Travel

The Importance of Family/La Importancia de la Familia

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[ENG]

The two of us have been away from our families for long periods of time before. The first time was when I went to the USA for one year to be an au pair. This year was very difficult because I was away from my family for so long, but my mom, brother, and Paula were able to come and visit me in the USA.

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Both Will and I were fortunate to host our family and friends while we lived in South Korea as well. My whole family visited us in South Korea, and Will's family was able to make it out as well. This trip seems a bit different. Spending time away from loved one is always difficult, but I think it makes you value them even more.

[ESP]

Los dos hemos estado lejos de nuestras familias por largos períodos de tiempo antes. La primera vez fue cuando fui a Estados Unidos por un año para ser una au pair. Este año fue muy difícil porque estuve lejos de mi familia por mucho tiempo, pero mi madre, mi hermano y Paula pudieron venir a visitarme a EE. UU.

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Tanto Will como yo tuvimos la suerte de ser anfitriones de nuestra familia y amigos mientras vivíamos en Corea del Sur también. Toda mi familia nos visitó en Corea del Sur, y la familia de Will pudo hacerlo también. Este viaje parece un poco diferente. Pasar tiempo alejado de un ser querido siempre es difícil, pero creo que te hace valorarlos aún más.

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The History of The EuroVelo 8

[ENG]

Now that you know what we are setting out to accomplish with this project of ours, maybe you are wondering just how we are going to get there. Cycling and bike touring are a huge part of the culture here in Europe. What started as a pastime for the wealthy classes of London in the 19th century, is now a means of travel, fundraising, and adventure in today's society. There are many people who have attempted to break world cycling records in terms of distance. One of the most well-known long distance cyclist is Mark Beaumont, who holds the current world record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world. Save the desire to break world records, we are following in the tread marks of these adventurers.

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The good thing about starting our trip in Spain is that there are a number of bicycle routes that are already pre-mapped and vetted. These routes are sponsored by the European Union in conjunction with the European Cyclist's Federation. Finally, this particular route will take us from the coast of Spain to the coast of Greece. This EuroVelo route is dubbed the Mediterranean route and will cover about 6,000km or 3,700mi. We will have the chance to visit 23 UNESCO World Heritage site and 11 countries. Read more about our European Route here!

Here is the official site of the route.

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[ESP]

Ahora que sabes lo que nos proponemos lograr con este proyecto nuestro, tal vez te preguntes cómo vamos a llegar allí. El ciclismo y el cicloturismo son una gran parte de la cultura aquí en Europa. Lo que comenzó como un pasatiempo para las clases ricas de Londres en el siglo XIX, ahora es un medio de viaje, recaudación de fondos y aventuras en la sociedad actual. Hay muchas personas que han intentado romper récords mundiales de ciclismo en términos de distancia. Uno de los ciclistas de larga distancia más conocidos es Mark Beaumont, que posee el récord mundial actual de circunnavegación más rápida del mundo. Guarde el deseo de romper récords mundiales, estamos siguiendo las huellas de estos aventureros. ç

Lo bueno de comenzar nuestro viaje en España es que hay una serie de rutas en bicicleta que ya están mapeadas y examinadas previamente. Estas rutas están patrocinadas por la Unión Europea junto con la Federación Europea de Ciclistas. Finalmente, esta ruta particular nos llevará desde la costa de España hasta la costa de Grecia. Esta ruta de EuroVelo se conoce como la ruta del Mediterráneo y abarcará unos 6.000 km o 3.700 millas. Tendremos la oportunidad de visitar 23 sitios del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO y 11 países. ¡Lea más sobre nuestra Ruta Europea aquí!

Aquí está el sitio oficial de la ruta.

 

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Why we are Travelling

In this section I´m going to explain why we are doing this trip, but if you don't feel like reading as much you  can scroll down and go straight to the answer.

We have always had a passion for connecting with people and working for a better society.

We are both educators (Will is a teacher and I´m a social educator) and when our time working in South Korea was coming to an end, an inevitable question popped into our heads…what´s next?

We are not ready, maybe will never be, to settle down in house for a 9 to 5, and go on vacation whenever possible.

While Will had thought for himself a more traditional lifestyle, I try to not think too far ahead. So while browsing and binge watching YouTube, I discovered people who lived on bicycles and that absolutely blew my mind. I had seen nomadic lifestyles like in vans, RV, or even backpacks, but having a sustainable, respectful to vehicle to move through the world was very much, next level amazing to me.

I thought about it long and hard, and I thought how I would see myself on that position. When I was fully convinced that it was what I wanted to do, I talked to Will about it, about the question that had raised in our heads:

-So… Will, you know, I´ve been thinking about what are we gonna do next.. and I think I know what I want to do for the next months…

+Oh cool! and what´s that? maybe another country here in Asia, you can work in a different NGO and I´ll be a teacher somewhere?

-Uhh… no, I was thinking that I´m done for now with desktop job and the 9 to 5. I have been learning about these people who travel the world on bicycles and impact and work with communities that they encounter.

+What?!?! You want to bicycle the world?!?!

(after this, a long conversation of me explaining to Will how this lifestyle was possible took place, and right after I was done explaining it he asked the most logical and systematically capitalistic questions)

+Alright, so how are we going to live with no job?

