I was afraid to cycle at the first day in San Francisco. I was wondering how I can go further, how much I have to be on the road to cycle around the world. Even I was not sure I can go out of the U.S by bicycle. Is it possible that solo woman cycles from the U.S to Brazil?
When I was in Canada in Nov 2011, I decided to cycle around the world. Since 31st Dec 2010 I had started saying to people that I will cycle all over the world. After working holiday, I flew to the U.S in 24th August 2011. I had bought all of gear in one week in San Francisco.
The first day was my day of dream, but I just realized that cycling was very hard thing. It was too difficult to get out of the city. I didn’t know where to go and went to the highway. Unfortunately, I almost hit by car. Soon, the police came to me and warned I must not be on the highway. (It is funny that my bicycle was very light at the first day.)
Who am I? Where am I? The first day was very hard for me. I was too frustrated. How can I cycle around the world? Is it possible? I couldn’t dream further that only my wish was to go to LA.
But I realized that I shouldn’t think too far way. I must see only front of my foot. Then I will be where I want to go.
When I think of my long way, always I try to remember of this Quote I read on the book.
“It’s like this. Sometimes, when you’ve a very long street ahead of you, you think how terribly long it is and feel sure you’ll never get it swept. And then you start to hurry. You work faster and faster and every time you look up there seems to be just as much left to sweep as before, and you try even harder, and you panic, and in the end you’re out of breath and have to stop–and still the street stretches away in front of you. That’s not the way to do it.
You must never think of the whole street at once, understand? You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else.
That way you enjoy your work, which is important, because then you make a good job of it. And that’s how it ought to be.
And all at once, before you know it, you find you’ve swept the whole street clean, bit by bit. what’s more, you aren’t out of breath. That’s important, too.”
Momo – Michael Ende
There were many hills on the first week that most of time I pushed my bike. I was very excited to arrive in LA. Yeah! I made it!
I met lovely Korean in LA. I miss all of them! They gave me courage!
I thought the U.S is so lucky that they have amazing and gorgeous nature!! The photo is 29 palms
If somebody asks me which place was breathtaking, I will answer this place!!! It was before Amboy. Around that it was too hot to sleep. From 6 am, I already sweated and push my bike. When I saw the scenery after the uphill, I couldn’t breathe because the desert was amazing beautiful! It was like a scene from a movie.
Through Las Vegas, I arrived in Valley of Fire. It was like the mars. Just amazing and fantastic. If you want to go to the mars, you should visit to Valley of Fire first.
It is Zion Canyon. Everyday amazing nature!!! The U.S is so lucky ever!
What a gorgeous
Bryce canyon is the best of the best.
Finally I got partners! Even Three partners!! For one week I traveled with German guys who were traveling with camping car. It was my dream to travel with a camping car!!
It was the place we took the rest. There were my German friends on the picture.
I couldn’t believe that the dream came true! It was my wish to see Horseshoe Band.
Even!!! Grand Canyon
All of them warned me about Mexico. Most of them told me that I must not go to Mexico. But a few of them who traveled Mexico told me that Mexico is just another country, but very beautiful country.
If somebody asks me which most adventure is, I will answer to cross the Mexican border! Most of them had told me horrible stories of Mexico. But I wanted to see it with my eyes and also I wanted to eat taco! Yummy!
But… But.. But.. how Mexico was!
It was gorgeous country I’ve been! People were so kind and friendly.
I loved their food!!! I love hot food!!!
Speed bumps were bad in Mexico. Unfortunately I couldn’t see it on my way that my front rack was broken. I hitchhiked to the next town. The driver introduced me his local friends and they fixed it. They were my gorgeous Mexican friend!
It was almost close to Christmas day. I went to the friend house of the friend of the friend. I was supposed to stay only one or two days, but they wanted me to stay until Christmas. I was thinking of it and decided to stay with them. Oh.. my decision was amazing! I loved spending Christmas with them. I still miss them so much. I will go back to Mexico to see them one day.
