In 2008 we made our first "test-trip." We spent three weeks bicycle camping on the small island of Socotra (Jemen). It was such a wonderful experience that we decided to set off when the time was right.
At the end of 2009 we were no longer happy with our jobs (although now, after seeing how most people live, we have learned not to complain). We knew that we could not wait much longer as we dream of having a family one day. So we set a date (May 5, 2010), and communicated our decision to our families and friends – which was the most important step of the whole journey.
Why was that?
First, we figured out the logistics of what to do with our jobs, flat, etc. before we told anyone. That way when they raised objections, we could explain in detail how we would take care of those situations. Then, the reactions were stunningly good!
It was the most important step because once other people are involved in your plans, it gets more difficult to say, "No, it all has just been a joke."
The acceptance motivated us a lot. We knew that we were doing the right thing, and that our family and friends support us.
What were your jobs/careers?
I (Anita) worked as a Graphic Designer in a small advertising company. I (Andreas) worked as a purchaser for a company which produces solar panels.
Why do you prefer bicycling, instead of flying or driving?
It is the slowness of our travel that makes it so intense. You are urged to stop in small, remote villages – talk to people with different social backgrounds. Some are bitterly poor, and would give you their last piece of bread. But also many rich people showed us respect and were very hospitable.
What does "slowness" mean to you?
There's a saying which describes "slowness" perfectly: "The snail can tell you more about the way than the rabbit."
On your travels, what have you learned about human beings?
The most important thing for ALL human beings is being happy. For most people this means having good relations with their families and/or friends, a harmonic social environment. No matter if we are rich or poor, educated or "simple," settled down or nomadic – we all have to eat, sleep, love, cry, laugh. We all want to live in peace and harmony.