Hi, my name is Thomas Andersen. On the 2nd of October 2010 I left Denmark by bicycle. Six years and six days later I returned after more than 36000 miles (or 58000 km) through 58 countries on 6 continents.

I have cycled through Syria before the war began, been a celebrity in Malaysia, and worked on a huge cattle station in Australia.

I have climbed to 15000 feet in the Andes mountains between Argentina and Chile, and cycled down 5th Avenue on Manhattan.

In 2016 I flew to Cape Town in South Africa and cycled back to Denmark.

Read all about the trip on http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com and get the latest news on http://www.facebook.com/CyclingTheGlobe

It has been an amazing ride where the highlight has been meeting so many incredible and friendly people - and I have seen a few beautiful places on earth too.

I'm looking forward to share my experience here on the Reddit community. Will do my best to answer your questions :-)

Follow along on:

Webpage: http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CyclingTheGlobe

Instagram: http://instagram.com/CyclingTheGlobe

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CyclingTheGlobe

Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/tomandersen

Proof: https://twitter.com/CyclingTheGlobe/status/787660815197429760

Comments: 1946 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

St_Bernardus1806 karma

How were you able to carry enough supplies while cycleing through the ocean?

CyclingTheGlobe1213 karma

hehe, I did take flights between the continents :-)

BradyV20891 karma

Did people start to follow you like they followed Forrest Gump?

CyclingTheGlobe712 karma

Haha, I did sit down on the "Forrest Gump bench" in Savannah, GA and told people who passed by some stories from life on the road :-) http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2015/08/day-1752-savannah-yemassee-into-the-woods/

Forestman88672 karma

How did you finance it? This sounds amazing.

CyclingTheGlobe855 karma

Hi there! When I left I had saved up enough money for one year of travelling (my daily budget is 20$). After the first year I worked on a cattle station in Australia to be able to continue. Finally I have done some freelance programming work while on the road.

thexenixx283 karma

What was your low point, financially? Did you look for work when you were under 500 euros or something? Did you push your limits in that way or just have it all planned out in advance?

CyclingTheGlobe542 karma

When I got to Australia after a year I literally had 20$ left in my wallet. Luckily it was easy to find work in Australia. Later on my trip I made sure I had enough money to cover the next continent with some margin.

LasagnaAttack208 karma

Don't you need work visa for that? And that takes a while.

CyclingTheGlobe402 karma

I had a working holiday visa - permission to work and travel in Australia for a year

LunarD3ATH168 karma

I'm curious. When you realized you only had twenty dollars to your name, did you panic a little?

CyclingTheGlobe243 karma

I was getting worried and though I would have to end the trip and go back home... but then I luckily found work in Australia.

blekginger197 karma

How would you go back home with only 20$?

Edit: I get it, you are all smarter than I

CyclingTheGlobe82 karma

I cycled all the way around the world and back to my home town - so no need to catch a flight back ;-)

Airazz54 karma

How did you deal with money when cycling through remote or undeveloped places, like African villages or such? Did you just carry wads of cash? Or a credit card and hoped that you'll find an ATM somewhere?

CyclingTheGlobe115 karma

I usually took out 200 - 300$ from an ATM machine which would last 10 - 15 days. ATM machines can be found even in the smaller towns of Africa, but obviously not in villages...

Airazz38 karma

Cool, so it was just a normal credit card? Did you have a backup plan in case it got damaged/lost/stolen?

CyclingTheGlobe133 karma

Yes, just a normal Visa card. I also had a few houndred dollars hidden in my cycling bags. Another backup plan was to have people from home sending me emergency cash through Western Union - those offices are all over the world. Luckily I never needed it.

n0g0d550 karma

My ass hurts if I ride a bike for too long. How did you overcome the soreness?

CyclingTheGlobe582 karma

Hehe, I started with shorter distances and slowly increased the daily milage... After two months I didn't have more problems :-)

Dickwagger373 karma

Can you tell us how you met your girlfriend while on this trip? Sounds like a really cool trip, by the way. Congrats on the incredible journey.

CyclingTheGlobe763 karma

I was taking a 2 months break in Cali, Colombia where I got to know a beautiful Dutch girl who also liked to ride her bike :-) Later we cycled together through Morocco and Spain... Thanks for the nice comment :-)

Azwethinkweist272 karma

Hi Thomas,

  1. Which country lived up to the expectations?

  2. Which one didn't?

  3. Worst day of the trip?

  4. Best day?

  5. What will you be doing now?

  6. Do you see yourself doing something like this again and if so, where do you want to ride next?

Thanks from a long time fan of your blog!

