I just finished reading What Were We Thinking? by Nancy Sathre-Vogel and John Vogel and--after following along on their year-long cycling adventure through Asia--I have one pressing question: what were they thinking?!!
For those reading who aren't familiar with Family on Bikes, they've just completed a 17,300-mile journey from Alaska to Argentina with their two young boys (on bicycles, just in case you didn't catch that key detail). I was so inspired by this family's epic accomplishment after reading their blog, that I considered doing a major bike tour myself. After all, if a family of 4 can achieve something like that, I can too ... right?
The book alone had me feeling as though I had dust in my lungs and bruises on my rear. After 308 enthralling pages of vicarious adventure, I desperately wanted a shower, a decent meal, a course of antibiotics, and a hug from my mother.
The journey begins in Pakistan with school kids trying to kill Nancy and John with rocks. Joy! From there, they cycle China, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, enduring relentless hills, horrible illnesses, funky accommodations, and seemingly constant sexual advances from lecherous strangers. Double joy!
Despite the hardships, Nancy and John take everything in their stride. Instead of avoiding challenges, they gravitate towards them without fear, making me wonder how they've thus far managed to avoid winning their very own Darwin Award.
Of course, there's plenty of beauty along the way too--from sleeping under the stars, to the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas--so it's easy to see what draws them to this slow and unique form of travel.
Cycling Asia may not be an adventure for the faint of heart or the weak of legs, but it does make for one hell of an interesting read. Through Nancy and John, I got to experience what life is like when you're completely and utterly fearless.
Author of Swept: Love with a Chance of Drowning