Name: Nicolai Bangsgaard
Born: 06 April 1976
Education: Cand. Scient. Anth / Anthropologist (Cph. Uni.)
A.K.A.: Fjumse, Fumil, Ace
Profile #3 (November 2009):
- Has 131 stamps in his 32-page passport.
- Is surprised that even hairdressers often can’t tell that his hair isn’t chemically coloured. Endless hours under the sun takes care of that.
- Has approximately 0 g of fat on his legs.
- Has a very good sense of direction, but often mixes up the words carrot and cucumber (Danish words “gulerod” and “agurk” only)
- Can rarely walk by a cat without trying to cuddle and cat-bond.
- Was often mildly harrassed by friends for taking zero-calorie “sugar tablets” in his coffee. His parents did it and monkey see, monkey do…
- Has taken around 90.000 photos in WT history.
- Is quite fond of the smell of musty camping gear.
- Worked as a DJ in a student bar during uni-days in Aarhus, Denmark.
- Started playing the piano at age 9, gave it up 3 years later, but can still paly Grieg’s “Morning” by heart.
- Has over the years developed a mild allergy against the (way too) common disease called small-talk.
- Had a towel so small (and weight-saving) that the laundry women in Southeast Asia counted it as a washcloth when setting the price for each piece of clothing.
- Has so far filled out 15 Moleskine diaries since departure from Denmark.
- Frequently used his sister (2½ year his senior) as an advisor when – as a kid – he needed sly tips (and guts!) as to how to approach the hot girl from school.
- Has been the owner of a mobile phone for a mere 2½ years so far.
- Is looking forward being back in Denmark, but finds the prospect of the whole one-pair-of-underwear-per-day routine a little intimidating.
- Likes sensitive people
- Is terrible at remembering details and storylines of movies he’s watched, but generally remember his over-all impression with the flick.
- Likes to keep his doors in life open and sees no reason for dreary things like career and pension plans, but nonetheless wouldn’t mind being the owner of a new Audi.
- Rarely leaves home (i.e his tent or hotel room) without his camera(s), diary, and pen.
- Thinks of himself as an observer rather than a participant
- Calls for high moral standards in his own life and in the people around him.
- Doesn’t recall seriously having bullied anyone as a kid – not even the ones who thoroughly deserved it!
- Has so far been saved from huge tragedies in life (knockx3) – weeklong and terrible headwinds in Northwest Africa notwithstanding.
- Sometimes misses Australia more than his native Denmark.
- Respects and values experience drawn from reality, from life much more than from books, but is nonetheless a big fan of libraries and book stores (espec. the non-fiction and (certain) self-help departments)
- Received the biggest sport compliment when at 13 – after a tight, victorious 3-set mixed-double match – he was asked by the opponent when he’d appear at the Roland Garros (home of the French Open tennis arena near Paris).
Profile #2 (August 2008):
- Was – according to the family chronicles – conceived in Harzen, Germany.
- Is not a great bike mechanic and gets a cold sweat every time he gets a flat tyre.
- Has a die-hard passion for tennis, cats, and the rambutan fruit.
- Easily makes a standard tube of toothpaste last for 6 months.
- Has travelled some 65 countries (August 2008).
- Speaks Danish, English, German, Spanish & Portuguese (or a mix in between the last two), understands Norwegian & Swedish, and communicates very well in the world of cats.
- Made his first classic around-the-world backpack adventures at the age of 19.
- Brushes his teeth twice daily.
- Once contracted salmonella from eating raw eggs.
- Had a calf named Nicolai after him in Leongatha, VIC, Australia.
- Likes to eat his cornflakes in silence.
- Fairly quickly runs out of patience when people speak the obvious.
- Considers himself fortunate.
- Bought his first SLR Camera at the age of 15 from his paper boy money.
- Could have been a great doctor, car dealer, or tennis player (according to himself)
- Has never been to Greenland but once (1986) had a Greenland boy living with him (and his family) that stole all his birthday money and subsequently “found” a lot of money in the street/garden/what not.
