This one is for all of you that are wondering how it is to switch from a 5 ton truck to a bike and back. Here is our 2 cents:
This one is going to the bike clearly.
Yeah, it is nice to sit up high in the truck above everyone getting to wherever you want with this big bumblebee – with the bike this is just pure fun though. Stumbling through the city centers, hopping on the back roads and get in touch is just awesome. Feel, smell and see everything you pass by, is just a whole different experience. It is just pure freedom!
The cost of traveling with a bike differ a lot with those when you are travelling with a camper.
It is not really the amount that we are talking about but just spend the money differently. While our truck is consuming quite a bit of our monthly budget the bike was of course doing a lot better. On the other hand the expenses for hostels and stays make up easily for these savings. For both ways of travelling, it is extremely dependent on the countries travelled how much you spend on food and restaurants. With the truck you are just a little more flexible as you can just cook yourself whenever going out is expensive. With the bike we pretty much only ate out on the streets of Nepal and India which was super cheap. The restaurants though were rather expensive. At the end it is a little less expensive for us to travel with the truck. If you travelling by yourself it would probably be the bike though.
Home is where we park it! Super easy with the truck. Quite difficult with the bike in India. There is just very little space for camping. In the Kazakh steppe of course this looks a whole lot different. So again the destination is crucial. In any case you are going to have to find places to stay in urban areas whenever travelling with a bike. Of course couchsurfing, Airbnb and TripAdvisor make the hard life of the traveler a little easier but this one is clearly going to the truck. Home is where you park it.
Get groceries on the local markets, find workshops for the truck or just have a chat about the car with some locals. All of this is just daily business with the truck. Some of you would probably be annoyed by to take care of water, food, diesel and work on the truck on a daily basis. For us, this is the way to get into the country, to the locals, as you are having something like a household just like all of them. This is just where everyone goes. You usually don’t find a lot of locals at the tourist attractions.
Just like we have said before, it is a little harder to be that flexible with the bike. Especially in SEA. Getting off the beaten path is really hard as you have to get back to some kind of hostel or place to stay. In different places this might be easier, but that extra freedom is paid by a lot more weight of the camping stuff on the bike.
As usual, there is no perfect way to answer this question. We are happy to be back in our truck soon. As a home and as a heartbreaker he is doing a really good job. Even though we will now be back in our lame and loud truck soon, we think that home shouldn’t be somewhere else when long term travelling. Shorter trips up to half year shouldn’t be a big deal but for everything longer than that we would pick our big one.