CyclingTheGlobe448 karma

Hi there! Thanks for the nice questions! Glad you have enjoyed the blog. 1. In genereal I didn't have many expectations before arriving in a new country. I tried to keep my heart open :-) In South America the people I met all seemed to love Colombia. Once I got there I saw why - the people I just so friendly and open. 2. Ethiopia is difficult by bike... Kids will pick up rocks from the ground and throw them after you. 3. The worst day was when my bike got hit by a big truck in Namibia. Luckily I managed to jump away. 4. The day I met my now girlfriend ;-) 5. I'm resting my legs, and planning to write a book about the adventure! 6. I would love to do more adventures, but the next one will not take 6 years to complete. Would love to go back to cycle in the Andes mountains or the Himalayas. There is also places I missed on the trip, like China, that I would love to explore. Best wishes from Copenhagen.

Saycerquewust28 karma

How did you meet your girlfriend on the trip?

CyclingTheGlobe102 karma

We first met when I was having a two month break in Cali, Colombia. She also likes to cycle, so we met up later in Morocco and cycled through Spain together :-)

dltl203 karma

What was the best downhill section/worst climb?

CyclingTheGlobe159 karma

The longest climb was in Peru from sea level and straight up to 4100 meters / 13000 feet over 50 miles. That was a long one!! http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2014/11/day-1511-raquia-catac-into-the-sky/

Bombuss182 karma

Were you disheartened when you began your journey and found out that the world is not as flat as Denmark and that the trek would be arduous?

Kidding! Bra jobbat som fan. :)

CyclingTheGlobe103 karma

hehe, on the other hand weather is better further down south, and I love climbing in the mountains :-) Tak så mycka :-)

billbixbyakahulk89 karma

You mentioned a pretty tight daily budget of $20. Was your diet fairly regimented because of that? What did you typically eat?

CyclingTheGlobe175 karma

Yes, I had to think about the budget limitations, so no fancy restaurant meals. In Europe/Australia/US I got most of my food from super markets, and in Asia/South America/Africa you can get big meals in road side restaurants for 2 or 3$. This is an example of what I would be eating during a day: http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2014/12/day-1525-sullana-mancora-what-does-a-cyclist-eat-during-a-day/

frittenv281 karma

how many kilometres did you ride per day in the later stages of your 'trip'? how much did you improve in terms of being able to make distance?

CyclingTheGlobe111 karma

I would usually im for 60 miles/100 km a day. That was pretty stable through all six years (I already did quite a bit of cycling before I started this trip).

frittenv250 karma

i'm just reading your blog, day by day from day 1. it's amazing. truly inspring and incredible work, you did there; documenting every fucking day this detailed!!! thank you so much!!

CyclingTheGlobe49 karma

Thanks a lot - I'm glad you like the blog! It takes a bit of time and effort to document every day, but now afterwards, I'm glad I did it. Happy reading - there is a quite a few pages to catch up on :-)

sengir_vampire9 karma

That results in about 580 cycling days which is about every fourth day in 6 years. Did you make larger blocks of stops and then continued for a few days?

CyclingTheGlobe28 karma

Yes, I did take quite a few breaks for a month or two here and there. I also stayed in Australia for a year and a half to work, which is included in the six years.

niolator79 karma

How often did you have to repair or replace your bike? Did your bike ever get stolen during your amazing trip?

CyclingTheGlobe142 karma

Hi there! I have used three different bikes on the trip (two mountain bikes and one road bike). My bikes never got stolen, but I replaced them along the way as they got worn out. I still have two of my bikes here in Copenhagen. I think I will put them on the wall as a souvenir :-)

B_Sharp20 karma

How were you swapping bikes? Was someone following you with gear in a vehicle?

CyclingTheGlobe99 karma

No, this was a solo trip. I was using my road bike through the Americas up through the States and Canada. Then I flew back to Denmark and bought myself a new mountain bike before I started cycling through Africa...

MaybeIMakeSense67 karma

What are the diffrences between your body pre and post?

CyclingTheGlobe151 karma

Before 174 ibs, after 149 ibs :-)

The_real_J757 karma

What's the most dangerous place you biked in or by?

CyclingTheGlobe213 karma

Baltimore ;-)

amirolsupersayian54 karma

Hey I'm from Malaysia! How do you like my country? What's the best memory you had about Malaysia? And beside the journey what is your motivation in cycling the world.

