My first bike tour: Groningen-Athens: 3300km
Athens was the destination of my first bike Tour, when I was 21. I put my study on hold, bought a bike, camping gear and in a blink of an eye I left the Netherlands. I never camped before in my life.
When I was 18, I came across this Austrian dude who cycled through his own country east to west in 8 days through terrible conditions, still he was smiling. From that day on, I was hooked to the idea of bike packing, although it took me three more years to finally by my gear and depart!
I didn’t had a deadline during my first adventure, which resulted in me taking my time on the road. The first month was filled with extremely cold nights and snow, that’s what happens if you leave in march. After two weeks I got adopted by and elderly couple in the south of Germany. The lady baked everyday tons of pastry’s while I entertained their fourteen dogs. An intresting way of waiting for better weather. Some months later, I met a half Romanian/Dutch family. Eventually I stayed with them for two weeks in total, helping preparing their wedding.
Most of the nights I slept in my tent, I used CouchSurfing and some friendly people invited me to their homes to provide me a warm shower and a bed. It’s insanely heartwarming how friendly people can be, it’s always the best feeling in the world when people trust you and they offer you all they have.
Looking back to this fist bike tour, I realise what a newbie I was, but also, it makes me realise I’ve the courage to just go for it and see whatever happens. I stepped into this adventure so open minded and it provided me with the best stories and best experiences.
In three months, after 3300km of biking, I reached Athens and I knew I was hooked to this style of traveling.