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    Newsletter from Tangier, Morocco (UK)

    Sitting in my hotel room in Tangier at the northern tip of Morocco, just a few hours before I’ll catch a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Algeciras, Spain, I feel extremely excited that I’m going back to mainland Europe, 3 years and 5 months (or some 52.000 km) since I left it in Istanbul during the World Cup Soccer in June 2006.

    It’s impossible for me not to get emotional about the whole thing, about the fact that I’m going to pull this mad round-the-world-by-bicycle expedition off, that I’m going to finish it, finish what has been my dream and my life for the last 1.327 days. Every piece of DNA in my body knows that this is the very end of what at first (and at several times after, believe me!) seemed like an almost impossible dream of infinite asphalt, when Martin and I took off in Copenhagen, April 2006.

    Thinking about this on my way to Tangier yesterday I had a strong, emotional wave rushing through me, a wave that’s been building up inside of me possibly since I left my country, my family, my friends, and everything else. Tears (and I don’t expect them to be the last of its kind) fell on the asphalt, on the bike, my trusty, sole companion. It feels so heavy, this situation, and yet I feel immensely elevated, proud, and delighted about it all.

    A mere 11 weeks and 5.600 km after I left the Ghanaian capital Accra on the Bay of Guinea, 6 degrees north of the Equator, I’m leaving Africa, my last continent, altogether. Knowing that the next few months up through Western Europe will be the last in WT history intensifies the moment, makes me want to relish every stroke of the pedals (no matter how cold those European winter nights will be lying in my tent), and makes it all too clear to me that never again will I be as free, unconcerned, and egoistically uncommitted – or as lonely and distant (psychologically more than physically) from my beloved ones.

    I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to be home. What it will be like in Denmark after nearly 4 years on the go, what I’ll do, I’ve got not idea (well, a few maybe). That’s another challenge for another time. But I do know that I miss my family and my friends more than anything I’ve ever missed, and that’s all the reason I need to be going home (plus, yes, I’m running out of continents too!).

    Much as I’ve enjoyed this huge challenge – and I feel incredible grateful for all the moments (of joy, of challenge, of excitement, of beauty), for the places, the faces, for the perceptible and the more subtle ways that this expedition (and my contact with all facets of this wonderful world) has forever changed me (or not) – that is the WT, a seven-nation army couldn’t stop me now (maybe a freak encounter with an extraordinarily fine Andalusian beauty could make me consider pulling the breaks, thogh). I’m going home.

    Even my bike has been eager to get back to Europe lately. Yesterday, e.g. saw us flying north along the Atlantic coast with an average of 24 km/h over 157 km, and my bike’s behaving like a mule that rapidly and semi-automatically is headed for the barn after a long days’ work in the fields. Don’t blame the bike: No matter how you look at it, 58.389 km is a long day’s work.

    Now if you’d excuse me for a second. I’ve got a ferry to catch and a (last) bit of cycling to do. I will get back to you at some point, but do expect long delays and silences.

    Thanks for the attention, thanks for letting me have someone to share this adventure with, thanks for your perpetual support and encouragement.

    Nicolai

    On this day..

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    19 Responses to “Newsletter from Tangier, Morocco (UK)”

    1. Thomas J. Olesen Says:

      Needless to say, it is extremely interesting to follow you due to your incredible journey, but because of your open, emotional and personal diary it’s almost as if I feel, I’m right there! And that’s special!… No wonder you’re getting emotional! And as said earlier – should you come through or near Munich going North, pass a note and you’ll get a break from the tent :-)

      Wishing best of luck and tailwinds!

      Thomas O.

    2. Clare & Ferdy Says:

      Hi Nicolai,
      Thank you so much for sharing your journey, for making us part of this beautiful and inspiring expedition.
      We really enjoyed it.
      Have fun in Europe, goodluck with the last miles on your way back to Denmark.

      Clare & Ferdy
      (Luang Prabang, april 2007)

    3. ramon Says:

      Nicolai, det bliver et kulturchok, når du kommer til DK og skal indordne dig under livets almindelige genvordigheder. Men heldet har en vis svaghed for den dygtige, så det klarer du også!
      Hilsen,
      Hr Strøbæk ;-)

    4. Karsten ITK Says:

      Tusind tak herfra. Fordi du inviterede os med på WT. Af og til har vi haft det som om vi selv var med. Vi kunne føle, mærke og dufte dine oplevelser. Fantastisk nærvær du har udvist.
      Vi hænger på på den sidste del af turen og ser hen til måske at kunne booke dig til at foredrag engang ?
      Skulle du iøvrigt lægge din vej igennem Zaragoza så giv mig en melding. Så skal jeg sørge for at du bliver behørigt modtaget og beværtet.
      Hilsen
      IT-Kompetence, Karsten og familie.

    5. Ronald Meyer (the Netherlands)(Granada, viavia cafe Nicaragua) Says:

      Nicolai,

      Enjoy the last bit of your trip. Amazing! May the wind be at your back and the sun upon your face!

      Take care

      Ronald

    6. max und heidi Says:

      Hoi Nicolai!