- Loves all sorts of trivia.
- Regards music as vital as oxygen in terms of survival.
- Prefers Animal Planet to any human soap opera/TV series.
- Is extremely grateful to all the people who’ve supported him (from the armchair WT reader to the people he’s met along the road) one way or another.
- Didn’t start eating tomatoes until the age of 21.
- Went to the loo approx. 120 times in 8 days when salmonella-infected.
- Finds it hard to imagine a life minus the bike right now.
- Will maybe do a marathon one day.
- Is constantly amazed at the hospitality and friendliness of the people’s of the world.
- Was once robbed at gunpoint (a gun in the back ain’t no fun!) by some mean army camouflaged bandits on a night bus in Brazil. Everyone lost pretty much everything apart from their lives (first SLR included).
- Thinks being yourself is the key to being original.
- Considers himself apolitical and atheistic yet belongs formally to the Danish National Church.
- Never had a race bike. Never had a (bone) fracture. Once had a bike helmet (NZ).
- Has a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology from Copenhagen & Aarhus Universities (DK).
- Never eats raw eggs again!
- Doesn’t grow a proper beard.
- Weighs around 73 kg.
- Doesn’t remember ever giving flowers to a girlfriend.
- Thinks happiness is the most beautiful dress of all.
- Fancies himself the King of Sudoku (undocumented).
- Experienced a nighttime earthquake on Java, Indonesia (July 2007) that was meassured at 7.9 at its epicentre.
- Is a big Thai food fan.
- Generally finds Dutch, Australian, Kiwi, and Canadian people really cool.
- Considers the idea of giving flowers overestimated.
- Is on a mission.
- Loves the smell of Australian gum trees and really dislikes celery.
- Has often been compared with Forest Gump, with a bike.
- Spent 6 months in Northeastern Brazil (2001)
on an academic vacation studying at Salvador Uni.
- Does not wear sun glasses and doesn’t like talking to people wearing them.
- Was born in Denmark on April 6th 1976 and grew up in a town delicately named Middelfart.
- Involuntarily did his military service at the Danish Civil Defence (6 months in 1996-1997)
- Writes with his left hand.
- Cycled more than 24.000 km on the same front tyre with only one(!) puncture.
- Finds worrying the biggest waste of time.
- Calls Copenhagen home, but was raised in that smelly town.
- Has one mother, one father, and one sister, 2½ years his senior.
- Is ambidextrous when playing dart.
- Hopes you (yes, you!) are happy today.
- Thanks you for the attention…
Profile #1 (Winter 2006):
Even though I’ve never done any real road racing, never had a passionate relationship to Tour de France, and never fancied multicoloured bicycle jerseys, the dream of an extended bicycle journey has followed me for quite a while. Despite of this, my beloved Norwegian backpack has been my follower year after year since I graduated from high school back in 1995 in my childhood home town Middelfart (no pun intended!). I’ve travelled with the backpack in more than 35 countries – including an unforgettable (aren’t they always?) maiden voyage around the world in 1996; my Latinamerican revelation during the travel from Mexico to Brazil in 1997/1998; six months in 2001 studying anthropology at the UFBA University in Salvador, Brazil; safari dust and lion roars with Pablo in Tanzania, summer 2003; Cuban exotism with my sister one summer month in 2004; a Morocco break from my thesis writing in the spring of 2005, and some fresh memories of the wonderful & peaceful Moroccan roads in December 2005 while the christmas stress and shopping chaos escalated back home in Denmark.
Parallel to the travels and studies I’ve worked as a travel consultant at Jysk Rejsebureau, a Danish travel agency in Copenhagen. Through countless anecdotes and stories from the world I help realizing other people’s travel dreams which has helped me through those long, cold Scandinavian winters.