CyclingTheGlobe143 karma

I had a very special welcome to Malaysia by my friends there. In fact I ended up having a police escort through most of the country, and got a BIG welcome that I experienced nowhere else. My time in Malaysia was truly special, and I hope to be back!! http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2011/05/day-213-port-dickson-melaka/

Gogurts52 karma

Are you fertile?

CyclingTheGlobe61 karma

I hope so :-)

thegreatgazoo51 karma

Did you have any issues with customs?

CyclingTheGlobe117 karma

It once took me 7 hours to cross the border between Ukraine and Romania... furthermore it was not possible to walk to cycle across the border, so I had to catch a ride with a smuggler. It all worked out OK in the end though. Most border crossing are rather straight forward...

pm-me-ur-window-view50 karma

Traveling around the world like that, did you ever have surprising, accidental meetings with people you already knew from other countries?

CyclingTheGlobe122 karma

Yes, it happened quite often that I would stay in a hostel and meet people I had met in other hostels in the countries before. I also met people I had already run into on other continents, but that was planned...

velapulsar8849 karma

How did you refill water during cycling?

CyclingTheGlobe70 karma

If I was staying in a cheap hotel/camp site I would fill up in the morning and also ask during the day in shops/restaurants/gas station or simply in private houses I was passing. In very remote mountain regions I would also drink from streams.

--Squidoo--48 karma

How much stuff did you take? There's a huge range in how lightweight people go.

CyclingTheGlobe83 karma

That's true. I tried to do it light and usually had around 20 kg or 44 pounds of luggage - even less when I was travelling with my road bike. This is my equipment list: http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/equipment/

_fups_47 karma

Are drivers crazier in particular places, or are they just as crazy everywhere you've been?

CyclingTheGlobe174 karma

India gets the price for the craziest drivers!!

Dominator2738 karma

Did you reddit during the trip around the world?

CyclingTheGlobe64 karma

Yes, I did a few reddits but mostly just updated my blog while I was on the road...

ford_chicago29 karma

what did you consider your most critical piece of gear outside your bike? charger? attitude? sleeping bag?

CyclingTheGlobe78 karma

My tent always gave me a sense of freedom because I knew I would be able to sleep anywhere! I also love my Kindle with thousands of books in just a few houndred grams of weight. Finally I wouldn't travel without my Canon camera.

Bald_Soprano28 karma

Amazing - What was 1 - Your favourite moment 2 - Least favourite moment?

CyclingTheGlobe85 karma

Thanks a lot :-) I think my favourite moments was when I experienced unconditional hospitality - like being invited into people's home for the night. This happened a lot across all continents. Another favourite moment was arriving back at the same square when I left and seeing my friends and family there. My least favourite moment was when my bike got hit by a big truck in Namibia - luckily I managed to jump away just before the truck hit!

Redroobarb27 karma

What an amazing adventure, do feel the world is that little bit smaller now?

CyclingTheGlobe104 karma

Hehe, I feel like I have an idea about what life is like in every corner of the planet. Not as bad a place as you would think watching the news these days... :-)

heliotrope3n27 karma

How many flat tires did you get in total?

CyclingTheGlobe37 karma

I didn't count... But I'm used 10 set of tires.

The__Blue__Ranger26 karma

Hey there!

You've mentioned in a few replies that your bike was hit by a truck. What exactly happened? Were there any other close calls such as this during your trip?

CyclingTheGlobe38 karma

There was another couple of close calls with traffic, but in no big accidents. This is what happened that day in Namibia: http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2016/03/day-1973-rundu-shitemo-the-big-bang/

typeObloodsausage22 karma

A few questions, actually: 1. Did you cycle much before you started? 2. Are you going to cycle recreationally now that you are done, or are you sick of it? 3. What languages do you speak, and how did you manage in countries where you didn't speak the language?

CyclingTheGlobe74 karma

Hi there and thanks for some nice questions! 1) Yes, I already liked to cycle before and had done some shorter trips (a couple of weeks around Europe and two months across India). 2) I never got tired of cycling, and would love to do some shorter trips for a week or two in some of the areas that I really like. 3) I speak Danish, English, Spanish and a bit of French and German. I was in many countries where I didn't speak the language, but you can always get by with pointing etc. Also, there will usually be a young student speaking English in every corner of the world. Have a great day!

VTJedi21 karma

What was the best meal you had during your trip?

CyclingTheGlobe64 karma

I remember some very good BBQ (asados) in Argentina. Apart from that I also love Thai food...

lazybutwontadmitit19 karma

Was there ever a place where you considered not biking because it was sketchy?

