When we decided to take a Big Adventure, the first thing we knew we wanted to do was to take a really long bike tour — and a year duration sounded just about right (and was the maximum allowable time we could be gone if Heidi was granted a leave-of-absence from her job). At first we didn’t know where to go, or how much distance to account for, or even when we could go. Should we ride across North America like so many other cyclists? Or should we head overseas? We started thinking, and we read up on lots of trip-journals for ideas, advice, and inspiration. While we had concerns about extreme destinations and long distances since our kids would be involved, we figured we would be ambitious with the route planning anyway. If us or the kids became uncomfortable with the direction of the trip while underway, we could always adjust the plan. We began to realize there were many things to consider:
- With no source of income for a whole year, the cost of transportation to/from the beginning and end of the trip, as well as the option of traveling to countries with lower costs of living were very important considerations
- We want to be challenged by the distance we choose to cover, but not overwhelmed
- By traveling for a year, we will inevitably be cycling through winter. We want to avoid the snow and cold weather!
- We don’t want to be inaccessible to our extended families for a whole year, so is there a way we could plan visits into our route?
- Will we need to take any other modes of transport like flights or ferries to get around obstacles? How much would that cost?
- How soon can we depart? (at the time we decided to start planning this trip, our second child was yet to be born!)