top of page

Planning this exciting, daunting trip

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

This time next year we will be somewhere in Africa. This adds a sense of urgency and reality to what has been an idea floating somewhere in our minds for 2 years now. Where to start, what to prioritise: funding, gear, our route, sponsorships, timing, weather, documentation. We do not know exactly where we will be in February 2023 because there are inherent uncertainties involved in a trip like this. This is a good thing, but uncertainties are also a little difficult to deal with. How much planning do we actually need to do, is a question that I have been asking myself, as well as asking others. Do we approach this as a spontaneous adventure where we pack our bags and head out, or should we plan a fairly detailed route, have a set budget, know how long it will take us and know exactly what our mission is? How much do we want to publicise and share our journey with others? Do we want to actually have a website, write blogs, post on an Instagram account?

We have come to some kind of middle ground, where we acknowledge that planning is important for 3 main reasons:

1) Money: we will be unable to work and have a direct income over the period of the trip (1-1.5 years), and we don't want to be rushing to get to the end because we have run out of money for living costs. We need to either save up, get donations, get sponsorships, or a combo of them all. With sponsorship comes responsibility and obligations, so we will try to minimise our reliance on external sponsors. Lets see how that goes. We are all saving money by working jobs so that we can be largely self-reliant. We have also started a fundraising page, which will simultaneously and equally raise funds for our living expenses as well as for 2 charities that we have chosen to support. More about the charities and our choice of them will follow in another blog post, but see the Support Us page for an overview.

2) Physical realities: we are aware that there are geographical areas between our starting point and goal that are currently considered to be conflict zones. Particularly Sudan, South-Sudan and Ethiopia. We will unfortunately likely have to find a way around these, despite Sudan and Ethiopia being countries that we very much wanted to visit. So some planning about potential options is a good thing, as opposed to arriving there and making rash decisions or being unaware of good alternatives.

3) Forethought allows us to figure out some of the reasons and motivations for doing this bicycle trip. At the very least, it allows us to figure out what are NOT reasons for doing it. For example, it has personally taken me a while to realise that at the end of the day, this should ultimately be for fun and learning. After much deliberation about sponsorships and different ways of documenting and sharing the trip, it started to feel like it was going to be a daunting undertaking and sometimes more of a chore than an adventure. It took going through this thought and planning process to fully realise that this is not what it should be. It also allowed us to work out that part of our core mission will be to change perspectives (including our own of course) about what the African continent is and who it's people are.

We are all aware that planning has it's limitations, and that many things will likely change along the way. Our intended rough route will likely change, what we consider our core mission to be will change, and the way that we document and share our trip will change. This is all completely fine, and a good practice in flexibility. For now, it is just a matter of trying to focus on our day to day lives (our studies and work), without getting too distracted by the excitement!

147 views0 comments


bottom of page