EDIT: We had to move back to England at short notice for family reasons, and so our trip home overland from Japan has been postponed. Some of the information below is out of date, but we don’t want to erase the dream we built together, so it remains unchanged. We still plan to make a long distance cycle trip. We still long to be on the road. The details may end up being a bit different, but our dream is the same.
We are Laura and David. We come from the UK, but we’ve been living and working in Japan as assistant language teachers since August 2011. This trip is how we’re getting home. We’re travelling overland or by boat for the whole distance – strictly no air travel. The centrepiece of our plan is the famous Trans-Siberian Railway journey from Beijing to Moscow. From Russia, we’ll cycle around the Baltic Sea and towards France through wherever seems most appealing at the time. We’ll set off in August 2014, and hope to get home in time for Christmas dinner.
Laura is from Catford, in London. Her cycling experience includes commuting and day touring, as well as daredevil downhill mountain biking. When she’s not tearing about on two wheels, she likes cider and folk music. She has a talent for preparing two delicious desserts in situations where, really, just one would be enough.
LAURA: “Ever since I can remember, I’ve dreamed of taking the Trans-Siberian train journey. I love the idea of being able to travel through such remote and out of the way places, and all by train. I just want to go!”
David comes from Wellingborough, in Northamptonshire. His cycling experience is mostly day touring and commuting. Out of the saddle, he enjoys single malt whiskey, rugby and hill walking. He secretly likes geeky things like Batman comics and tabletop role-playing games too, but don’t tell anybody, okay?
DAVID: “The train journey through China and Mongolia is going to be stunning. The distance involved is almost incomprehensible. I’m also excited at the freedom that bicycle touring will give us in Europe. We’ll be free to stay anywhere we like for as long as we want, which will be wonderful. And then there’s the food, and all those local beers to try. It’d be rude not to, right?”
The trip was prompted by two things. Firstly, Laura’s lifelong dream of riding the Trans-Siberian Railway, which this trip makes real. Secondly, we were inspired by two cyclists who, like us, worked as assistant language teachers in Fukushima. Adam and Beth are cycling all the way to Europe. Their route stretches from China, through central Aisa, into Europe via Turkey, and over to Ireland. Their blog is a gripping read, and the video documentary of their tour in Hokkaido is well worth a watch too.