Right now we're in Istanbul after 3.800 kilometers. One year ago we would've never imagined reaching this place by bike from Berlin. Actually, we aren't even that crazy about cycling. We didn't even know how to patch a flat tire. And yet we quit our job in the summer of 2022, to go from Berlin to Thailand by bike and meanwhile collecting donations for a mobile vet clinic for street animals.
What motivated us to start this journey, was the oppurtunity, to structure space and time on our own. We're cycling without a concrete route and time frame. Aside from that we're also getting to know ourselves and each other as beings and as a couple on a whole new level and want to combine this journey with our matter of heart.
Our journey up until now
From Berlin we went over the Oder/Neiße border to Poland. Pine forest and national parks were an ideal start into the outdoor life and gave us the perfect conditions in Poland, to test our camping equipment. In the evening we listened to the wolves howling and for the first time, at a heat of 35°C, we reached our physical limit. In the Czech Republic we were invited by a family, to celebrate the blueberry festival with them in a 300 people village. We chatted multiple hours with the father of the family with the help of an online translator as well as hands and feet. In addition to that, we found and place for the night for free above the humming machine room of a waterworks. Further south in Slovakia we not only enjoyed a fresh feather white in the wine region around Trnava, but also the flat and relaxed drives on the Eurovelo 6, which brang us to Belgrad. The serbian hospitality drew attention multiple times during this time. The spontaneous and warm welcome at Milos vacation home, the camping in Suzanna's yard and the many daily encounters made Serbia a real surprise. The south of Serbia and many ups and downs together with the constant bad weather in September demanded a lot from us until we were offered the house of a kosovan family for multiple days in Kosovo near Ferizaj. The days around Joscha's 31rst birthday, we spent in Skopje. The pride of the macedonians of their historical roots and their ancestry of Alexander the Great were hard to overlook in the capital. The historical relevance in the european history is presented by countless monuments and statues. We went over the border “Deve Bair” to Bulgaria and experienced more highlight in the heart of the country. Autumn showed itself from its best side with its most colorful colors and we spent quite some time in an animal shelter for street animals. Being there, were were touched their selfless and important work. Over the by us very recommended mountain chain in the middle of Bulgaria we finally reached the coast of the black sea and with that, the open sea for the first time on our journey. Camping at the beach was fantastic and the perfect calm before the storm. The mountainous border region to Türkyie, getting stuck in the mud and the chaotic arrival over the city highway in Istanbul demanded a whole lot from us. We were rewarded with lots of cay and a phenomenal view on the Bosphorus.
We're learning again and again, that luck is a contrast experience.
Xenia's words summarize our inner journey accurately
“I step out of my comfortzone everyday, never know, what thr day brings, how the path will be or where I will sleep. Everything hurts, I sweat, I freeze, I don't know what to do, I cry, I swear, then I pull myself together and grow past my so far known limits. And still I wouldn't trade this journey for a well-paid job and alleged security. I feel like, this slow journey by bike makes my life longer. The daily contrast, the diversity and insecurity make my everday like incredibly intense. I don't know, when Monday and Friday is anymore. I only stick to the sunrises and sunsets, to rain, to wind and the seasons changing. This journey is absolutely not just a nice vacation.”
Come with us and follow our journey on social media (Instagram/Facebook: @project.pedalforpaws).
We're excited for you.
Xenia & Joscha
Our bikes: Böttcher Expedition, Rohloff Speedhub 500/14
You can find more information about our route and equipment here.