The Girl: Laura Villiger, 28 years old, Switzerland
The Bike: Yellow Bumblebee, 4 years old, Aarios
I grew up in a car-free family and fell in love with bicycles at an early age. At sixteen I bought a touring bike with my first savings. After just a few trips with friends and family, I realized that my true passion was exploring the world. In 2014 I undertook my first solo trip- spending six weeks touring the western fjords and deserted highlands of Iceland. I absolutely loved it, and knew that after finishing my degree I would live for my two passions: cycling and hiking.
I’ve been on the road full-time since November 2015. I rode my heavily laden bicycle down the Rainbow- and Molesworth Road in New Zealand, cycled the Dempster Highway through Canada up to the Arctic Sea, and cycled across the vast wilderness of Alaska. I had a fantastic journey through Morocco and enjoyed the great hospitality of the Islamic culture as well as the desolate beauty of the desert.
I like the fact that everything I need is on my bike and I enjoy living simply. I love the freedom, the adventure and living something new every day. I love bonding with people I meet and learning new things about their culture. Bike touring gives me tremendous happiness and has become my passion. More than just a sport; it has become my lifestyle. I feel that I could cycle around the world forever.
If people ask me where I’m going, I tell them that my goal is to reach Taiwan. But my journey is not about reaching a place. It‘s about being on the road, about pitching my tent every night in a new breathtaking spot, about waking up with the sunrise and preparing coffee. It’s about eating lots of bananas with peanut butter, cakes, and ice cream to keep my energy high for another day on the road. It’s about freedom.
I’m not the type of person who takes the direct or easy way. I don’t count kilometers or countries. If I like a place, I will spend months there- hiking every mountain and exploring all the wild places. Because who knows if I will ever be back?