The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

Picture Gallery
Travel Plan

My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room


Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

Chapter 1. Leaving it all behind
MP3 Audio Hear First Chapter Now!

PART 3. Two years before we left

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Two Years Before We Left

During the last two years, I started an extensive study of the world. I bought dozens of travel guidebooks. I always had several with me wherever I went. Friends and coworkers would become suspicious when they saw books and maps for China, Africa and Europe with me at the same time. I first read the important preliminary facts about weather, visa requirements and cost. After I gained a general idea of each region, I looked up specific places and tried to imagine what it would be like for us to be arriving on loaded bicycles. Where would we sleep, eat and use a bankcard?

Soon my desk was completely covered with maps and books. I felt as if I was back in middle school looking at the world atlas and dreaming of a world that was so far away. This time it was much more fun; now, it could actually happen.

The internet held the most useful information. I found dozens of Web sites made by others who were riding in every country of the world. Reading their stories about cycling adventures taught me what to expect. I learned to adjust my expectations of life on the road.

The most elusive piece of the puzzle was trying to determine how much it was going to cost. I wanted to estimate how far our money would take us. This was frustrating because bicycle touring Web sites and books do not disclose detailed information about cost. The budgets suggested in the guidebooks are high. Guidebooks are designed for short-term tourists traveling by bus. The budgets in the guidebooks factor in the cost of lodging and bus tickets. We planned on camping often and riding our bikes. I felt that we could go much cheaper, but Cindie wasn’t as sure. This was truly the great unknown and therefore was a source of fear. After much research and debate, Cindie and I finally settled on an annual budget of $15,000 or about $41 a day for the two of us. Next, we divided our expected savings by this estimated budget and came up with seven years.

The cost of equipment was much higher than expected which prevented us from making our savings goal. We bought high quality equipment. Our bicycles cost over US$4,000 combined; the laptop computer and digital camera cost over US$4,000 combined; panniers for both bikes cost over US$1000; tent, water filter and camp stove cost over US$1000 combined; and bike and travel clothing cost over US$1000 combined.

In total we spent over US$11,000 on equipment the first year; we originally budgeted US$6,000 for equipment. If our travel budget was off by as much, our plans could have derailed! Luckily, the yearly, monthly, daily cost of traveling turned out to be less than our original annual estimate of US$15,000. We went over our equipment budget by US$5,000, but we ended up under our travel budget by US$5,000; therefore, we remained close to our budget for the first year.

Once we had settled on seven years, I started piecing our trip together. Nothing in my life had felt more exciting than looking at a world map and working out how much of it my wife and I would see in seven years.

Our route was based on cost effectiveness, avoiding burn out and weather patterns. The cost effectiveness boiled down to limiting flights and seeking cheaper countries.

I knew from my research that travelers’ burn out is a real problem for those on multi-year trips. To avoid this I scheduled extra amounts of time for each area so we would never feel rushed. I also had the idea that we would mix difficult underdeveloped countries with developed comfortable countries. These strategies would keep our living standards changing enough to renew our interest and keep us fresh.

Paying attention to weather patterns is important in bicycle touring and is the most difficult part of the planning process. This is where my calendar with the weather came in handy. I came up with a plan that would follow the best weather around the globe.

 Previous PART
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More about this Book

 to begin CH 1.

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Chapter 1. Leaving "It All" Behind.
PART 1. Background START HERE
PART 2. Five years before we left
PART 3. Two years before we left
PART 4. One year before we left
PART 5 The week before we left
MP3 Hear First Chapter Now!

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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