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Featured Journal

By trevorborden and laurenabe

Author’s Google+ Profile

We’re kicking off our featured series in 2015 with one epic adventure shared in two beautiful journals. Last September, Trevor, Karly and Lauren set out on an amazing bike excursion through Europe. Their three-month adventure began just outside of Amsterdam, and continued through the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, and finally ended in Lisbon, Portugal. Their journals capture the deep connections they made with the landscapes and people they encountered along the way.

Trevor and Karly Borden

Trevor and Karly Borden are newlyweds who have the audacity to think that the world is not as mean as the news would have you think, and that people are more good than bad. In their spare time they write and perform folk music, and arrange custom adventures and safaris to Tanzania, East Africa. If you would like to go on safari, visit Old Mountain (the photo gallery alone is worth a look!). You can also follow Trevor, who is now based in Austin, Texas, on Instagram.

What lead you to go on this bike trip?

We have been getting pretty excited about bikes over the last few years. We like camping and exploring and we liked the idea of getting to know the land by pedaling over it. I’m not sure when we decided we were going spend three months exploring Europe. It just kind of happened, and we started telling people we were going to do it. I think we looked at a map all together about one time before we set out.

What was your most memorable experience during this trip?

I think the most memorable experience was meeting so many incredibly generous strangers. We were hosted by all kinds of people in all kinds of situations, from French moms along the Rhone River to Syrian ballet dancers in Linz, Austria. Trusting people can be terrifying at times, and we had a few moments where we really questioned our own judgment, but we came away from our trip pretty confident that people are generally good and want to look out for each other.

What’s your favorite travel tip?

If you want to travel, travel. You don’t need anything to travel. Walk. Ride a bike. Roller blade. Hitch hike. Buy a yacht. It doesn’t matter. Just stop talking about it. Be open and generous. Travel is easy. It’s choosing to travel that people get hung up on.

Read their journal here, and follow Trevor at @trevorborden.

Lauren Abrahamian

Raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lauren Abrahamian moved to California to study Sociology. Great friends, family and year-round sunshine have kept her there for the past 8 years. About a year and a half ago, she fell in love with biking as a means of travel and went on her first trip down the California coast in 2013. Lauren feels that biking allows you to connect to a place unlike any other form of travel -- you intimately learn about every hill and turn of a landscape, you’re forced to rely on locals for help and guidance, and your comfort zones are stretched to the max. She also loves the feeling of an unplanned adventure, which she enjoys sharing on Instagram.

What led you to go on this bike trip?

For me, deciding to go on this trip was a natural next adventure. I had been on one bike trip that had whet my palate for more bike adventures and my desire to travel out of the country was growing to the spilling point. Also, a new life phase and perspective was needed in my life. Another clinching factor was that I had two amazing friends who also had the same desire to push the travel limits. So we set out to save some money, bought plane tickets and didn’t look back. The trip wasn’t without sacrifices, but it was beautifully woven into my life for a season and all my experiences from the trip will inform my next steps.

What was your most memorable experience during this trip?

Some of our most memorable experiences came from meeting locals and being hosted by them. We stayed with friends and friends of friends, as well as strangers we had met that day. These proved to be some of the most enriching and encouraging experiences and gave me a deeper sense of connection to humanity as a whole. Often we would set out for the day not knowing where we would end up or where we would sleep, but these days were some of the most exciting and gave some of the best gifts. My journal highlights a lot of these stories that I will not soon forget.

What’s your favorite travel tip?

There are as many ways to travel as there are people in this world. The possibilities are endless. If you even have the slightest desire to travel, answer that desire. You can make a lot happen with little money, and next to no experience. All you need is boldness and you’ll surprise yourself with the people and places you’ll see. Also, seek out local hosts. Experiences with locals are invaluable to knowing a place better. You won’t be sorry. Couchsurfing and Warm Showers (for cyclists) are great places to start.

Read Lauren’s journal here, and follow her at @laurenabe.