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From Finland To The Gambia On The Bikes

My Magazine 2022/05
38 min
The weekend of 26th and 27th of march was reserved for some shopping, music, Zimbas and tasting delicious snacks!

We are impressed with their energy, a positive view of the world and people.

They left Helsinki one year ago. Due to their work whilst travelling, they are travelling at a slow pace.

When they first met, Peyman told Matilda that his dream was to cycle the world. By that time, he was living in a small van, working in Helsinki to save money to begin his dream journey. He asked Matilda if she wanted to join him, which she decided to do.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

Peyman's first plan was to end his journey in Africa, but Matilda suggested going to Africa as they reached Spain and Portugal just before wintertime. In the end, their Instagram followers agreed with Matilda that they should continue to Africa first instead of Asia.

Matilda hasn't cycled much before this trip. Peyman had done a few cycling tours before this trip.

"The difference in travelling with bicycles is like day and night".

Peyman used to travel on a motorbike, but he felt it was way too fast. "You do not see people, the corner of the house, that tree and the bird…. you just go so fast. You don't understand; you don't breathe in the culture, the nature," he explained. You get the time to explore a country better while travelling on bicycles. He thinks that travelling on motorbikes is too fast, but walking is too slow. Cycling is a fantastic balance.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

Traffic is the only thing that makes them feel uncomfortable sometimes. But they have never been afraid of a person or animal. The only incident with animals they've faced so far were wolfs coming very close to their tent in Germany.

"The risk is part of the life".

One person once said to Peyman: "If you are scared of dying, you die many times. But if you are not scared, you die once". Though, he believes no one should take stupid risks, of course.

An emotional, in combination with a physical challenge, is sometimes hard to handle. "Like coming to a new country or new continent where you have never been before, and suddenly you need to try to understand the cultural rules can put some pressure", said Matilda.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

The only challenge that comes to Peyman's mind is travelling around India with a bicycle rickshaw due to traffic and infrastructure.

Both of their parents have accepted their decisions and are supportive.

"The world is connected."

While travelling, they edit videos for their YouTube channel, Nomad's Trails and Patreon website. So luckily, they had internet connections almost everywhere, even in Sahara. Some days were without it, but mostly, they remained connected with the world.

If you want to access extra photos and content, you can choose yearly access at their Patreon page from 2$ on. You can also order postcards from the country where they stay. These are two ways to support their journey. They are not planning to stop travelling.

"We planned to stay in The Gambia for two weeks."

Peyman's bank suddenly renewed his bank card, so they needed to organize a parcel to The Gambia. But they were happy that happened in The Gambia as the pandemic started, and they had to stay for some months.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

They think The Gambia is a fantastic place and have many new friendships. While they were stuck here, they were editing and recording videos. Apart from work, they grew vegetables in the garden of a friend's compound where they were staying. They also had chickens and ducks.

Their advice to people who want to travel to The Gambia is: "Just come. It's an amazing place; people are super friendly, helpful and just come and visit. It is a fantastic place. In general, we have been happy in Africa." They felt safer in The Gambia than in some big European cities.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

Financially, the African continent was the most expensive so far. Mainly because they couldn't dumpster dive, and they don't know all the eatable fruits in nature. In Africa, they needed to buy all the food and prices in supermarkets are high.

If you are going to backpack or travel on the bicycle, they would recommend taking your own camping multi-fuel stove and cooking your food. It will be cheaper.

"We slept at the police station a few times."

Most of the nights, they sleep in a tent. Sometimes people invite them to their place and insist on staying overnight. Moroccan police offered them a safe place to stay, so they slept at the police station a few times or in the parking in front of the police station. Peyman also slept at a public toilet for two nights.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

"I love not knowing which day of the week is. It is absolutely amazing."

They have created their own structure of working days combined with being spontaneous. They work, cycle, record, and edit, and it takes a lot of time. But it's the freedom that is the most amazing. Cycling gives you the smell and the taste of freedom.

They are very close and never get bored of each other. Like in every relationship, they disagree sometimes, but they are happy together and deeply connected. In addition to love, they are both very stubborn, and they always walk to the end of what they have decided. If people doubt them, it becomes more possible for them.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

Matilda's message to the world is: "Be open to challenge yourself. If you think it is difficult to travel in Africa, challenge that, talk to people who have done it and always be open to learn more and maybe learn that you were wrong. And just know that most people are amazing. And most places are amazing, so don't be scared and worried."

Peyman added: "People around the world are amazing. We have many more amazing people than what we all hear in the news. People are amazing. Don't so much listen to the news about countries being dangerous. Of course, there are some red zones, but people are super nice. And if you want to do something for yourself which you really love, you really want to do it, and then you tell it to the people who will tell you it's not possible, take it as encouragement, not as a brake.

"If there is something we are not happy with, we try to find a way to change it. And if it's not possible to change it, then maybe it is not worth to be unhappy about."

That kind of philosophy they live by.

Photo by Nomad's Trails

If you want to know more about them, we invite you to listen to our interview with them. We've planned to cut out our voice and questions from the video, but the conversation with them was so natural and amazing that we just left it as it is. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

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