Mallorcan journalist Miquel Sorrell has just arrived home after the trip of a lifetime on his bike!
Before he set off 15 months ago he’d only ever ridden a bike with saddlebags attached once, but any lingering nerves were quashed by his passion and excitement for the journey ahead.
He loaded up his bike with a few essentials, including a mat, cooker, clothes and planned to generate some income by posting photos on Youtube and Instagram.
His dream was to reach Asia and possibly Australia.
On day one Miquel headed north to France, then pedalled on through Italy, Slovenia and Croatia and spent time with local families in some of the places he visited.
"I stayed in a hostel in Croatia in exchange for taking some pictures," says Miquel, who admits that northern Italy was a struggle and that he “suffered a lot from the cold in the mountains.”
Albania, Montenegro, northern Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, and northern Iraq followed, but his journey was hampered by coronavirus restrictions which forced him to cool his heels for a while in Greece.
“I have travelled 6,500 kilometres, which is not that much for such a long time,” he says. "In Greece I got stuck in a three month lockdown and then I stayed on for another three, including one month camping on an island."
He bought local produce along the way, surviving by eating mostly rice, pasta and vegetables and was often invited into the home of local people for a meal.
"I spent barely five euros a day,” he says. "Travelling with very few resources is a good way to learn, it’s a totally different reality than i’m used to, but I was ready for anything and over time I even started to leave things behind.”
Miquel is not a professional cyclist, but he made a conscious decision to travel alone.
"I wanted to be by myself for this trip and ride my bike through the history of each country, so i've been learning everything on the fly," he says.
Luckily he didn’t have to deal with any serious health problems on his epic journey, but he admits it’s wasn’t all sunshine and flowers on the road.
“The last few days in Iraq were a little tough because I didn't know where to go. Not everything is so beautiful," he says. "The hardest part was the bureaucracy."
This is not the first time Miquel has packed up everything and headed for places unknown.
“I’m not afraid of change, I left my job three years ago and went to Africa as a volunteer and that’s when realised how much I like having contact with people and travelling,” he says. “My ultimate goal is to be a digital nomad and to live, travel and support myself through my ‘Being a Nomad’ project”.