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We are a couple with one common dream that has developed over time. It all happened very slowly.

I did cycling trips in Canada where I cycled from Detroit (USA) to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. But always in small stretches of about 1,000 km each, never for more than one or two weeks. Then in 1998, I cycled in Europe for the first time: from Toulouse to Barcelona across the Pyrenees, then to Marseille alongside the Mediterranean coast.

Whilst I had been continuously riding my bicycle when on vacations, cycling had never been a passion for Sylvie. Each time we were going on vacations, I always brought my bicycle and secured few days only for me to be able to continue exploring the world on my bicycle. It probably helped Sylvie to develop an interest to eventually follow me one day. That happened in 2003 when we tested a tandem for an afternoon ride. We fell in love with it.

Few months after that first ride, we bought our own tandem and made plans to go on our first cycling vacations. In April 2005, we flew to Bangkok in Thailand where we headed north for 2 magical weeks on the road. After that, we repeated the experience in different countries such as Vietnam, Lao, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and France. But never for more than 2 weeks.

In 2017, at the end of our 2-week vacation cycling the Basque Country, we felt a higher level of frustration than before. We did not want to stop. Our conversations were all about the next destinations, how the last 2 weeks were too short, how it would be great to be able to continue for a longer ride. That idea of leaving for a longer period got there, in our mind and became almost obsessional.

But I had a job, a career which I had been developing for almost 30 years (see on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolasroy). It was challenging for me to think that I would have to leave everything behind. The only thing I could consider was potentially leaving at a pre-retirement age of 60, which meant 10 more years of patience.

Few months after, in November 2017, Sylvie bought tickets for the first Festivelo romand – http://www.festivelo.ch. There, we listened to Julie and Edgar from La roue des rêves – http://www.la-roue-des-reves.com . Lots of images from our previous trips came back in our minds and with them, a very strong positive feeling. When we left the conference, we realized we could not wait until the age of 60. It would be too long, too risky as none of us could guarantee our health conditions by then. On our way back home, we reduced our targeted age for departure to 55. This meant 5 more years to plan everything: logistically and financially.

We spent the following Christmas holidays in Quebec. The freezing temperatures (-15 degrees on average for the 10 days we were there) kept us inside and forced me to do a lot of reading by the fireplace. The timing was very nice for me to reconsider everything and to put all that in perspective. When searching for information about other people having done long cycling trips,  I finally found THE inspiration… Eric & Amaya.

Their website, http://www.cyclingtheworld.com was a revelation. I simply read it entirely, every single page, every single update. I learnt so much how to make our plans become real. And Amaya was so kind to answer some of my specific questions via an email.

I still remember, on our way back to Switzerland, Sylvie & I started developing some scenari, I created a spreadsheet with our potential revenues and expenses. Upon our return home, we got very excited about the idea. So excited that we wanted to leave immediately. But a lot of things happened in between and we finally decided to wait until 2022. We will both in our mid-50s on the departure date.