      You are almost at home. Congratulations you did a great job.
      If you maybe come through switzerland there is a warm, soft bed waiting for you.
      Take care
      max und heidi

    7. Keith Mackenzie Says:

      Hi Nicolai,

      It is an awesome undertaking you have nearly accomplished. Not only to take yourself around the 7 continents but to take the rest of us with you.
      It was a pleasure to be Turkish bathing with you so long ago and again when you visited us for a rugby test in Auckland, NZ.

      Good luck for the final legs and the winter nights.
      Hopefully we’ll come to visit you in your homeland one day.

      Luck and thoughts,
      Keith

    8. Adrian Nordenborg Says:

      Welcome home Nicolai!

      I can just join in and agree with all the previous writers.
      On and off I been taking part of your trip news since we met in Morocco 2005.
      I´m so impressed how skillful you have been transmitting your experiences, emotions and adventures. Also your way of using the technology in combination with your brilliant bilingual texts, stunning photos and your nice film clips, all been put togheter very proffessional. I guess it´s easy to be hit by some kind of vacuum feeling after fulfilling a trip with so much impessions, that in combination with the facts that not much have changed in everyday life at home, can be frustrating. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. Whatever you decide to do in the future I´m sure it will be good.
      Nicolai, thanks for contributing to show that this world is a magnificent place with a lot of friendly people. Hope to see you again one day.
      Best regards Adrian :-)

    9. René Says:

      Kære Nicolai

      Du er min helt, jeg beundrer dig! – I en alder af 53 år er det at rejse stadig det største i mit liv, og jeg elsker også mine cykler. Men det er dig, der har åbnet mine øjne for mulighederne i kombinationen cykel/rejse. Tusind tak for det! Nu ved jeg, hvad jeg skal lave, når jeg går på pension.

      Jeg håber, du vil gøre din entré på Rådhuspladsen, så alle dine fans kan få lov at møde dig, når du vender hjem.

      God vind, René

    10. ahmet mumcu Says:

      Nicolai,

      Incredible, what you’ve been doing since you started from Istanbul. Unfortunately I could’t say goodby from istanbul but I thought of you in every single kilometer.

      I wish I could join you but, but,….

      I let you know, you’ve got fans and friends all over the world.

      One of them is from Istanbul,

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      Ahmet Mumcu

      http://www.mumju.com

    11. Edgardo Azabache Says:

      What a great traveller you are!…I have been enjoying your long trip by reading your travel experiences….I am also a traveller and love moving into other countries…..I know and understand what your feelings are at this moment….you are a human being with a great interior world and this trip, this adventure have enriched you much more…I am sure you are different now….you can not be the same…travelling around the world have made to feel life and people in a different way…..your life is better now…the adventure is now at the last stage but life goes on and you will be riding your bike again in the future….Many thanks for sharing your long trip with me and for encouraging me to keep on travelling around the world….You gave us a lesson of life, a lesson about how to know the world we live in…If you can not make your life is longer then do it wider and so your horizons!..This is what i read one day and it became true for you…your life is now wider.
      Thanks Nicolai, I never met you in person when you visited my country, Peru, but I would have liked so much…i am an active member of Couchsurfing and met many travellers like you.

      I am about to begin a new adventure in Europe for the third time and maybe i will have the pleasure to meet you, maybe.
      Thanks for showing me the world…you left traces on your route!
      GOOD LUCK IN YOUR FUTURE LIFE…..A BIG HUG FROM PERU.
      E MAIL edgarstar5@hotmail.com

    12. Nicolai Says:

      Thomas, I’ve put a mental note on Munich and thanks a lot for the open doors. Would be super to catch up again. Will keep in touch!

    13. Nicolai Says:

      Hr. Strøbæk, ja, det bliver en enorm omvæltning, som så småt allerede er begyndt her i det stærkt udbyggede og hyperhippe Costa Del Sol. Men jeg er klar til den omvæltning/udfordring, med eller uden heldet på min side ;-)

    14. Nicolai Says:

      Hej Karsten…Dejligt at høre, at du stadig hænger på, after all these years. :-)
      Det er ganske enkelt mig der takker, for opbakningen (den moralske og monetære) fra dig og IT-kompetence. Jeg kunne godt forestille mig, at jeg er modtagelig for en foredrags-booking efter hjemkomst. Vi tales ved, ikk’…

      Tak. Igen.

      Nicolai

    15. Nicolai Says:

      Max & Heidi. Thanks for the warm bed invite. Switzerland is still an option for me. Depending on my mood, the weather, and other unknown quantities…

    16. Nicolai Says:

      Hi Keith…Fond are my memories still from our two encounters on different continents.
      That Turkish bath day seem soo distant, doesn’t it. Thanks for the thoughts. Hope all is good with life and love.

      Nicolai

    17. Nicolai Says:

      Adrian, thank you so much for the compliments! It keeps me warm on an otherwise bitterly cold and rainy day here in Málaga. Tack så mycket…

    18. Nicolai Says:

      Dejligt at du har givet mig lov til at åbne dine øjne, Rene.

      Ja, mon ikke Rådhuspladsen kunne være et fint sted at slutte WT. In style!

    19. Nicolai Says:

      …also big thank you’s to the rest of you, for your replies and words. I appreciate every bit of it. Makes me feel very fortunate, on top of this fortunate dream-come-true of mine called WT.

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