I’ve heard that a Mexican police will ask people money for nothing. But I didn’t have any experience of it. Only the thing was they asked me to have beer together in their town! Even they called my name with their megaphone while passing me by car. What a funny.
I met Korean family in Mexico City. I called them mom and dad because they wanted to be called it. The first time it was weird, but later they became my mother and father that I loved them so much. I miss them so much. Especially mom was like an angel that I’ve never met.
One of Korean showed me the Mexican Pyramid.
Every day there was terrible news about crimes in Mexico. I was so lucky that I didn’t have any problem in Mexico. The north Mexico was enough cool to cycle, but the south Mexico was too hot.
But it was one thing after another. It sounded that Central America is more dangerous than Mexico.
I couldn’t see a lava at Antigua in Guatemala. Countries are very small in Central America that I crossed border very often in short time.
El Salvador was too hard country to me. Many of them were very rude that they harassed too much. One people threw dough to me on the car, but I felt like it was stone! What a horrible!
The next country was Honduras, but I stayed only few days. Frankly speaking Central America was the hell that it was too hot!! Even my legs were burn. Also many of men harassed me too much. I couldn’t sleep well for many nights because of too hot weather and mosquitoes in Central America. Also it seemed that there were too many crimes. I could see many armed security gusy in every place.
I was too tired when I went to Nicaragua. I think Central America was the hardest part of trip that the weather was horribly hot. I was wondering how the local people can survive at here.
I was on the radio, but I didn’t speak much. I wish I can speak Espanol well.
I did absentee voter registration for the 19th Korean national assembly election in Mexico and I voted in Costa Rica. I was happy that he I voted had been elected as assemblyman. I am very interested of Politic although I am out of the country.
Costa Rica is very special country that they don’t have army. Why? Because they are smart!!!!! They spend their money on the education more. I admire Costa Rica so much ever!!!! Also they do know how to take care of the environment as well. I can see word of “ECO” every place! The road is very clean!! People were very polite that nobody harassed to me. It is totally different from any other Central American countries.
I arrived in Panama which is the last country of Central America. Actually there was not much gorgeous memory in Central America. But one thing I enjoyed was to meet them on the picture.
It was time to finish Central America. It is very weird that nobody can’t try passing the road between Central America and South America. It is said that there is a dangerous jungle and guerrilla. Isn’t it funny? There is the most important road which the human can’t pass in the earth.
There was the long story of me to pass between Central America and South America. Anyway I arrived in San Blas (Journal – http://www.universewithme.com/?p=3406) I was close to South America. I couldn’t believe that I will be in South America soon!!! I who was too afraid of the road at the first day will be in South Africa!! I had been on the road over 8 months! How amazing!
Which country is more dangerous? Mexico? Colombia? I am not sure. But only thing I know is Colombian are more kind than Mexican. But still Mexico is the best country in my mind!
(He in the above picture was nothing to do with accident what I am saying. I just want to show how knife looks like.)
There was not only a good story in my trip. I met the robber one time. When I rode a bike on the flat, somebody carrying a knife at his side was smiling at me and showed me hitchhiking sign with his thumb. When I tried going around him, he tried following me faster. But I was enough fast to run away from him. He just gave up after a few minutes to catch me.
It was my first time to cycle in the steep mount. I’ve never had the experience to cycle on this kind of hard mount. I could only move 23 km (14 mi) for 10 hours. Even there was raining in the morning that I was wet.
It was the road I passed. The photo looks nothing. But it was the steepest mount I’ve been ever!!!! I was very happy that I didn’t give up!
It was so kind Colombian people who live in the mount.
I bought a guitar in Medellin that it was my dream to play the guitar.
I got another accident that I fell in the drainage. Unlucky that bike also was fallen after me in the whole. My helmet saved my life. I shouted almost over 10 minutes, because bike was on me that I couldn’t move. It was the horrible accident.
My panniers which I bought in San Francisco had had problem. I contacted to Ortrieb and they sent me new upgrade panniers for free! Awesome!