CyclingTheGlobe46 karma

I had some problems with kids and youth throwing rocks after me in Ethiopia, but I decided to continue all the way through. Glad I did... Also, lot's of police escorts in Egypt which got a bit annoying at some point.

Radium9317 karma

Would you do it again?

CyclingTheGlobe57 karma

Hmm, I think once around the world by bike is enough. But I would love to go around the world again by sail boat :-)

Alcyoneous17 karma

Hi Thomas, I am truly amazed by this. If you could condense everything you have learned about cycling to one tip, what would it be? Thank you!

CyclingTheGlobe87 karma

Meet the world with an open and positive mind, and that is exactly how the world will receive you :-)

oblivianmemory16 karma

What did you think of syria before the war as a country and its people?

CyclingTheGlobe37 karma

I had a nice time in Syria and was welcomed with open arms, being invited into people's homes. It makes me very sad to see what is happening there.

rakisak12 karma

Any dangerous situations?

CyclingTheGlobe28 karma

My bike got run over by a truck in Namibia... luckily I managed to jump to the side just in time. Pretty scary!

RevLoveJoy12 karma

Hi Thomas, big fan of your blog for a while now.

I've not seen anyone ask about communications. Did you have a mobile plan that gave you data in most countries or did you wing it with WiFi or ... ?

Thanks for the AMA, great stuff (and welcome home!).

CyclingTheGlobe16 karma

Hi there, and very happy to know you enjoy the blog (still need to update it with the rest of Africa + Europe). I would normally buy a new sim card in each country, so I have a nice collection of sim cards now, hehe. It would only cost a few dollars in Africa... In Europe I was able to get a roaming plan with my Danish provider so I didn't have to buy a new card all the time.

Best wishes! Thomas

2wyse11 karma

What inspired you to make the trek, and how did your family feel about it? Congrats and thanks for doing this!

CyclingTheGlobe27 karma

You are very welcome! I also liked to ride my bike, and when I also started to travel I thought it would be nice to combine my two passions. Later I started to read blogs and books about other people cycling around the world. I'm not married, but my parents and sisters have supported the trip althought they might have prefered if it had been a couple of years shorter :-)

Ninel5610 karma

Were there any parts of your journey that were more troublesome than the rest? How did the locals react to you? Did you have any days when you just wanted to quit and go home?

CyclingTheGlobe38 karma

I remember the Australian outback (hot and remote) and Patagonia (crazy head winds) as two of the hardest parts. Mostly I was welcomed with open arms, but Ethiopia was very unique as the locals didn't seem to thrilled to see me (the kids would often pick up rocks and throw them after the bike). I never really thought about quitting the whole ride, but sometimes I obviously needed a break. Then I would stay for a week or two in a nice city and then I felt energized and ready to cycle again!

agoia8 karma

How can you afford to ride a bike for 6 years without working?

CyclingTheGlobe24 karma

I did spend some time working... as a cowboy in the Australian outback!

con777 karma

How many times were you robbed?

CyclingTheGlobe14 karma

I lost my mobile in Peru (it was stolen in a coffee shop) but that was the only time I was robbed in six years of travelling.

aidandwal4 karma

How did you get from continent to continent?

CyclingTheGlobe14 karma

I took a flight...

ehark104 karma

Plan on entering in the Tour de France anytime soon?

CyclingTheGlobe16 karma

Hehe, for me this was not a race, so I didn't cycle fast. I would be far too slow for Tour de France even though the distance in itself is pretty short ;-)

ImHere4Karma3 karma

Can we see your legs?

lkdomi3 karma

Is it true that your bike got stolen in Poland??

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

No, that's not correct. I only lost my mobile in Peru in 6 years of travelling...

infinitefoamies2 karma

Where did you stay most nights? How much gear did you cary with you?

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

In expensive countries in Europe/Australia/US I would mostly stay in my tent or with friends of friends... In South America/Asia/Africa you can get a room for less than 10$ per night, so I would often do that. I had about 20 kg of luggage with me - full list here http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/equipment/

Whiskey_Knight2 karma

how many flat tires ? and how best to treat saddle sores ?

CyclingTheGlobe7 karma

I havn't counted my flat tires... But a good guess would be 50 :-) I have used up 10 sets of tires on the trip. And saddle sores; I started slow and then increased the distances. After about two months I didn't have more problems :-)

castleTERR2 karma

what did you remember best about each country? and now that you've travelled so much, which countries do you intend to visit again(via plane etc)?

