Hello everyone! This time we are here with another adventurous person who is into traveling new places as well as traveling towards consciousness and happiness. Her name is Marie Frederike! Let’s read the details to get to know her better =)
Hi Marie. How did you decide to travel to the World like that? What was your plan, what pushed you for this trip, how did you get that idea… etc : ) Why did you choose a bike? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a bike trip?
I thought about this a lot. I have traveled already a bit around the world. So the classical backpacking is familiar to me. I was looking for a new challenge. Why? Honestly, I was about to join college this year but decided to go traveling instead, cause. My peer group decided to go to college and I struggled with my decision and society pressure (getting constantly questioned about future plans can be quite tiring sometimes and does cause future anxiety!).
It is not widely accepted to choose traveling instead of classical education. Hence, I needed a challenge, to learn something new, get out of my comfort zone.
Israel was already on my bucket list and the flights were incredibly cheap. After I booked the flight, I came up with the bike idea. (I actually dreamed about it and the explanation I came up afterward). Then I did some research, found this German/Israel family keen to support me. That was it. There was no way back. My dad started to teach me all about my bike and how to fix it.
The advantages and disadvantages: I could write pages about this but I try to put it into a nutshell:
It requires lots of preparation. Starting with the bike and equipment over the routes, safety, general organizing.
On the other hand, once you got your bike packed it is a very flexible way to travel. You can go to places no one else would and you get to know the real country. Away from famous sights, the locals were very welcoming, inviting me for dinner, offering me a place to spend the nights or simply interested in a chat. The best you can have after a long, tiring ride is a shower and home-cooked meal. It is physically and mentally challenging. I guess anyone can imagine that its hard to cycle 100 km a day but what none tells you, that you have lots of time with yourself. For me, that meant a lot a time to think. Thinking teaches you a lot about yourself, good and bad things, but I got to a point where the questioning takes over in your mind. At this point, it was hard to function. I needed to get over this point first before I could continue. Having the strength and overcoming your personal boundaries makes you confident. Last but not least, you are exercising every day – I guess I haven’t been that fit in my entire life =)
Could you introduce yourself to us? But we don’t want to hear a classical introduction, we want to hear more about you and it can be good if you can engage it with your travel love =)
Me, Myself and I. That’s how I travel. By myself. And that describes a lot about me already. At the age of 16, I decided to go for a student exchange year in India, New Delhi. So I moved to New Delhi by myself, living with a bunch of Indian families, it was my first contact with cultural exchange. It was anything else than easy but I’m stubborn. Once I start something, I continue until I finish, which can be really painful sometimes. I try to work on it and make things easier. I believe in happiness. Happiness is a decision. It is only you who can change something in life, in order to be happy. And then you need to share. Share your happiness. Staring caring about others. Which seems so easy but it is a day to day task. Every day tests you. I try to share my happy moments, try to listen to others, try to not judge others. It helps me a lot to think of my environment as a mirror of myself. Others gonna meet me the way I meet them.
As you can see, I’m a pretty spiritual person and I think a lot about humans in the context in society. Traveling taught me one thing so far for sure. Being part of a community, where you feel comfortable sharing your feelings, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and giving you a space to grow is a great accomplishment, which takes a huge role in the journey of satisfaction. “My life on the road had all that I had yearned for back home: risk, adventure, uncertainty, challenge, and variety. But in return for devil-may-care freedom, I had bartered security, friendship, human contact, familiarity, and love. Signing the pact made me understand what I had given up“ from Moods of future joy, written by Randolph Fiennes. Enough ideas about life. As you know already I went after high school on a trip. First Morocco, after it India and then Australia. I try to spend around 2-3 months in a country to really get to know the culture and meet its people. Still searching for something in my life I can’t describe. I’m now in Bali. Not sure what is gonna happen next. I enjoy my time but I want to study, maybe next year. Education (basically for free in Germany) is such a huge privilege! Furthermore, I am a pretty difficult person. Some may appreciate it, some may not agree with me but that’s alright cause I am in an extreme period of consciousness and understanding myself (especially in the context of society).
