a few snowy days . But gazing at the Northern Lights in Fairbanks - with the mouth wide-open - made up for all the suffering .
We had originally intended on a fiveyear trip around the world but had to revise our plans and instead make it a two-year adventure . We decided to cross the United States of America from west to east to finish in New York , where we could spend some time with Caroline ’ s brother and his family . After exactly two years on the road , with lots of stories to tell but also with heavy hearts , we flew home to Belgium .
BEFORE YOU SET OFF ON A TRIP THERE MUST BE MANY PRACTICALITIES TO TAKE CARE OF , THE LABORIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES . DOES SORTING OUT ALL THE PRE-TRIP PAPERWORK AND LIFE STUFF HELP MAKE THE UPCOMING TRIP MORE REAL , ALLOW YOU TO START GETTING EXCITED THAT IT TRULY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN ?
Preparing for a big journey takes time . That ’ s why we stopped working a month and a half prior to leaving . Paperwork is one thing : passports , carnets for the bikes ( depending on the countries you want to visit ), credit cards , yellow card and the accompanying vaccines . Every time we checked one of those items off our list , we would do a high five . This is not really our favourite part of the preparations , but it makes the trip more real – without passports , we wouldn ’ t be able to get very far , right ? Way more exciting were the boxes that arrived on our doorstep : new helmets , boots , riding gear , a tent and very comfy sleeping bags . Then , of course , the bikes . After we picked them up , we both sat on them for maybe half an hour with huge smiles on our faces . We weren ’ t even riding ; we were just getting to know our riding companions for the next years . Call it the start of a new relationship .
Failing to prepare means you ’ re preparing to fail . This is a popular saying , but do you think it is true ? Is planning essential , or can you plan too much ?
Travelling like we do can be highly unpredictable . There is a lot that can happen on the road : you can crash , become ill , have a technical issue , equipment failure , you can get stopped by corrupt police or even get robbed . It ’ s a matter of simple statistics : the longer you travel , the higher the chances are that one day something will go wrong . Things have gone wrong for us in the past . We have both crashed our bikes , Tom broke his foot in Mali , Caroline had salmonella and Tom had malaria twice with an extra salmonella infection on top . Needless to say , those weren ’ t the best days of the trip .
VOL . 7 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2022 // PAGE 39