It is easy to take those who are closest to you for granted – but that is not right. My family is by far my strongest support group and also my best critic. For four years, they are supporting my project to cycle around the world which is not only a month of being away every year but also many days of preparation and endless stories about travel plans, bike gear, and sponsor updates 🙂
My wife Carolin always challenges me not to lose faith in my project or become too crazy with my ideas. She keeps me grounded and gives me (sometimes tough) feedback – but always coming from a place of love and growth. She once said something like “You can either do your PhD or you can cycle around the world – but you cannot do both. And … little hint … I rather like to have a husband who is fit and happy than one who is fat and nerdy!”. I made my choice and I have not regretted it ever. Hannah was the one to urge me to only leave for such a trip with sufficient training so that I would be safe and healthy. So, for a couple of years now, I am training throughout the entire year doing about 6,000 km on the bike and about half of that before every tour. Kara once gave me feedback that a fundraising tour for the benefit of zis does not go well together with staying in hotels – which after some arguing made sense to me. So after 30 years, I went back to sleeping in a tent … and absolutely loved it. Tabea once overheard me speaking about a place full of hip influencers and how I would not fit in and then she said “but you, too, are an influencer!” which put a big smile on my face. I had never thought of it like that.
It is these small, precious moments with my loved ones that stick in my memory forever. So, thank you to my dear family for loving and supporting me relentlessly over all these years. I love you!