What do you suggest to people who want to travel like you with a bike? What should they bring with them before the start?
General knowledge of bicycles might be a good start. Then, a good bike (nothing fancy) a pair of bike bags and the biking pants (most important- your butt will be thankful!). I carried way to much stuff with me. prepared for any situation it was lots of weight to carry. Keep it simple and only pack the things you can’t live without! Grab a notebook to have the possibility of writing about your feelings.
Swing your butt on the saddle and get started! (If you’re interested in a packing list I can make one!)
When did you start this travel? Did you only visit Isreal? If more, which cities are they? =) What is your next stop?
As you know already I’ve lived in India when I was 16. After I turned 18 I went on an eastern Europe tour with a friend (just for a month though). Then I graduated high school and visited Morocco, India and finally Australia (each for a period of three months). Now Israel was just the beginning. Right now I’m on Bali, where I am going to stay for a while. Anyway, I didn’t plan my trip this time so I’m going the flow till I run out of money.
Do you travel alone or with other people? If you have something to say about the differences between traveling alone and traveling with other people, can you share your ideas with us? Advantages and disadvantages of traveling alone and traveling with other people =)
I’m a solo traveler, have traveled just this one month with a friend. Traveling alone gives you the freedom to do whatever YOU want to do. It all about yourself. But that is also the danger, becoming egoistic. Traveling with a friend means to compromise a lot or going separate ways sometimes. Also, you spend most of the time together, which can become difficult sometimes. I met lots of people who started to fight with their best friends and decided to go separate ways in order to keep the friendship, but there is also the opposite, making the bond stronger. Anyway, it depends on many circumstances (how long, with whom, where, what). You can’t generalize. Traveling alone is also a greater risk and won’t be the easiest path to choose from.
Solo traveling for me means also meeting an incredible amount of new and interesting people. You need to make new friends wherever you go. Whether locals or other travelers, it is incredible how many people you find with the same mindset and you will end up connecting with so many different souls! (Gives me somehow so much confidence).
How do you finance yourself? Where does the money come from? =)
Work hard and safe.
I’m living on a tight budget while traveling. At home, I try to save as much as I can as well and it pays off! (NoGo: being sponsored by mommy and daddy!). Workaway is also a great option for traveling! You work around 5 hours a day and get accommodation and food for free. It’s a good deal, you meet nice people and it gives you the possibility to stay at a place for a while and really get to know it. Couchsurfing is also a great invention for budget travelers. Locals who are interested in intercultural exchange will let you stay in their host you. Best way to dive deeply into a culture.
Do you use Warmshower or other systems like that?
For sure! Warmshower, warm showers are for cyclists only but couch surfing is also a great way of traveling! Meeting locals, getting to know the true culture and you can also safe some money =)
Which countries and cities have you been to? Which one is your favorite and which one do you hate? And Why?
Listening to all the countries and cities I’ve visited will be too much. A lot in Europe, India I’ve traveled mainly the north and Westcoast and in Australia. I stood for almost three months in Byron Bay doing Workaway. In Israel, I cycled up the coast to the Lebanon border, from there all the way to the top and Syrian border. Then, down to the Kinneret and to Nazareth. After a short stop in Tel Aviv, I went to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and down to the dead sea. Cycled across the desert to Eilat. From there Sinai. Crossing the border once again in Eilat I went to Mitzpe Ramon (a hardest ride I’ve done). Beer Sheva and Ashdod were the last stops before Tel Aviv.
Could you tell us which food you loved on the trip and which one was horrible?
Wow, Israeli food is amazing! Most of it is very fresh and healthy. Hummus, Falafel, etc. even the fast food is healthy. But you can’t generalize Israeli food cause it’s a world cuisine highly influenced by the Arabic kitchen. The deserts are the way to sweet for me =)
Could you tell us some good stories about your travel? And if you want, some bad stories too.