It is time to start cycling in the Andes Mountain.
I had the special meat, Guinea pig with Colombian friends!
I changed my color of the bike in Ecuador. It was my dream to have Yellow bike!! Yeah! Another dream came true!!
To cycle on the Andes Mountain was very hard, but it was so beautiful. I felt so lucky that I was on the pretty mountain.
I had worried how I can cycle in the Andes Mountain. So, it was so surprising to see that I was doing well.
It was terrible that when I was in lowland. While taking the rest for a few minutes, many mosquitoes bit me. It was just the hell.
I could see the local people wearing traditional clothes. I thought highland people are different.
It was so reckless challenge to climb Mount Chimborazo which is altitude of 6,300m (20,669 ft) in one day. I started from an altitude of 5,000 m (16,404 ft). But I couldn’t make it and when I decided to go back, I cried. It was so sad to recognize to be at the end of my rope. It seemed that cycling was like to climb Mount Chimborazo. I was too confused.
I was so sad for a while. There is a huge desert between Ecuador and Peru that I took the bus.
Peru looked like a grey city around capital.
I spent much money to see Moai which is in the middle of pacific.
Mysteri of Moai was very sad. (posting- http://www.universewithme.com/?p=5072)
How will it be that human live without being greedy?
After a few days the road was very hot.
I found a beautiful oasis in the desert.
I took the bus from Oasis to Cusco which is Inca’s city, because I heard that the mount is too steep. But the problem was I was too sick with altitude sickness and nausea although I came by bus. I couldn’t move for a few days in the hostel.
I was on the bed for a week. After I got better, I visited the legendary lost city of Machu Picchu.
Again I was on the Andes Mountain. The highland is very difficult to cycle, but it is worth.
My new record! The highest place with a bike!
There was cloudy and thunderstorm. I found a kind of abandoned house. It was so horrible that I couldn’t sleep all night.
I arrived in lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America! People live on the lake. Although it was very hard to get to Titicaca because of high steep mount, it was so beautiful.
After a few days, I arrived in Bolivia. I was so excited because of Salar de Uyuni!
The capital of Bolivia was the most interesting city that I could see many different kinds of people. It was very busy city.
It was very hard to stay around High Mountain that I couldn’t even sing a song because of lack of oxygen. But it seemed that the local people were very pure in the Andes Mountain. I think the poorer country was Ecoudor-Peru-Bolivia in Latin America. But the most interesting and unique country was also the Ecoudor-Peru-Bolivia
Bolivian government takes a census every 10 years. People must have been stayed at home during a census that any car can never come out on the road. That’s why children was playing on the highway.
It was my dream to come Uyuni!! I was worried about the raining seasoning. But it was no problem that there was no rain! I could cycle on my dream place.
It was the most amazing time in my life. I couldn’t hear any sound such as a car, a bird and people’s talking. No soound in the world. I loved so much Uyuni. (Posting- http://www.universewithme.com/?p=6258)
If somebody asks me which place is the best of the best, I will answer Uyuni! Moai, Machupichu and Uyuni were very impressive in my mind.
Another accident was that I fell down into a thorn three. I think I had too many accident in South America.
I thought Paraguay was the hell of fire that it was too hot. Celsius was 40 degrees to 45 degrees around the noon. North Paraguay was too hot and there were many mosquitoes which bite as penetrating clothes. Just hardest time because of weather and mosquitoes.
The mission was to arrive in Asuncion, capital of Paraguay for absentee voting of the Korean president. But later the result was the worst of the worst in my life. I couldn’t stand to see tons of too stupid people that I cried so much. Dictator’s daughter became the president. I feel like I lost my lovely country.
It was too much raining in the morning when I started leaving Asuncion, Capital of Paraguay. The plumbing in the city was terrible that the road was becoming River, and I got other ACCIDENT. I pushed my bike at the sidewalk, but soon there was no more sidewalk. So I moved my bike to the car road, and then I fell down to deep water. How could I know there is drainage?
