The disadvantage of a world tour by bike, which I can only do in small stages for many reasons, is obvious: I have to travel to each stage more or less elaborately and somehow also have to come back from the respective destination. I envy everyone I meet during a bike tour and who, unlike me, could go on the ‘big trip’ more or less freely and directly from their home town. Whether these are people from Sweden or Korea whom I met in Southeast Asia, young people from France whom I met in Zambia, or the lonely Canadian with whom I cycled a few kilometers in Malawi and who came from China had made his way to his homeland by bike.
They are individualists who have found a way for themselves to both be able to forego income for the long duration of their trip and to be able to spare the time for it at all. Whether this is ideal remains to be seen. In any case, I am very satisfied with the opportunity to keep going for at least a few weeks.
However, the price for this is a lot of additional stress in the weeks and days before a planned departure, since the preparations can sometimes be intensive and my job naturally continues until the deadline – this time the airline also knocks branches off my spokes.
With a flight cancellation, which I accidentally find out four days before departure when checking my booking details, a chain of rebookings begins, which ends in an approximately 30-hour later arrival in Haikou. The real annoyance is caused by a delay in the feeder flight to Frankfurt, where the actual flight to Beijing can of course not wait. So I’m stranded quickly and unexpectedly at Frankfurt Airport and since there are no reasonable alternative connections for the same day, I only fly via Shanghai to Haikou the next evening – because of the bike I want to avoid unnecessary transfers.
My travel partner from Guangzhou, whom I meet in Hainan and who wants to cycle with me through Hainan for a few days, will have to wait for me for so long. This is the real bitter pill, because she cannot easily use another day of vacation.
After all, my bike arrives safely in Haikou with me and the way from the airport to the selected hostel, which is located north of the old town, becomes a fun experience with the somewhat unregulated road traffic in China.