CyclingTheGlobe10 karma

The things I remember most about each country were the places where I got to interact a lot with the locals. The places where I stayed a lot with locals and experienced their hospitality - those are the strongest memories. I have many many countries where I would like to go back by plane, and even many where I would love to come back for more cycling; for example Argentina and Peru in South America or the Himalayas in Asia.

zaphodava2 karma

Tell us what your diet was like. Was it difficult to take in enough calories and protein on your budget?

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

Usually I didn't have much choice regarding diat - I would simply have to eat what the locals would be eating. When I was cycling hard and fast through some areas I would always loose some weight, which I would then try to regain when I took a break in the cities. I wrote a blog post about what I eat in a typical day http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/2014/12/day-1525-sullana-mancora-what-does-a-cyclist-eat-during-a-day/

Uncandy2 karma

Sounds like an amazing trip!

With such a long journey I imagine you crossed long distances without people, did you ever have problems with loneliness? How did locals react to hearing about what you were doing?

CyclingTheGlobe5 karma

The most remote parts of my trip was probably in South America, but there I was cycling with a mate. Otherwise I was passing a villages severeal times a day, and never really felt lonely. People would always come over and have many questions about where I was from and where I was going. The reaction was 99.9% positive even though I could sense that people would often not really believee it when I said I was cycling around the world :-)

notpran2 karma

did the trip ruin what you think of bikes, or make you love them more?

CyclingTheGlobe10 karma

I love them even more... would love to do another bike trip, but the next one will not take 6 years :-)

TheJazzJackrabbit2 karma

Did you die?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

Still alive and kickin :-)

oldmauve2 karma

What things did you carry along?

CyclingTheGlobe5 karma

In my bags I have my tent, sleeping bag, stove, clothes, tools for the bike, laptop, and camera. There is a full list on http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/equipment/

ReiAbshar2 karma

What is youmr main goal? You going along but I never heard you

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

My goal was to cycle around the world and now I have done it :-)

magzex2 karma

Can we see a picture of your calves?

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

Hehe, I don't have a very nice photo but try this :-) https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasandersen/13326806513/

AlteredslatEs2 karma

Do you have a list of your gear you carry with you on your rides and did you learn to forage at all? I'm a cyclist and slowly working my way up to crossing the globe as well.

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

How wonderful - best of luck on your own trip! This is my equipment list: http://www.cyclingtheglobe.com/equipment/

SUPR01 karma

Sounds like an amazing trip! Bicycling this much, would you say it made your body stronger or weaker? I always imagine that people who does these kinds of trips wear themselves out a bit

CyclingTheGlobe8 karma

Interesting question! I think after six months or so I was able to cycle my 100 km/60 miles a day without my body wearing itself down. I also took longer breaks when I started to feel I needed to recharge my energy. In genereal I tried to listen to my body...

VarunG011 karma

What about the language barrier? Do you know other languages except for English(and Danish).

CyclingTheGlobe3 karma

I know Spanish which is very handy in South America. In countries where I didn't know the language, pointing goes a long way, and you can somehow get the meaning across. Also, there is usually some young people around who speak English.

Reign_Wilson1 karma

Do you bike with a playlist? If so, what's on it?

CyclingTheGlobe8 karma

I like rock, pop and blues music, but I found that I enjoyed more to listen to podcasts when I was cycling. A good way to catch up with what is happening in the world since I had a lot of time available there on the bike :-)

gooseberrygobbler1 karma

Average daily mileage?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

60 miles a day... and plenty of long breaks in between.

albinuss1 karma

Which people were the nicest?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

On top of my mind I would say the Kiwis, Colombians, and the people of Uganda.

starslikespacedust1 karma

How did you find places to stay overnight/during your breaks? Also congrats seems like an amazing trip!

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

I would usually just look for "hotel" signs when I cycled into a town for the night... When in bigger cities I checked out the Lonely Planet guide books. Thanks for the nice comment :-)

jroddie41 karma

What do you come back to? Is it hard to adjust after coming back?

CyclingTheGlobe2 karma

I got back only a week ago, and now I'm trying to adjust. I think it's still too soon to tell how it will be, but so far so good... My next project will be writing a book!

CrazyCapitalist1 karma

Do people make a lot of Matrix references? It was the first thing that came to mind. I do not know why. Oh, I haven't had coffee.

CyclingTheGlobe4 karma

Hehe :-) :-) Good morning