Valtteri Heinila was working at a startup when he realized he needed a break.
“I began noticing that point is absolutely speeding up,” said Valtteri, 26. The days began to blur, after which the months began to blur.
He wasn’t content with a straightforward vacation. Instead, he traveled 15,400 kilometers (9,600 mi) on the z route From Finland to Singapore – by bike.
Heinila, together along with his friend Alvari Poikola, cycled through 21 countries in eight months, CNBC told CNBC. The men selected Singapore as their destination since it was the furthest point they may cycle to, Heinila said.
The couple cycled most of the way in which, but took a number of flights “after we weren’t capable of cycle,” he said. He said that the land borders in Azerbaijan and Myanmar, for instance, have been closed.
“Russia … is a war zone,” he added. “Afghanistan is under Taliban rule, China [was] to not issue tourist visas.
Valtteri Heinila (left) and Alvari Poikola within the Imperial City of Hue, Vietnam.
Cycling long distances helped Heinila escape the “social hustle and bustle,” he said. “It helps you get into your personal head [and] find out about yourself ten hours a day within the saddle,” he added.
Heinila said he had no experience with long-distance cycling before he left, but he was adventurous and enjoyed the outside. “I liked doing things that made me uncomfortable because I discovered that they made me feel alive.”
Acting with no training plan or meals, Heinila said he gained physical strength in the primary leg of his journey. “We realized that Eastern Europe is kind of flat [was] our training … before we reached the mountains of Georgia and Tajikistan,” he added.
Heinil in Kyrgyzstan, along the border with Tajikistan.
He said Heinila cycled through Central Asian countries equivalent to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan before reaching Southeast Asia, where his route snaked through countries equivalent to Vietnam and Thailand. He added that it was a chance to see how “a lot of the world” lives.
“In Finland, we’re extremely privileged. We desired to get a glimpse of reality,” said Heinila.
The couple often cooked oatmeal for breakfast and on rare occasions made banana pancakes, Heinila said. He added that after pedaling for several hours, the 2 stopped to cook lunch within the shade.
“Our budget was $20 a day. We kept to the bare minimum,” said Heinila. He added that after, once they ran out of cooking gas, they ate raw eggs from the shop.
Heinila and Poikola on top of Mardi Himal in Nepal.
Heinila said he had focused on securing basic necessities equivalent to food, water, toilet paper and a spot to pitch a tent for the night.
“You do not have time to take into consideration nonsense just like the past or the long run. You concentrate on survival and I feel it’s the most effective feeling on the planet,” he said.
According to a post on his Instagram account, by the point Heinila had ridden 10,000 kilometers, he had punctured a bicycle tire 37 times. He said that along with tires, he also learned to repair and rebuild other bicycle parts, equivalent to racks and panniers.
Heinila keeps tools in Romania.
“When you may have a necessity, just make it up,” he said.
Life on the road could be “dangerous”, equivalent to when two men ran out of water while traveling through Tajikistan, Heinila said.
Heinila cycled greater than 20 kilometers to the road to scoop up water from a passing truck, battling an all-day bout of diarrhea and dizziness, he said. “Your body goes into survival mode and you simply cope with the challenges,” he said.
Heinili tent in Turkey.
Despite the challenges, Heinil said he had no desire to provide up “for some time”. He said the difficulties were value it due to the “ten years’ value” memories Heinila created in a number of months. He added that cycling through the mountain valleys of Tajikistan and seeing its “extraordinary” cultural heritage was essentially the most unforgettable for him.
Heinila said he was also struck by Tajikistan’s hospitality. “They fed us, taken care of us like their very own children,” he said. “Everyone felt almost like family since the communities were so small.”
He said the very first thing Heinila and Poikola did upon arriving in Singapore was to go to the residence of the Finnish ambassador, where that they had a small celebration with other Finns. He added that later that night the lads reminisced about their journey while admiring the view from The Fullerton Hotel Singapore where they shot down the Singapore Slings.
Heinila and Poikola in front of Marina Bay in Singapore.
He said that when Heinila first launched into his journey, he was afraid of the results it could have on his profession path.
“Now I feel like I can get any job I need. I actually have incredible confidence,” he said.
But returning to work behind a desk after “tasting freedom for thus long” shall be an adjustment, Heinila added. “It’s a fight to maintain that sense of freedom while contributing to society in essentially the most meaningful way that I can,” he said.
Heinila has ideas for more adventures in the long run, equivalent to crossing the Baltic Sea on a paddle board, he said. He added that it was essential for people to just accept discomfort slightly than being “trapped in planning for the long run.”
“There’s a complete world on the market.”