Life is not a dressed rehearsal: Cycling from Holland to Australia

Posted: January 7, 2014 in Cycling
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It has been a long road to arrive at this point, but actually, the road is just starting. Its exciting beyond belief, and bloody scary too. In September I will be leaving my job of 16 years and cycling from Eindhoven, the Netherlands – where I now live, to Adelaide, Australia – my birthplace. There is a lot of preparation to be done. I need to shed all my worldly possessions, learn a bit more about bike maintenance, arrange all sorts of paperwork, and plan the route.

You guys all helped me with my cycle trip in 2013 to the North Cape in Norway. You gave me great tips on my planned route, and I was able to meet up with some of you. I would like to do that here again with this more ambitious trip.

Here is a rough idea of how I want to get to Adelaide.
Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-07 um 20.26.05

In the coming weeks I will be putting together a planned route through Europe. It would be great to get some feedback on the route – roads I should take, places I should go.

This dream I had always thought would remain just a dream. It is too risky, too scary, too thrilling. My life situation is such that I can do this now. I am fit enough. I don’t want to look back on my life when on my death bed and think – I had the chance, and I let it go. A good friend of mine summed it up perfectly: Life is not a dressed rehearsal. I am going to do this!

To be continued!

  1. AndrewGills says:

    Oh Wow!!!!! That looks AMAZING! Can’t wait to follow your preparation and journey.

  2. “Wow” and “Amazing” doesn’t even begin to describe this trip! Best wishes for a safe journey!

  3. Ian Beattie says:

    OUTSTANDING!!! Best of luck.

  4. Ich habe einen Spruch gelesen an den ich immer denken muss: “Man lebt nur einmal, aber wenn man das richtig macht, ist einmal genug”. Grüße aus dem Gebirge, Ernestus.

    • Ja. Das ist schon eine Weisheit! Ich versuche mein Leben so zu leben, daß einmal schon reicht. Zumindest, jetzt gerade mache ich das. Viele Jahre sind vorbei geflossen, und ich bin in den Jahren auf der Stelle geblieben. Jetzt kommt Änderungen!

  5. Sinan says:

    Hi Matthew,

    Good luck with your project !

    When in Turkey stay in contact with Turkish cycling community. Bestway is via : Become a member and open a topic. you can get support via this forum before and during your tour in in Turkey. You can email me for details.
    Stay safe

    • Thanks Sinan. I have already applied to become a member of I am still waiting for approval from the administrators. I suspect I might have got the security question in the application wrong as google translate does not translate it well.
      The question was 25’ten 7 çıkarsa kaç kalır? This was translated to If 25 7 How many would be left?
      I guessed the answer would be 18. Still, if the question was not 25-7, I would have got this wrong, and not got as far as the administrator.. 🙂
      Maybe you could help me out there.. 🙂

      Thanks for your best wishes and help. I will definitely be in touch more with you and the Turkish biking community!


  6. Alex M says:

    Hallo Mathew!
    Wann planst du denn deine Reise zu beginnen? Ich möchte gerne ab Mai ungefähr von Berlin ans Kaspische Meer fahren. Vielleicht trifft man sich ja mal auf der Route?
    Liebe Grüße,

  7. acibobo says:

    Very amazing. when you arrive to Thailand . Please tell me. But i want to suggest you sounth at 3 province of thailand is not safe. you should go other way to malaysia. I will post more information to you when i come back to home.

  8. Lars says:

    Cool man – but I am afraid you have to look a little bit closer about border crossings in China(Tibet)/Nepal/India/Bangladesh/Burma area… many of them are closed (shame).

    • Hi Lars.
      I have an updated route through Asia here:
      It is a bit different and more realistic than the original plan. I am still planning the route after Laos (which includes Burma, north-east India and Bangladesh).

      Thanks for the tip with the borders. I hope the Tibet trip will be possible as I will be taking (an expensive) ‘tour’. I am making the big detour through Qinghai as the roads east of Lhasa are closed to foreigners (even with tours).
      I hope I can cycle through Burma. If not, I will fly over it.The situation changes all the time, although at present it is not possible to cycle across.
      North-east India has opened up for foreigners recently apparently. I believe some, but not all Indian/Bangladesh borders are open for tourists.
      I must admit, the route is only approximate, and I will check out the situation with border crossings closer to the time. I hope this route, or something like it, should be possible. Let’s keep fingers crossed.

      It will be a fun trip! 🙂

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