Around the world
Now at the age of 55 I have decided to make my dream come true
“Since I was very young I have always had the need to travel the world. Whenever I could I have traveled backpacking alone and with my family but in my mind I have always wanted to make a long trip alone and cycling without a return date. An adventure that I felt inside me since I was 16 years old.”
Toni Rodriguez Escoll from Blanes (Spain) and is now 55 years old and decided to make his dream come true and cycle the world. He left last July 1, 2021 from his village Blanes, and since then has traveled through Europe and Africa on the east side to Cape Town and will continue through South America, Japan, China, Mongolia and the Silk Road via the Pamir Highway, Iran, Turkey and the Mediterranean coast until, at some point he gets home again.
Traveling alone by bike makes you live slowly
Now I'm in Brazil after a year on the road where I have crossed the Alps in Europe, I have reached Georgia, Jordan and I have crossed Africa to fly from Cape Town to Brazil with the intention of riding all the Andes to Colombia.
Traveling alone with my Bicefalo bike – I call it Bicefalo like Alexander the Great's horse. It is my faithful companion – you live the route slowly observing the small details of the road, getting to know new cultures, landscapes and not knowing where you will sleep, what you will eat and what you will find every day makes you live more intensely the trip. You learn to be alone, you live with fear and you are happy to share your life with the locals. You learn to live with uncertainty without so many plans and security, without the comfort zone.
The greatest hospitality I have found in South Africa
I have had many good moments but the ones I have been most grateful for have been the hospitality I have found along the way. The greatest hospitality I have found in South Africa and I remember the case of Martin, a South African I met on the border of Zambia with Malawi and who invited me to his house on the coast in South Africa.
Months later when I arrived in his village in the middle of a heavy rain he remembered me and put me up in his house for two days to shelter me from the bad weather. It was a luxurious house in front of the beach. A luxury that I will never forget as many others that I have experienced during this year of travel.
It was an experience to forget
Unfortunately, not every goes smooth and well all the time. The worst moment of my trip was with children in a village in the interior of Egypt. That evening I was invited by a family to spend the night in their house and when everything seemed perfect a crowd of small children and teenagers appeared, screaming, throwing objects at the house and shouting at me from the outside. They were loud and very violent.
When they didn't leave, the father of the family had to ask me to leave. It was 9:30 p.m. and I had to escape from the crowd at full speed. I managed to do it thanks to the adults who were throwing water on them to make them stop and behave. Yet, I was kicked twice and had rocks and vegetables thrown at me. I don’t know what caused the rage but was an experience to forget.
Fear is what paralyzes us but you have to live with it
To carry out the dream of going around the world is not an easy project. I had to quit my job and separate from my family, so I remember the first few weeks with nostalgia and doubts about taking this step.
Fear is what paralyzes us but you have to live with it in everything you do in life but the lesson I am learning is that people who did not support me at the beginning are on my side. You have to take the determination to carry out this dream without creating expectations and it is possible to make it happen.
One of the discoveries of the trip is that there are many good people in the world willing to help you, to give you shelter and a plate of food. When they see you with your bike they are surprised and admire your courage. Traveling by bicycle opens many doors and hearts.
Toni Rodriguez Escoll from Blanes (Spain) is now 55 years old and decided to make his dream come true and cycle the world. He loves sports, especially mountain running, biking, and trekking. He usually works in digital marketing and loves to travel around the world.
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