This trip is one that I have wanted to do for a long time. The idea first came about 12 or 13 years ago when I fell over a blog describing 2 English guys’ journey from Ushuaia to Lima. Ever since then I have wanted to do this and finally decided to make it happen when I came back from a backpacking trip in southeast Asia in December 2015.
Even though it was a great experience traveling through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand I kept thinking that doing it on a bike would have been so much more fun. So, when I got home I decided that I would start actively working towards this great adventure. I made a plan, giving myself 10 months to save up and be ready to leave in October 2016. That plan worked well; I was able to save the money I needed every month, and had started looking at equipment, but it was not to be. On Wednesday July 22 cycling home from practice, the bolt holding my saddle on my vintage road bike broke, leaving me sitting in the air, and then on the asphalt, while my bike kept going full speed, crossing the road, and cracking into the bus stop on the other side. Unfortunately, I came away with a shattered bone in my wrist.
This was just a week before I had planned to terminate the lease on my apartment. I decided to put it off until I got my cast off 3 weeks later to make sure it had healed correctly, pushing my planned departure date a little back. 3 weeks in cast went fine and I had almost no pain. The cast even survived a week at the Roskilde Festival pretty well. But when I finally got it off my wrist was no good. I had lost a lot of flexibility and strength in it, and I spend a couple of months before finding out if it needed surgery or what was wrong. Finally, I was told that it was completely normal and that I could expect it to be back to normal in about a year.
While I was waiting to get the diagnosis, I had decided to push my departure to early spring, hoping I would be ready by then, but when I got the news in October, that I should expect up to a year of recovery, I decided to push my trip back to the fall of 2017.
Fast forward to the end of August this year: the start of my trip is all planned, I have a few days left at work and a few weeks left in my apartment and in Denmark, when me and my family are struck with devastating news. My mom has a brain tumor.
She got operated late September while I was visiting a friend in Boston, and a week before I was supposed to leave Denmark. Although the surgery went well and the surgeons were able to remove all of the tumor, there were complications leading to another surgery just two days later. Things did not get better and when I got home Wednesday morning, she was scheduled for her third brain surgery in less than a week. Fortunately, she got better that Wednesday and didn’t need the surgery. We had some long and tough days at the hospital, waiting to see what damage had been done and waiting to get a final diagnosis on the tumor.
Long story short, I have decided to go on with my adventures 3 weeks later. I have left behind my mom fighting terminal brain cancer and recovery from the brain damage of the surgeries, and my dad helping her, verbally every step of the way. All this has put a shadow over my trip, and even though it is difficult being 12,000 km away from home, I am still happy that I am going on this adventure that I have planned for almost 2 years and dreamt of for a lot longer, and I am sure my parents would have it no other way.
Now I’m sitting in an apartment in Buenos Aires, having completed my first day of Spanish, thinking about the craziness of the last two months and how emotionally draining they have been. I am happy that I decided to make a stopover in Amsterdam to visit Nienke and Daniel. Giving me a short rest and recovery, fueled by craft beers.
Now the plan is for two weeks of intensive Spanish course before I head down to Ushuaia where the journey begins for real.