When telling people what we’re doing we often find the same questions popping up, so lets get them answered here:
Why are you doing this?
We travelled round Indonesia together for a month in 2010, and whilst we enjoyed the trip, we felt that we were a little old to be having the same backpacker conversations with 20-something year olds. We wanted to do something challenging, and what better way then to do something like this? This should scratch the travel itch, at least for a while!
We were having dinner with friends and discussing the trip. They asked if we were worried about hills, adverse weather, and other unknowns. Mel simply replied, “Well, you just pedal don’t you?” and it’s stuck from there.
Where will you sleep?
We carry all of our equipment with us. This includes a tent, cooking gear, and sleeping bags. If we’re in the middle of nowhere, we’ll be stealth camping (we’ve never done this before!!), which means setting up our tent out of sight, eating, sleeping, then packing up early to get back on the road. If we’re in a town then we’ll be finding a cheap hotel or hostel to spend the night in.
On your about page you mentioned that you were intending to cycle to London, but now you’re attempting the Pan-American, what’s changed?
We initially wanted to go from Melbourne to London, but decided that cycling 4000km across the emptiness of central Australia, whilst certainly an achievement, would be quite a tough start. We therefore decided to attempt the Pan-American as the Americas are somewhere we both wanted to explore. Initially, we wanted to start in Alaska and head south, but both money and time were against us, so we gave ourselves an extra 6 months and are heading north from Tierra Del Fuego instead.
How do you afford this?
We both work in reasonably well-paid jobs, so have been saving a good proportion of our wages every month. We are also in the process of selling every possession that we own, which will make up the rest of our spending money.
Aren’t you worried about what you are giving up?
I can’t speak for Mel, but I haven’t had a job of any significance in the 3 years I have been in Australia, so career wise, I’m not actually giving anything up. With regards to possessions, stuff is stuff and is always replaceable. As corny as it may sound, the memories of this trip should last a lifetime.
How long do you expect this to take?
We’re figuring 18 months, but really have no idea. We want to be able to take time off in places and see the sights and we have no return flights booked. Hopefully we make it to the end before the cash runs out.
What will you do when you reach the end?
Who knows? Maybe we’ll ride back to Australia, maybe we’ll end up in London, maybe we won’t even reach the end!!
What do the people that know you best think of the trip?
I think our parents are OK with it, although they haven’t really said anything otherwise. Some friends think we’re crazy, some people look at us with raised eyebrows, and we hope that some are inspired by it.
Are you doing this for charity?
There are plenty of worthy causes out there, so please feel free to donate to any cause you feel deserves your hard earned. However, we have chosen not to do this for charity, nor do we have any sponsors.
What training have you done for this?
At the time of writing (September 2012) we have had a couple of overnight trips with the bicycles and equipment. We are both currently recovering from bicycle related injuries, and as such, haven’t ridden the bikes a serious distance in months. We really must get on to that…
Are you taking a gun?
Stop snickering at the back, someone did actually ask me this. No.
If you have any more questions drop us a line on the contact page. We’ll have plenty of time to answer them over the next 18 months!