hedge, under the road, sometimes in a campsite), but depending on the country also with random families and cheap guesthouses.
What was your favourite country?
We enjoyed all 23 countries on our route but if forced to pick one, it has to be Iran. Incredibly friendly people, beautiful deserts and mountains, stunning architecture and mosques.
How did you get all those visas?
In short, we got them as we went, usually in the country before we needed them (e.g. we got the Iranian visa in Turkey). We couldn’t get them all before we left as we didn’t plan our route in advance, and most visas give you a maximum of three months to enter the country after being issued, which would be a problem for our trip which lasted 19 months. We outlined the method we used for each country here, but these things do tend to change from time to time, so it’s probably best to search the amazingly useful Thorntree forum to find out what the situation is now.
What bike / tent / stove did you use?
Originally we deliberately didn’t want to talk about kit too much in our blog posts as we thought it would be boring for our readers, but judging by the number of questions we get asked it seems lots of people want to know! We’ve now created a page about the kit we used here.
How many punctures did you get?
Rebecca got two (in 27,000km!!!) and Ryan lost count (perhaps 20-30).
How far did you cycle each day?
Our trip average was 80km per day in around 5 hours of pedalling. Obviously this varied from day to day depending on hills, wind, energy etc. We usually cycled for a week or two before having a few days off in a town or city.
Did you do any training before the trip?
We didn’t do any specific training for the trip other than one overnight cycle to test our kit. It really doesn’t matter how fit you are when you start, as long as you’re prepared to gradually ease your body into it over a month or two.
How long did it take to plan?
We decided to go about 9 months before we left. You could get ready in less time though.
Wasn’t it dangerous? Were you ever scared?
The biggest danger was probably from drivers, but we rarely felt scared. Before the trip we were probably most scared of being chased by stray dogs! We did get chased lots in Bulgaria & Turkey but quickly learned how to scare them off.
Would you do it again?
Yes! Probably… Towards the end it felt like we’d been away for a long time (19 months), so our next trip will probably be shorter. But I would still definitely recommend a nice long trip to those thinking about it!
You haven’t answered my question!