When I fell down to deep water, I tried to get out of the bike from my body not to die. My bike was floating on the water. My iPod was under the water, because I put it on my back. I tried to move my bike to the sidewalk, but it was almost not possible. I only moved front wheel to sidewalk. The worst was the left back side was under the water and my laptop was in the rear left pannier.
So many cars came and went, but nobody came to me to help. Maybe they thought ‘somebody will help her instead of me’, or ‘she can do everything by herself’. After 10 minutes, somebody finally came to me and help. He saved my life.
I checked the many things, but fortunately everything was fine. Camera, laptop and Ipod worked well. Only the guitar was broken.
Anyway I remembered that Paraguay people were very kind as much as Colombian. They loved to drink Terere which is their typical culture tea. They used a herb like the picture.
I visited to my last tour place, Iguassu Falls. My traveling was almost done in the American Continent.
Although this year Christmas Eve was very quieter than last year, I was invited at dinner in Brazilian home. They asked me to have Christmas night together, but I didn’t have the time.
Even I hitchhiked to Sao Paulo, because of lack of the time. The truck driver was not bad people that I felt okay.
I met very nice Korean family in Brazil that I got the big gift before leaving the Continent of America. To know them was a big gift!
I can’t believe that I came to Brazil from the U.S by bicycle. Of course, I took the bus and I hitchhiked a few times. But the thing is that main transportation was a bike!! I’ve cycled over one year and four months and around 12,000 km (7,500 mi)
I’ve slept at the tent, the cheap hostel and hotel during trip. Most of the time on the road I was alone that I didn’t cook, but I ate only the bread or snacks. But I didn’t lose any weight. I think I eat too much of bread in every time!! Hahah. If I go back to South Korea, I want to register in a gym and try to lose some weight which I got in Canada.
I am so lucky that I’ve met many of gorgeous local people and Korean people on my way for one year and four months. Sometimes I cried too much that the farewell was too sad and it was so hard to be on the road alone again. Thanks to them, I could keep cycling.
(I can’t write all of the story of the people whom I met on the road in this post. If I write all of them, maybe I can publish the one book so that I dispense with many of them. I hope they understand me. I remember all of them and still thank to all of them. Thank you so much!)
Why do I like cycling? I love the road which is endless. When I was 15 years old, I was at a veranda and could smell of dawn. It made me so sad that I wanted to run to somewhere which I didn’t know. But I couldn’t do.
Now I am doing that kind of thing. It is not easy to explain about this feeling thing with my English.
I must realize that human beings are helpless against the power of nature on the road. I can’t enjoy and have a cup of coffee during rain on my way. I can’t do anything with the rain, the wind, too hot weather and too cold weather. Only the thing I can do is to become humble in front of the nature.
I wanted to grow up on the road. But when I faced the problem of mine, I felt so frustrated and talked to myself that ‘So, you are traveling the world? But you are not growing, because you still make many mistakes which you don’t want.’
Then I must say to myself that ‘Yes, I am making many mistakes still! But you must remember that I reduce mistakes. It means I am growing! That’s enough! Be proud of yourself.’
I thought too much of what will do. Going to Africa or Going home or Going Europe or Going Australia or what??? If I go home, then everything is a happy ending.
Another problem was the money. The flight was too expensive ever that there will not leave much money after flying. Although many things looked hard, I decided to go to Africa. Why? Because I am not ready to go home yet. I want to see the world more.
I do hope the universe has answered and started granting my wishes. The most of my wish is I am healthy and safe.
The American Continent
The distance of cycling: 11,779.86 km(7,370.08 mi)
(North and Central America: 7,474.31 km (4,664.34 mi), South America: 4,305.55 km (2,705.74 mi))
The total expenditure: $8,733
(Gears and bike: 2,230 $, Flight: 700$ (Total two times), North and Central America: $2,234.13, South America: $3,568.69)
The total days: 489 days (One year and four months)
(North and Central America: D+242 (8 months), South America: D+247 (8months))
The total countries: 16 countries
(North and Central America: 8 countries, South America : 8countries)
The total cities : 168 cities
(North and Central America: 96 cities, South America : 72 cities)
Thank my family and all of friends
[stextbox id=”custom”]The people who donate to me; I appreciate that you help me keep cycling and give me more courage.
