I’m home, I’ve finished and my route around the world looked is shown on the map below.
This is quite different to what I’d planned at the start, which looked more like this.
The first several months went almost exactly to plan: you might notice that I skipped the northern China section due to visa problems and an encroaching winter, but apart from that I rode as planned.
After visiting my friends in China and Cambodia though, I had to decide how to get home. Was I going to cruise round the southern half of the Pacific, enjoying the weather until one day I got bored and decided to catch a plane home?
I’d originally decided to ride westwards to China across America and Japan because it avoided a lot of the problems of crossing Eurasia: chiefly that if you’re British (or American or Canadian), a lot of the visas can be hard or impossible to obtain. In South East Asia though, I decided I’d lump it, look the visa demon in the eye and keep riding west until I got home, having ridden round the world. That way I wouldn’t have to decide “Oh I’m bored of riding my bike today, it’s time to give up and go home” – I’d have that decision made for me when I eventually reached Britain.
From Singapore that meant a flight to Chennai and then a ride up India before crossing Kashmir into the Stans. Kashmir erupted into one of its periodic bouts of violence while I was in India though, so I ended up flying over that bit too, from New Delhi to Dushanbe in Tajikistan, where the real homeward leg began.
All in all it was great fun. If you’re thinking of doing a similar trip, get in touch and I can tell you some of the intricacies and pitfalls of planning an expedition like this. Happy adventures!
(Base map image for planned route created using worldmapcreator.com. Final route plot created using the Strava multiple ride mapper at jonathanokeeffe.com.)