-We will work to sustain ourselves, but the most important thing is going to be changing and cutting down our expenses.

+So we are having no “regular” job, and what about when we want to finish with this trip?

- We will figure it out then, life spins around it is not a straight line.

(then he used this expression, that I had never heard but thought it was great)

+Nahia, do you understand what you are saying? You wanna escape the rat race!

A couple days went by, where Will was almost disturbed about our conversation and we talked nothing about this; until one night I came home from work at night he told me:

+Nahia, I´m with you. Let´s have untraditional lives and go on this adventure.

And this VERY MOMENT is the BEGINNING of the WHY we are doing this.

Why are we doing this?  Because why not

Why on bicycles?   Because is a sustainable way to travel the world, fast enough where you can race, slow enough so you can smell where you are.

Why at the peak of our professional development?   Because this is the right time for us.

Are we afraid of doing this? Yes, this a big change for us. But isn't everybody somewhat afraid of what they are doing.

My fellow co-worker, Myeongin, one time told me something that stuck with me: “Every decision has a bit of regret”. And she is totally right, every decision you take and every choice you make means that in that very precise moment you are choosing something among other options. And naturally you will wonder if that is the right choice.

Got anymore questions we haven´t answered? Don´t hesitate to contact us, we will talk to you gladly!

To Cuba/Para Cuba by Aaron Harris

[ENG]

My younger brother Aaron recently traveled to Cuba, a country that has been on my list of places to visit for as long as I can remember. Below are his reflections about the trip and his experiences there.

To Cuba..

You have revealed to me the possibility of actual and innate humanity. A humanity so complete that on the surface it seems alien and unnatural. A humanity that has become the standard and has challenged all previously held notions about the condition of my people on this planet. But with this realization that such a place exists, comes an invitation to compare that is immediately sent as soon as I am reminded that my home country believes in a different kind of humanity. A distorted and unrecognizable humanity that is only remotely considered once you are deemed necessary. This peculiar humanity only exists in the realms of bottom lines and invisible bootstraps and rat races and the 1%. This twisted, native humanity that I have known intimately becomes so much more fatiguing and burdensome. But you have taught me what yearning feels like. Experiencing you has awakened in me an expectation and a need for more. A desire that once satisfied, will relieve me of that weight and re-introduce me to the foreign pleasure of truly feeling visible.

[ESP]

Mi hermano menor, Aaron, recientemente viajó a Cuba, un país que ha estado en mi lista de lugares para visitar desde que tengo memoria. A continuación están sus reflexiones sobre el viaje y sus experiencias allí.

Para Cuba ...

Me has revelado la posibilidad de una humanidad real e innata. Una humanidad tan completa que en la superficie parece extraña y antinatural. Una humanidad que se ha convertido en el estándar y ha desafiado todas las nociones previamente sostenidas sobre la condición de mi gente en este planeta. Pero al darme cuenta de que existe tal lugar, surge una invitación a comparar que se envía inmediatamente tan pronto como recuerdo que mi país de origen cree en un tipo diferente de humanidad. Una humanidad distorsionada e irreconocible que solo se considera una vez que se considera necesario. Esta peculiar humanidad solo existe en los reinos de las líneas de fondo y de bootstraps y ratas invisibles y del 1%. Esta retorcida y nativa humanidad que he conocido íntimamente se vuelve mucho más fatigosa y pesada. Pero me has enseñado cómo se siente el anhelo. Experimentarte ha despertado en mí una expectativa y una necesidad de más. Un deseo que una vez satisfecho, me liberará de ese peso y me re-introducirá al placer extranjero de sentirse realmente visible.


 

France so Far

[ENG]

We crossed the boarder into France about eight days ago, and we have been in love ever since. The first thing that we love so much about France is the cycle paths. It was very difficult to get out of Bilbao as we had to use the national roads and highways, but in France it seems like you can get anywhere using cycle paths.

Secondly, we also love the people here. I am not sure what prejudices we had about the French, but most of the people we have come across speak English very well, and are willing to offer us help. Maybe is the bikes. It is also very interesting to note that whenever we stop in a park or on the street to have lunch people always say Bon Appétit, which makes us feel all the more welcome here. Needless to say, France has been a wonderful place to travel through, and we can't wait to see more of it.

[ESP]

Cruzamos la frontera con Francia hace unos ocho días, y desde entonces estamos enamorados. Lo primero que amamos tanto de Francia son los carriles bici. Fue muy difícil salir de Bilbao ya que tuvimos que usar las carreteras y autopistas nacionales, pero en Francia parece que se puede llegar a cualquier lugar utilizando carriles bici.

En segundo lugar, también amamos a la gente de aquí. No estoy seguro de los prejuicios que teníamos sobre los franceses, pero la mayoría de las personas con las que nos hemos encontrado hablan muy bien el inglés y están dispuestas a ofrecernos ayuda. Tal vez sean las motos También es muy interesante observar que cada vez que nos detenemos en un parque o en la calle para almorzar, la gente siempre dice Bon Appétit, lo que nos hace sentir aún más bienvenidos aquí. No hace falta decir que Francia ha sido un lugar maravilloso para viajar, y estamos ansiosos por ver más.