Aug 31st 2014 by Meph248 • 53 Questions • 283 Points
My short bio: Hey everyone, my name is Patrick and I have been travelling around the world for over 7 years now. I am heavily into sports and usually ride a bike everywhere. I just came back from Ireland, country #115, previous to that I rode a carbon roadbike from Westafrica to Europe. My next tour will be through the Siberian winter, from Europe to Japan.
By now I have been to every country North/Central/South-Americas, Australia & New Zealand, 50% of Africa, ~33% of Asia and every country in Europe, except Belarus.
You can find our more about my tours on my website: http://unlocked-achievements.com/
I already did an AMA 7 months ago in r/bicycletouring, in case you want to have a look. http://www.reddit.com/r/bicycletouring/comments/1uydcc/ask_me_anything_im_a_bicycle_tourer_with_over_100/
I'm happy to help people that want to travel as well, but don't quite know where to start.
*awesome typo in the title: sually = usually. :D
Some savings, some passive income (Rent from my house and donations from a PC game mod I make), some odd jobs, and free equipment sponsored by companies.
But most important is keeping the costs low. Travel by bike, camp a lot, and cook yourself, and the highest costs dwindle down to almost nothing.
I say a bit more about costs in an interview I did here: http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/i-headed-towards-africa-because-i-have-never-been-there/
Officially: Somalia, most dangerous country in the world. (I felt very welcome and safe, also got police/military escort for the largest part.)
Un-Officially: Anywhere where I was forced to ride a bicycle on a highway. Traffic is the biggest danger, not animals, disease or bandits.
Cliffs: Northern Ireland. ;) (the formatting was bad)
Around how many tires / rims have you repaired / replaced through-out your journeys? :)
Tires: A new set about every 5,000-10,000km. Schwalbe Marathon Plus hold a long time.
Inner Tubes: Probably 70 patches, and at least 12 new tubes.
Bikes: 5. I am on my fifth bike now, getting ready for number 6. (fingers crossed, depends on sponsors)
Overall I have to say that high-quality bikes are pretty mainentance free, if you treat them well.
It's very obscure. It's for Dwarf Fortress, an american indie game that is somewhat of a cult classic in the roguelike genre. Its even in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. :D
Tarn Adams does all the work, I just happen to write the currently most popular mod for it. Masterwork Dwarf Fortress. The name derives from the quality rating of ingame items, which go from well-crafter up to Masterwork. http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=125633.0
The community is the best I have ever seen on the internet and is the main reason I spend so much time on it. The people there are amazing.
Oohhh...I wouldn't recommend winter though, maybe summer, even then...
I want winter. :) Last winter I cycled to Kiev, with -18° as coldest point, now I want more.
How old are you? Any tips to people who want to do the same? You are a hero!
27 years. I started doing this with 19.
Lots, but please do ask more specific questions, otherwise I might write an essay and its tips that dont fit your situation. ;)
I am just like you or anyone else. Literally anyone can go places, meet people, do stuff. No special skills required (also nice to have)
Are you buddies with Alastair Humphries? Sounds like a similar bio.
He did interview me. :D But I am a couple of years younger than him, so maybe I get to his level of crazyness when I am his age. I am trying, just got more stuff for my packraft. Conquer the sea!
How many times have you been robbed/had stuff stolen from you?
Stuff stolen: 1 bike ~2000€ value (in Germany),
1 handlebar bag ~900€ value (Peru, on the Amazon on a boat),
400€ in cash + some documents (Indonesia, I had denguefever and left it somewhere in my haze... when I got back, it was gone. My own fault)
Thats it. My girlfriend has much worse luck with here stuff being stolen, but she is very carefree with it, while I tend to look out for it better.
No one has ever threatened me with violence of any kind. Except drunk tourists or so. :P
~50,000€ (?) over a 7,5 year period. (I have about 20.000€ worth of equipment, but much of it was free)
I almost died, because of wrong info I got (drowning while rafting alone), lost 400€ of gear, got dengue fever, my girlfriends electronics got stolen, (worth 800€), my documents with 400€ cash got stolen, my glasses broke, and did I mention dengue fever, and no one speaks English, and everything is slow, and I spend 10 days on steel ships eating rice with fishheads.
Thats only true for Sulawesi, Timor and Flores though... after it, Komodo, Bali and Java, was fine.
How big is your belt to be able to fit all those countries under it?
A bit larger than the bible belt, but much smaller than the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
I've been really inspired by travelers like yourself in the past few years and I just recently moved to China to start traveling myself. I'm saving up money now and I'll start seeing more of Southeast Asia next year.
You've been traveling for over 7 years, but how much of that has actually been travelling? Do you take extended breaks to go home, rest and raise money, or have you been traveling non-stop for 7 years? Answered here
Whats the longest you have sent in one place during the 7 years and where was it? Why were you there for so long?
Also, How do you deal with Visas? Do you need to apply for a visa for every country you have visited, or is that something you can often do at the border? Are there any / many countries that don't require a visa to enter?
I know that's a lot of questions. Feel free to cherry-pick the ones you want to answer. I'm really interested in this kind of travel and any advice you can offer is great! Thanks!
I spend about 2 years in Germany in between, and 5 years on the road.
Longest stretch was 18 months on tour.
Longest time in one place: 5 weeks Buenos Aires to learn Spanish. 8 Weeks in Santa Marta/Cartagena on the Colombian north coast, because its nice. My girlfriend also made her diving licences there.
The visa question I cant answer for you, because its different for each country of origin. Places that let me in (or require a visa) might not do that for you. EU passports are pretty good, and I can get into about half of all countries just at the border.
If you want to keep in contact, add me on facebook. I am always happy to help starting travelers with tips, contacts or a place to stay. :)
Where are you from? (I can answer the visa question a bit better then)
I dont know. In my experience only US americans have a thing for "we have states and they are different and how many have you been to."
I guess 20 or so? I only count countries, not individual states inside countries. ;)