Carolina and her partner Per are a Swedish digital nomad couple cycling the world on their bikes since the past 14 months. Carolina was kind enough to share a crazy experience in the Sahara desert with us through this guest post. Find out why this couple chooses to cycle the world in the following post:
Why did we choose to cycle around the world?
A longing for something else. An urge to see the world. A will to spend more time together. That’s what led us into cycling around the world. Or like my middle school students told me when I revealed our plan to them, “You can’t cycle around the world, you’ll have to take a plane or boat eventually”. Nope!
For the past 14 months our bikes have taken us from Uppsala, Sweden to Bissau in Guinea Bissau. And we are still peddling. We cycled through eastern and south Europe, took a ferry from Spain to Morocco where we continued to cycle West Africa and now next up is Australia.
The most adventurous moment
Our most adventurous part of this trip so far was to cross the Sahara desert. It demanded good planning, determination and a little luck with the winds. Going into the desert I expected the heat to be most challenging, and yes it was hot. I got a heatstroke and the paint on our water bottle started to boil. But it’s the wind that really can get to you.
Cycling from Nouadhibou, we had the worst headwind we have ever encountered. For two days we struggled to move forward. Sometimes the visibility was so bad we had to push our bikes in the sand next to the road because we had no chance to see the trucks coming towards us. In that strong wind, you can’t hear them either. Being exposed to the wind and sand constantly exhausts you. That feeling when you lock yourself in the tent at night while sipping a cup of coffee and when the noise from the wind slightly disappears is the best feeling ever. Having a portable coffee maker is a life saver at such trips. When you put your head on the pillow, (sorry, jacket..we don’t carry pillows!) you will fall asleep immediately. Being that exhausted is exhilarating. At maximum we carried 27 litres of water with us, went 7 days without having a shower, and a lot of sand left in our belongings (which I think we never will get rid of). It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Why cycling the world is so rewarding
Cycling is also an adventure in itself regardless the nature surrounding you. We don’t plan much ahead when we don’t need to and that makes us open to our surrounding and the people we meet. We stop and chat with people along the road, we might get a tip on which road to take, an invitation for tea or to stay the night. Meetings with locals is a great experience and gives a good insight in the country. Even though we might not share the same language we always find ways to communicate and might learn a few words from each other. While we were cycling in West Africa, there were a lot of different languages being spoken; and even though I can’t speak any of them, at least I can sing a song in Mandinka after spending a day with a local family.
To be able to do this trip we saved money for 1.5 years, sold our belongings and apartment and quit our jobs. A lot of people call us crazy and it might seems like a big step to take. But when it’s your dream, taking that big leap is worth it.
Bio: After years of longing for more time on their hands to travel and enjoy the great outdoors Carolina and Per decided to travel the world by bike. They’re a Swedish adventure seeking couple who left their jobs as a teacher and manger to see the world. Their passion for nature drives them to explore more remote areas in search of new adventures. Follow their journey on their blog,and Instagram channels.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.