To me the arithmetics here are pretty simple: 1. Through my previous travels I’ve developed appetite for the world that seems insatiable – I simply love the basis of personal freedom and independence that all journeys are built on (or should be built on). 2. For more than 15 years I’ve passionately taken photos all around the world and I’m fond of putting words on the experiences that live brings. I find great amounts of joy and satisfaction (mental & physical) through different forms of sports (spinning, fitness, running, indoor soccer) and I generally like being challenged in a physical way (which I tried at the tough DTU Adventure Race that I did autumn 2005 with a couple of friends). 3. Thus the idea of biking around the world seem like a highly alluring, explosive and unstoppable two-staged rocket, that needs to be fired.
1998-2001 I did a bachelors degree in ethnography and social anthropology at the University of Aarhus. After my studies in Brazil I moved to Copenhagen in the summer of 2001 and continued the studies. I conducting my field work at the Danish Postal Service, Post Danmark studying stress as a social and cultural phenomenon among the employees during a 4 months period.
Autumn 2005 I graduated in anthropology at the University of Copenhagen with a final thesis based on experiences and data from the field work at Post Danmark. The cand.scient.anth title is a great scalp in my house and happiness of finally having reached the Gateway to Freedom was immensily augmented riding through Moroccos endless landscapes in December 2005. The joy of freedom probably won’t decrease after our kick-off on April 1st 2006 when Chapter 1 in an expectedly long novel of adventurous experiences commences. …
At first we were two on the expedition: My friend Martin and I. This explains the plural “s” in the name of this site. We planned the expedition together and we cycled for a few weeks in Poland and again in Turkey before Martin decided (July 2006) that cycling maybe wasn’t his thing.
Name: Martin Amor
Born: 04 June 1975
Prof.: Computer game programmer
A.K.A.: Pablo, Rabat, Pabs, Pabbie, The Wolf
Ever since I was around 10-11 years old I wanted to make computergames when I grew up and in January 1996 I started in my first professional job as a computergames programmer. Now 10 years have passed and those 10 years have been filled with challenges, joys and a lot of hard work. Still I can’t imagine doing anything else than computergames. However, those 10 years have been quite a strain on body and mind and when my good friend Nicolai started to talk about going on long journeys I wasn’t late to realize that it was exactly what I wanted.
I allways wanted to travel and allways had great pleasure in seeing new places and experience new ways of doing things. Likewise I experience great fascination just by observing people. Up to and after high school I didn’t travel a lot (except study tours to Italy and Great Britain and holidays to Spain and Cypres) and the years afterwards my work became the biggest priority. Then in 2001 I embarked on my first really big trip – a trip to Brazil where I visited Nicolai and together with him travelled along the east coast of Brazil for a month. It was amazing and I made a promise that I would – as far as possible – go on a trip at least every year. In 2002 I went to Thailand for 6 weeks, in 2003 3 weeks in Tanzania, in 2004 3 weeks to Japan and in 2005 a single week in Japan aswell.
Those two vists to Japan have awoken a dormant interest which has been in me ever since I was a small child and I can’t wait to see Japan again. This time on a bicycle and a greater time frame. The past winter months of 2005 and during the spring of 2006 I’ve started to learn the difficult Japanese language so I really can try to act as a guide for Nicolai when we get that far!
After graduating high school in 1995 I worked 6 years in Oslo, Norway. There I primarily worked as a lead programmer on a pioneer project within the genre massive-multiplayer-online-game. The game is called Anarchy Online and is still active today. In 2002 I moved back to the longest missed family and friends and made a home for myself in Copenhagen. The first year I set up my own firm (together with two friends) and since got a job at IO Interactive in January 2003. My employment have led to the projects “Hitman: Contracts” from 2004 and lately I’ve been working as Technical Producer on “Hitman: Bloodmoney” which is released spring 2006.
Besides getting a much-needed break from corporate life there is another motivation behind embarking on such a great journey. I have a large wish to experience the world as it really is. Good things and bad things. We often get so many different input from medias and it’s difficult to figure out what’s right and wrong. I want to travel around on good old Mother Earth and see for myself. See how things are with Mother Earth and all her wonderful people.