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In 2019 I started my incredible journey through Europe with my bicycle and my dog Zuri. What experiences I gained and what richness the journey brought me is beyond words. It was the most beautiful and intense journey of my life so far and I went around the world with my backpack at the age of 20, but this was nothing in comparison.
We cycled almost 6800 km through 12 countries. We started in April from Germany, then went to Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic and back to Germany in September 2019.
Why I travelled by bicycle
For me it was important to find a travel opportunity that is sustainable and where my dog Zuri can also be active. I don’t want to get on a plane indiscriminately in order to fly on holiday with it. I love nature and adventure and everything inside me bubbles over when I stand in front of a beautiful waterfall or on top of a mountain. I want to experience the world but without destroying it. There is unbelievably beautiful nature around us to discover. We don’t need to go far.
This journey was also a gift to Zuri
The trip was also meant to be a gift to Zuri, because she has spent most of her lifetime under my desk, while I was finishing my PhD in environmental psychology, giving me emotional support. She was diagnosed with a tumour in her head when she was 6 months old and the vet at the time said that she only had about 1 year to live. Back then I was shocked because only 3 months before I had lost my mother due to cancer.
Now Zuri is 5 years old and she is still as lively as ever. The vet has no explanation for this. She contradicts any tumour theory. She is a dog that is full of energy, happiness and kind to everyone she meets. If I had to describe her with one simple phrase it would be pure joy of living. She shows me every day that life is full of joy, but you don’t know when it will end and I should spend it with something that fulfils me.