The 5 years I have estimated this combined bicycling and backpacking around-the-world trip to take is quite random. As stated under itinerary I have a rough idea about the first 2½ years when I expect to have finished bicycling around North America and Australia, but after that I have no idea. Bicycle-wise it depends on the seasons, my mood, people's recommendations, the security situation in certain regions, etc. I might decide to leave the bicycle somewhere in Asia and/or the Middle East and backpack around for a while, which will prolong the trip.
But time is not important on this trip – neither is bicycling all the way around the world. What I'm seeking to get out of the trip, is to develop as a person and to find a new purpose in life (see the section Previous trips for more on this subject). Hopefully experiencing different places, cultures and people will help me in that process. At the same time it's crucial that I'm enjoying myself and having fun along the way – if not, I have to make some changes. So if I feel like quitting or settling down somewhere along the way, it's not a defeat but a positive sign that something better and more interesting have come along, that I need to try out.
Some people have suggested that in stead of seeking something new, I'm running away from something - and it could be true. Thinking about it, I might be running away from the societal norms and culture of my country. The more I travel the less Danish I feel, and after travelling a lot I don't see myself being happy living in Denmark with a house, wife, children cars, job, etc., where most days resemble each other and where there's a tendency of having enough in ourselves. We talk a lot about globalisation but reality is, that as a society we are neither capable nor willing to pro-actively change our mindsets and make the necessary reforms to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing world around us – we will re-actively (and unwillingly) change when we can no longer avoid it.
By nature I'm a restless soul who doesn't feel comfortable settling down and doing the same thing for too long at a time. When travelling I feel free, because there are no commitments and no concerns - just seizing the day, living in the moment, having fun and enjoying life as much as possible. The good life is now – neither in the past nor in the future. In Denmark I more often have to explain myself, my choices and my priorities, because I don't comply with the norms. This never occurs on the road where there seem to be a greater acceptance and respect for me doing what feel is right for me.
Some people have asked me if I'm going to travel for the rest of my life and the honest answer is: I don't know and neither do I care. If it feels right travelling, I'll continue doing so, but if something more interesting comes along I'll do that. Whatever feels right for me at a certain time in life is what I'll do – this enhances the likelihood that I'll be happy and happiness is all life is about. See the section Philosophy of life for more on this subject.