Jin Sung Park, Caroline Auckland-Thompson, John and Milena Carothers, Young Soo Kim, Bill Ramey, Andrew Melville, James Umpherson, Todd Rutley, William Turner, David Osborne, Carey, John McGleish, 남형일, 이병근, klazybonz outdoor(Sunggil Lee), Allen Thoma, 정길채, 하정혁(이오스), 원제스님, Keith Liddicoat , Bao Nguyen, Henry tam, 500px.com(free upgrade ID), Ortlieb (Change my old panniers to new panniers for free), Heekyung Whee, 이승근, 정지훈, nicolae safta, 류광현, Daniel Merritt, 김건대, 윤용욱, 행하면얻는다^^, 김고나, 이건우, 화이팅, mimicdon, Tim Rigley, Ji Hyun Lee, John Haug, Yousun Choi[/stextbox]
The people who help me on the road; Thank all of you for giving me the place to stay and sharing your life with me [Form – Person name (City’s anme)]
K&W Bike repair shop (Yellowknife, Canada)
심순섭 선생님 (Vancouver, Canada)
Brian (San Francisco, CA), Barry (San bruno, CA), Jim and Jim’s friend (Near Santa Cruz, CA) , John’s family (Santa Cruz, CA), Scotty (Cambria, CA), Bill and Angella (San Luis Obispo, CA), Terry (Lompoc, CA), Roberta and John (Santa Barbara, CA) , Christine Lobeck (Oxnard, CA), 봄이, 지훈, Kenneth and Scott Orland (LA, CA), Britney (San Bernardino, CA), Sven Gasser (Palm Springs, CA), Craig (Yucca Valley, CA), Jim queen and Rick Lassen (Twentynine Palms, CA), Amboy Town(CA),Mike Eylar (Las Vegas, NV), 박성아 (Near Valley of Fire, NV), 한국인 관광객분들 and Giovanni Riccella (Mesquite, NV), Denise and David (St. George, UT), Paul and Jean (Zion National Prark, UT), Fer Chen and Valerie (Bryce Canyon National Park, UT)/ John, Caroline and Chris(Utah, Arizona), Cathy from Discovery Pointe Church (Peoria, Az), 재범오빠네 가족 and Blaise Faber (Pheonix, AZ), Britney and Sue (Scottsdale, AZ), Trevor and Janet Heath (Casa Grande, AZ)/ Cheryl and Chuck (Tucson, AZ), Ed and Armida (Nogales, AZ)
German’s family (Magdalena, SON), Karina’s family, Mariby’s friends and her school (Benhamin Hill, SON), Leticia’s family (Hermosillo, SON), Marie, Julie, Lucia and Valeria (Guaymas, SON), Rafael, Rafael’s friend, LEE-Eng’s family (Roverto, Adriana, Maria Elena, Gilberto, Gloria, Arturo), Dr. Dario Horita Yamasaki (Cirujano Dentista), Belen Lopez, Arlette, Erikson school (Obregon, SON), Brenda, Claudia (Guasave, SIN), Karen, Alexis, Faustino, Araceli, Karen’s all family, Ernesto Collantes (Culiacan, SIN), Naim (Mazatlan, SIN), Sonorina, Hernandez Cerna (Rincon del Verde, SIN), Angeles Verdes (Tepic, NAY), Manuel, Ximena, Lorena (Guadalajara, JAL), Joe Sanchez (Tototlan, JAL), Alejandra (Irapuato, GUA)/ Ana & Luise, Leslie (Queretaro, QUE) / Claudia (San Juan del Rio, QEU), 멕시코 엄마, 멕시코 아빠, 도훈, 지훈, 김형주 선생님, 진영언니, 종호오빠, 쪼꼬(Mexico city, DF), Gibran Martinez (Puebla, PUE), Pamela Salas (Xalapa, VER), Ernesto Lara (Veracruz, VER), Aaron Trujillo, Ponciano Martinez(Alvarado, VER), Jeanne Dumas (San Andres Tuxtla, VER), Ricardo Alberto (Acayoucan, VER), Victor Hugo Santos(Matias Romero, OAX), Rodrigo Razgado, Lupita Mateo (Zanatepec, OAX), Samuel, Calmita (Tonala, CHP), Alfonso(Pijijiapan, CHP), Tapachula Bombero, Jan & Noemi(Tapachula, CHP)