There are so many good stories from my traveling. But I guess I want to share one that opened my eyes. I went to Morocco last year. It was going to be my first big trip after a long time and I had really mixed feelings about it. However, I organized a Couchsurfing place in Agadir for a couple of days. The girls were about my age studying away from home and sharing an apartment. They picked me up from the bus station in a pretty traditional dress, hair covered, etc. The second I saw this I have judged already that it’s going to be calm days, no parties, no smoking for me (I quit by the way!). Well, we got to their apartment and they changed quickly to hot pants and crop top. Covered the windows, opened a hidden box and grabbed a beer and cigarettes. I realized they „hide“ all this to keep up their image in society. On the one hand, it’s a pity that they need to do so. On the other hand, it taught me that I judge way to quickly without knowing anything about the person and its story.
I could share hundreds of more stories like this. One more from my Israel travel, I rode on the Dead Sea. I was already tired from an 80 kilometers ride and the heat. I had no clue where to get water or food. Suddenly, a car stopped in front of me and waved me to the side. I stopped and those two true hippies get out of their car. They gave me a bottle of water and this huge Toblerone chocolate bar. Exactly what I needed. They also told me about a nice spot to camp, where lots of alternative people go and live for a while. I got there after another 30 km and immediately found that couple, who offered me food and to camp next to them. That was a beautiful evening I spent with them and somehow I had met the right people at the right time again.
What is a bad story though? All of it is an experience! I wouldn’t be where I am now without those parts. I guess to be in the desert, having no water, no clue where to spend the night and no food at all is a pretty bad experience but in those situations, I met always wonderful people helping me. I will just throw in some words about the bad parts: getting hunted by street dogs in Sinai, riding through a sandstorm in the desert, freezing at 5 degrees at night after a long ride =)
Could you tell us about Israel? What do you think about the country, what do you want to say about Israel and your impressions about it?
This question is almost impossible to answer from my perspective. The country Israel is very diverse. People from all over the world gathered in this country. So I guess there is no typical Israel. You have Tel Aviv, which is a modern metropole and reminded me of a lot of Berlin. You have Jerusalem, a special place, being the heart of tradition and religion. The desert, attracting very interesting people and having lots of communities living their own lifestyle away from society. In the north, you find lots of Kibbutzim but also druse people. There are Arab cities. Jewish cities. Mixed cities.
However, all of those different people were welcoming me with open hearts. The hospitality is incredible and that made my experience so special cause I had the possibility to stay with so many different families, people. Students, Religious Jews, Non-Religious Jews, Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, Russians, Europeans and so on. I found it very difficult to make up my mind about the middle east conflict. I guess I will never be able to. Anyway, I’ve always felt safe in Israel traveling by myself. It is a beautiful country offering so many facets. Nature is unbelievable. Israel is about 500 km long. In this 500 km, you can find Mountains, the Mediterranean sea, big cities, lakes, the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, and the desert. I guess it couldn’t be any more unique. It is the perfect country to travel through (especially in a short time) and offers something for all kinds of travelers! „Wherever you go, becomes a part of you somehow“ (Anita Desai). So did Israel.
Do you have anything to say to people who want to travel to The World?
Do it. Follow our hearts. Traveling is the best school of life, about yourself and others. But don’t pressure yourself, take your time Don’t rush and especially do not judge. The environment is just a mirror of yourself. Important to note here, be careful and don’t become arrogant. I met lots of backpackers telling me about their travels as if it was a competition. Traveling is something you do for yourself, only for yourself. Isn’t it a pretty selfish thing to do? So don’t put yourself in a higher position than anyone else. Once you started you will love it. The good and the bad things. Because without one the other wouldn’t exist!
I want to end here with a quote by Lao Tse: “The longest journey starts with a single step”. A journey could be a long trip but also a new apartment, a new sport or a little change in your lifestyle. Thank you for reading.
Marie Frederike Instagram’s link.