Five tips to make travelling your lifestyle

In the last 10 years, I have lived on three continents, five countries and about 30+ places. Some of them weren’t longer than a month, one lasted for an entire six months. It was almost worth noting down the address. I truly love travelling, moving around and meeting new people and cultures. I am not afraid of moving to a new continent without knowing a soul, the language or the culture. In fact, I thrive on the excitement of experiencing new adventures.

Rather than travelling, I call it moving because I do immerse myself into my surroundings, in fact that is a must for me. I don’t like to be a tourist and prefer to stay where the locals live and do what the locals do as told here.

Although moving to an unknown places seems scary at first, there are ways to make this an amazing adventure. Here are few tips:

  1. To make moving easy, I own just enough stuff that I truly need, nothing more. Despite being an absolute bike addict, I only have one bike. Carrying extras of anything makes me feel weighed down. The adventures I am experiencing discredit any materialistic belongings. Stuff weighs me down. Experiences lift me up.
  2. Be happy with yourself alone. Don’t be afraid to be alone in a new country where you don’t speak the language or understand the culture. Yes, it seems at first overwhelming and scary but exactly those intense emotions you will never forget and appreciate even more because they make you feel alive.
  3. Smiling opens doors. There is no better way to communicate. Enough said.
  4. Be proactive. Moving into a new country but then hanging out in front of the TV is not worth the effort. Get out with or without a plan. You learn so much from looking around.
  5. There is no better strategy to learn than observing. Find out why the locals do certain things. How they behave. How they interact. What is different than what you are used to and why could that possibly be?

Travelling is an enriching and rewarding experience. Just buy a plane or train ticket and get out! With or without plan.

Because life is a journey!

Cyprus Gran Fondo Challenge – 24 Nations. 1 Goal.

I am a big fan of events that attract a wide range of nationalities. It makes the events interesting with different national flairs while getting a peak into other cycling cultures. A race in Cyprus makes it especially fascinating. Located only 260km West of Lebanon it is an attractive vacation location for Europeans and Asian countries.

The Cyprus Gran Fondo Challenge had 24 countries represented that created a spectacular international atmosphere. But not only that, it was clear this was not just another Gran Fondo – it was the first European qualifier for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in 2017. Three days, three opportunities to qualify for Alby, France this August: A time trial and two road races.

The races were tough. The 26km time trial was the first opportunity to get the legs fatigued. Although I didn’t have a time trial bike, I decided to give my best instead to rest. It even paid off placing third female overall.

Staying in the designated 5-star race hotel that was situated right at the beach, I could cool off in the ocean before enjoying the huge buffet. I call that cycling heaven!

But Cyprus has more to offer; namely the mountains that are situated close to the beach. The race promoter made sure that we would not miss this opportunity so the two road races had plenty of climbing incorporated. In fact, the time section of the second road race covered only 45km but with 1100m of elevation gain. Yes, it was almost climbing right from the start.

Although we were competing against each other, there was great camaraderie. I met a Swiss race participant at the airport who I spent most of the time with. I chatted with the Maltese National Team and got invited to the Tour of Malta, I got to know British expats living in Qatar and Dubai and rode with Russians back to the hotel. Those experiences and talks were more insightful than any culture course!

The Cyprus Gran Fondo Challenge is for anyone who is looking for sunny and warm weather in March, great challenging but not over-the-top race courses and who are interested in an international atmosphere with fantastic organization and deluxe accommodation!