Central America-Guatemala, El Salvadro, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
Carmen(Xela, Guatemala), Greg&Jon(Antigua, Guatemala), Simon-Pierre Tremblay(Choluteca, Honduras), Pastror. Lorenzo, Alvarado, Romon, Martin(Villa Nueva, Nicaragua), Felix(Managua, Nicaragua), La paz centro’s Police station (La paz centro, Nicaragua), Jairo’s family (Heredia, Costa Rica), 강세훈(San Jose, Costa Rica), Rebeca’s family(Puerto Cores, Costa Rica), Rosa’s family (Bisavalles, Panama), Ostiana family (Penonome, Panama), John Nettleton(Coronado, Panama), Rui(Portobelo, Panama)
Rodrigo-Police chief of San Juan (San Juan), Eder Alvarez’s family(Sincerejo), Police station of Pueblo Nuevo (Pueblo Nuevo), Rigo Roberto’s family (Caucasia), Virgelina Arenas’ family (Puerto Valdivia), Johana and Henry’s family (Puerto Valdivia), Omar and Lorena and Mariana and Joan’s family (Yarumal), Lenin Ortega Callejas’s family (Don Matias), Some company’s house(La Pintada), Martha Ducero Barrera (Bolombolo), Marcel Reyes Moreno and her family (Supia), Gloria Jnes Cordero (Santa Rosa), Fernando (Pereira), Carlos, Jonathan (Tulua), Lina Ruiz (Cali), Patricia, Juan, Anlly, Nelson, Idly (Piendamo), Felipe and his family (Popayan), Juan Manuel (Pasto), Horacio Erazo (Vereda Lasperansa), Laura& Eliana (Ipiales)
Edison Marcial and his family(San Gabriel), Andress, 김광열, 장운석 선생님, 이성인(quito), Maria and German (Machachi)/ Gabriel Pastro(Latacunga)/ Patricio’s family (Ambato)/ May’s family (Riobamba)/ Marielisa Villac?s, Maria Rosa and her family (Guayaquil)
Estilla Waraya(Urcos), Elena Corimanga Chunga(Combapata), Leonidas(Juliaca)
Police of Loja(Loja), Family of Juana and Alberto(Vilaque nueva urbanizacion), Hospital of Sica Sica(Sica Sica), Antonito and Hospital of Caracollo(Caracollo)
Fabian and Juan (Border), Bolivia and Paraguay Border, Immigration (Mariscal), David and Military (Villa Choferes), Military (Pozo Colorado), Local people (Rio Negro), La Pradera(Tacuara), 이민호님, 이도엽 오빠, 이민호님의 부모님 (Asuncion), 코이카 단원, Victor (Caacupe), Rafael (Nueva Austrailia), Cesal (Pastoreo), Boveto (Mallorquin), 도엽 오빠 아버님, 서정현 회장님(Ciudad del Este)
Favio Andre(Foz do Iguazu), Andriana(Matelandia), Sergio(Cascavel), Denize(Ouro Verde), Cleiton and Alcione(Foz do Iguazu ), 숙영 언니네 가족(Sau Paulo)
I have already been in Africa over four months. When I start cycling in San Francisco, my dream was to reach to LA. When I was around the Mexican border, my wish was to reach to Mexico City. Now my hope is to go to Egypt.
I hope everything is going well.