I keep in mind leaving house for the beginning of my third long-distance bicycle tour and considering to myself, “Wow! I can’t imagine I’ve been bicycle touring for 3 entire years in a row.” Now, greater than 14 years later, I’m considering to myself, “Wow! I can’t imagine I’ve been bicycle touring for 14 years in a row!”
On Could seventeenth, 2014, I left my dad and mom’ house in Camarillo, California and drove to Los Angeles Worldwide Airport with my Co-Movement Pangea touring bicycle and all my different worldly possessions packed away inside two small cardboard containers – the contents of which can stay with me for the following 7+ months as I slowly make my means by bike by way of 12 or extra completely different international locations in Europe and Asia.
On the airport, I checked my bicycle in with Lufthansa, after which mentioned goodbye to my dad and mom, who has escorted me to the airport that day.
On my first bicycle tour on the age of 17, I keep in mind being so scared and anxious in regards to the journey that lay forward of me. However this yr, after having left house like this so many occasions earlier than, I felt unusually calm. In a means, it didn’t even appear actual. It felt as if I used to be merely going away for a day or two and I’d be again house in a matter of hours. However that isn’t really the case. I’m going to be away from house for a minimum of 7 months – if no more. I’ll be away from house for a really very long time… and I’m unsure after I’ll be again.
My flight from Los Angeles, California to Poznan, Poland was a protracted one. It was 13 hours till I arrived in Munich, Germany for a brief layover… after which I boarded one other 1+ hour flight to the tiny city of Poznan, Poland.
Poznan is the town the place my final massive bicycle tour (a 14-month-long bicycle tour by way of 24 completely different international locations in Europe and Africa) lastly got here to an finish. However this yr, Poznan could be my starting.
Since I’ve already spent greater than a month in Poznan, it was straightforward to make my means from the airport to the AirBNB residence that I rented on Ulica Polna. I merely jumped on the airport bus, exited on the Ulica Polna bus cease, after which waited for about 45 minutes out on the road nook for the girl to come back with the keys to the residence I had rented.
As quickly as I used to be within the residence, I washed up after which walked 45-minutes throughout city, by way of my favourite Area park, to a small faculty on the south aspect of time the place I’ve been taking table-tennis classes up to now. I went to the varsity to search out my outdated desk tennis teacher (a brief, baling man who solely speaks Polish) and ask him if he had time to coach me in desk tennis whereas I used to be on the town.
My desk tennis teacher was with with a scholar after I reached the varsity, however he informed me to come back again on Could twenty sixth at 6:30 PM and that he’s have time then to provide me some extra desk tennis classes.
At this level, the jet lag from the lengthy flight to Europe was beginning to get to me. So I rushed again to my rented residence on Ulica Polna, took a fast bathe, after which simply fell asleep. I didn’t get up till early the following morning.
Now that I used to be rested after the lengthy flight to Poznan, my first objective of the day was to acquire a Polish SIM card to make use of in my new Samsung Galaxy smartphone. I’ve by no means used a smartphone on any of my travels up to now and have by no means even used a smartphone after I was at house in america, so this was a wholly new territory for me. Fortunately, individuals are good in Poland and acquiring a SIM card loaded with cellphone, textual content and information was extremely straightforward to do. I used to be capable of get hold of an Orange SIM card for less than 20 PLN (about $7 USD) and I used to be shortly out the door.
Then I walked only a brief distance additional into the town heart and visited with Erik Witsoe – an American who runs the Bigfoot Espresso Store in Poznan, Poland. I met Erik throughout my final day in Poznan over a yr in the past and had stored involved with him on Fb ever since. So it was good to return and see him once more and see how his little espresso store within the coronary heart of Poznan had modified and grown since my final go to greater than a yr in the past.
After visiting with Erik for what certainly should have been an excellent hour or two, I took a protracted stroll round Poznan and snapped a couple of images of the town.
Do you see the massive residence home windows on the 4th ground of the constructing on the right-hand aspect of the photograph under? That was one of many flats I rented throughout my earlier keep in Poznan in 2013.
After my stroll round city, I returned to my residence, once more feeling the impacts of jet lag, and took a brief nap. Then I awakened later within the night with plans to satisfy Karolina, the girl I’d be renting my second residence from in Poznan, Poland just some days later. She had agreed to satisfy me and provides me the keys to the residence a couple of days sooner than deliberate… and simply to be good, she requested me out to dinner with one other younger girl she was internet hosting from the AirBNB web site.
After assembly Karolina and having her present me the residence, we took a taxi into city collectively after which met up with Bridig – a traveler from america who was staying in Poznan for only one night time. Collectively, the three of us went to a small Italian restaurant within the metropolis heart and ate pizza, spoke about Poznan and usually simply socialized.
After dinner, Brigid and I agreed to satisfy once more within the morning on the Bigfoot Espresso Store. I then returned to my residence on Ulica Polna and went again to sleep.
Early the following morning I awakened and ran again into the town heart to satisfy Brigid on the Bigfoot Espresso Store. We stayed there for an excellent hour or so and spoke with Erik whereas different clients got here out and in of the store.
Then I mentioned goodbye to Bridig and walked again to my residence. I used to be completely exhausted at this level. For the final two days I had been operating about and attempting to recuperate from the lengthy flight to Europe. I used to be feeling higher now, however I used to be nonetheless extraordinarily drained. I spent the remainder of the day placing my bicycle collectively and getting ready for my journey to Germany for the beginning of a week-long bicycle tour down the Danube River with an organization known as Rad & Reisen.
The photograph under reveals my residence on Ulica Polna. My fully-loaded touring bicycle is leaning up towards the wall instantly within the heart of the photograph.
My final night time in Poznan, Poland earlier than flying to Munich, Germany for the beginning of the Danube Waltz boat and bike tour, I took one final stroll across the metropolis. Then I returned to my residence, cleaned myself up and packed my baggage for my the following leg of my journey!