8 MONTHS ON THE RUN

The last eight months have been quite a ride. In October 2016, we left Austria and made our way to Nepal. We didn't know how long we would stay. We only knew that we were in no hurry.

If you don't take your own dreams seriously, who will? This is a short summary of what we have experienced in these months...

NEPAL

I always wanted to see the biggest mountains. We spent about four weeks there and it's crazy what you experience in such a short time. The country, the people, the food, the struggle, the cold, the happiness, the hardship.... but most of all all the joy we were able to experience.

The Khumbu. This is the place where Everest is located. So this is also the place where the famous EBT (Everest Basecamp Trek) takes place. But we didn't want to do that one because we know it's full of people. Instead, we decided to do the 3-pass trek and also did it in the opposite direction so we could be sure it would be an adventure. In hindsight, this was the right decision. We slept with local families, had days where we only saw about 3 other people and saw tons of impressive peaks.

It was definitely a challenge to take the body above 5000 m altitude for the first time (with a 20 kg backpack) and later to climb above 6000 m (not with that weight ;)). But it was worth it and we would do it again and again. My photos do more justice to the experience than my words here, check them out:


THAILAND

If curry is one of your favourite dishes, you have to visit this place at least once. We didn't have any big plans for what to do in Thailand, but we were taken with the idea of going further north to see the mountains there. The area around a town called "Fang" was our destination....


It was the first time for me to ride a real motorbike. In Austria, I don't even have a driving licence for it. But that's not a problem in Thailand. After signing some papers and handing over the money, we had a motorbike. The north of Thailand is beautiful. It is full of hills with trees and small roads in between. Travelling by motorbike makes it so easy and flexible. We started riding the motorbikes every day in the dark. That's the "downside" of being a photographer 😉 .


You start long before sunrise and after sunset you find yourself on a peak somewhere, hiking down with your headlamp. Again, we met a lot of nice people. But the whole experience was much more relaxed than in Nepal, sometimes it really felt like a holiday 😉 .

VIETNAM

It was not the motorbike experience in Thailand that brought us to Vietnam. Back home in Austria, we were already thinking about crossing this country by motorbike. So Thailand only made us more enthusiastic about the idea. And we did it. We rode 1650km from the south to the north of Vietnam on a small 130cc Detech Win. But it didn't turn out as great as we imagined.


Normally, the weather doesn't bother us much. But when you are cycling around the clock, it is definitely an issue. We spent six weeks in this country and it rained for five weeks. Pouring rain! It made the whole experience a real adventure. Knee-deep driving at times and wet "everything" every day made it a real challenge. It also took the fun out of it and put our relationship to the test. I felt colder than I did in Nepal, riding through the mountains in the jungle in the rain. The wind and the dirt hit you constantly....


But not everything was bad. There are always the good moments too. As always, this started with the people we met. We saw some great places and our attitude of not giving up got us through this journey. Once again, the pictures speak louder than anything I could write here....

New Zealand

We couldn't wait to be in New Zealand after having such a hard time in Vietnam. It had long been a dream of ours to travel these two islands in a van. So we spent the first week finding a van and started from there. We had three months and decided to spend about one month in the North and two months in the South Island. The first few days there really gave our spirits a boost. After all the sitting on the motorbike, we could finally move our bodies again. Surfing, hiking, yoga and so on. We did it all and combined it with the most delicious homemade camper van food. It was just super refreshing after six wet weeks of rice diet.


But sure, New Zealand is not like the backyard of Vietnam and of course has lots of tourists. We always tried to avoid the crowds, so I was constantly researching and organising activities that we could do off the beaten track, and if not, we did them our own way, mostly when the "normal" people were sleeping. But even that worked out perfectly most of the time. There is so much to see in New Zealand that even in three months we felt we had only scratched the surface.



I will definitely go again, but maybe at a different time of year. The surfing was fun, the mountains were pretty impressive and the vanlife was also a great experience. We learned a lot. A lot about ourselves and what is really important for us and our future. The people we met made this trip once again special for us! Thank you to everyone who helped us all along the way!

Indonesia

After seven months on the road, we took it easy in Indonesia. We had plans to go to Java, Lombok and so on, but in the end we just enjoyed Bali. First inland and then we went up north to do a free diving course. We were hooked. So addicted that I didn't even surf a wave in Bali.


If you had told me that before, I would have just laughed! But freediving is something special. And it is addictive. It has opened up another world for us. It's crazy what the human body can do. On my second day, I did a few 20-metre dives on one breath. Quite simple, actually. It's all in our head. Yes, that's how we spend our time in Bali with yoga, free diving, eating and a bit of hiking. The sunrise on Bali's Agun was a great experience. A very spiritual act. But to be honest, we started counting the days at that point.... We were happy to return to Austria full of energy and ideas for the future! Who knows where the flow will take us next...

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