What is it all about?
What is life without adventure? There is many answers to this one. Many people hate adventure. I don't, I love it. And I consider myself very lucky that my best friend Martin likes adventure too. And we are both ready for another one, starting 2011.
It all started in 2008. Back then I just quit my old job for a small surveying company, a job which kept me busy, kept me moving around in Australia and living a life away from home if 'home' even had a meaning then. Being 31 years old I started to like the idea to settle down, have a home, have friends and a good and easy life. So I started a new job in Sydney, went to the bank to take out a loan and bought a little studio in Kings Cross, Sydney's 24/7 party suburb. And I loved it. I went on long holidays that year and loved that too. I felt back in control of my life. But soon after, commitment started to sink in. Something was missing. And I found myself looking for challenges again. It was then that I made a promise to myself. To give this easy and predictable life a fair go for 3 years and then give adventure another try. Back then I had no idea of how this adventure would look like.
Three years later, 2011, the picture is much clearer. Three years of preparation, saving money, paying off most of the home loan, working hard in my job, getting a motorbike licence and spending long nights of research opened indeed the opportunity to go.
Best of all: my friend and travel companion from previous great trips, Martin, is just as excited and ready to go. When it comes to traveling we are a proven team. We both like traveling, we both like motorbikes and we both have a big blank area on our respective world maps: Africa. So here is the plan: take a year off work and travel through Africa by motorbike.
There is one minor problem though. Back in 2005 I left the country I grew up in, Germany, and moved to Australia. Martin still lives in Germany. So how to prepare an Africa tour when the two only participants live half a world apart?
We will both start in our respective homes and somehow make our way to Johannesburg. Martin and his bike will fly from Germany to Windhoek, Namibia, and ride across to Johannesburg. I will travel all across Australia from Sydney on the east coast to Perth on the west coast and from there my bike and me will fly across straight to Johannesburg. If all goes well then Martin will be already there and we will slowly make our way up through Central and West Africa back to Germany. There is no detailed plan how to do that yet because its just impossible to plan things like these beforehand in detail. Particularly when it involves Africa. But it is countries like Botswana, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Mali, Benin, Togo, Guinea, Mauritania which amongst others top our list of interest. We will at some stage end up in Morocco and from there it will be a short ferry ride across the Straight of Gibraltar to Europe. Once there its not far to my old home in Germany. And thats where the journey ends for me. Three dates are in the calender so far: leaving Sydney on the 7th August 2011, leaving Australia from Perth on the 29th August, being back in Sydney for the first day back at work on the 27th August 2012.
With Martin in Germany and me in Australia we will prepare ourselves more or less independently and mingle all our stuff together in Africa. Endless emails and Skype calls helped us to prepare ourselves. In Africa we will camp whenever we can, try to live a local life by exposing ourselves to people and country as much as we can. The trip is fully self organised and self funded with no sponsors. So we are free to go our own pace, choose our own route and decide about our timing ourselves.
This website mainly shows my part of the preparation. Depending on Internet availability there will be an update with blog and photos as well during our trip. So stay tuned!