Life has been expanding quite a bit lately. We’re in Southern Bolivia with our bicycles and everything we need to live on the road. We’ve cycled through 11 countries and spent 19 months living and traveling on our bikes. Our goal is Patagonia; we’re about six months away.
What will happen when we finish? You never finish a journey like this. We may return home, but the road will always be our other home, waiting for us, calling us. Beckoning us to be courageous again. Today and every day. A journey like this changes you forever. Life will never be the same.
So much has happened since we left behind the comforts of home in 2016. We’ve had days of extraordinary accomplishment and times of despair. We’ve missed our family, our friends, the luxuries of running water, a good shower, a jar of Tahini.
We’ve camped at high altitude lakes and cactus covered deserts across Mexico. We’ve spent months pouring sweat in the middle of summer in Central America, treated to ice cold coconut water and fresh watermelon on the side of the road. We’ve cycled across hundreds of coffee plantations in Colombia. We’ve bounced around for weeks on end, climbing Ecuador’s mountains on bumpy cobblestone roads. We’ve traversed mineral-rich and wildly-colored mountains of Peru. We’ve ridden across the largest salt flat in the world in Bolivia. Chile and Argentina now await us.
Throughout our travels, we have learned so much about Latin America, its people, and the cultures, customs and beliefs that span the continents. We have experienced first-hand the incredible hospitality of Latin Americans in every country we’ve traveled so far.
On a journey like this, life is stripped down to its most basic, necessary elements. We are carrying only the essentials at this point, with very few luxuries. The luxuries we do have are useful and practical to life on the bikes.
It’s an amazing way to live life, taking it one day at a time, one moment at a time, and never knowing what is going to happen next. It is like being in a constant state of flow; always arriving, always leaving. The journey has presented us with numerous challenges along the way – triumphs and defeats and memories we’ll carry with us forever.
We learned a lot after spending 14 months living on our bicycles a few years back. How to travel light. How to live with less. How to let go the stuff you accidentally left behind. At the start of our last trip, we made the classic newbie bicycle touring mistake of starting out with way more than we needed, including lots of things we could pick up easily along the way. We may have learned the hard way but we are much more prepared this time around. From Merino wool base layers and fleece to socks and neck gaiters, here is a breakdown of what we’ve got to keep us comfortable no matter the temperature:
Erin's clothing & personal items
Mehedi's clothing + personal items:
Check out their full gear list: Everything You Need for a Year of Bikepacking in South America