In 2016, Olivier and Zoë started their journey by bike, sail and foot. With WeLeaf they want to inspire other people to travel on their own and to discover nature. Since they are Europeans, they support bringing wilderness and adventure closer to the people that live in Europe, so they can travel with a smaller ecological footprint. This is why they support Rewilding Europe and The European Safari Company. We invite you to follow their journey with us. After a year and a half of biking through Latin America, we cross the border ‘into the West’. We roll from Mexico the the USA. It’s easy and fast, and the American border security even want to take photos with us.
Of course we are judgemental, even after all out travel experience. We expect the Americans to be cowboys living in wild dry landcapes, long roads, and some country music to finish it off. Combined with unhealthy eating habits. We were on point with regards to the eating habits, but the landscapes surprise us completely. It is a pure green oasis, moist and full of waterways. We see dear grazing in the fields and turtles crossing the tarmac. The deer remind us of France. It has been so long ago that we cycled amongst animals, not since Europe in fact. It is wild and wonderful and so different than we expected. We’re still feeling out the Americans.
They are no cowboys, they live from aircon room to aircon room. If they are not home or at work, they are in their car. All facilities such as restaurants but also banks and supermarkets, are drive-through. So that no one has to leave the car. The result is that it is hard for us to come into contact with people. Out on the street we feel like the only living creatures, on our bikes. The contrast is unreal. We move every day and can eat what we want without becoming obese, we feel the air, adjust to the sun and enjoy the shade. The airconditioning makes us sick.
The bike brings us closer to nature, so that we can even hear her. We see her. Her ears are flapping around to keep the flies away. Oliver senses her first. He points and gestures to stop. Zoë stops pedalling. Speed brings us closer without a sound. The deer is grazing with it’s head in the grass. Then the ears pick up our sound and the head comes up. It is deadly quiet. We just hear her sigh, then she sprints off. With big jumps, far into the woods. Next month we are switching from cycling to long distance walking. On foot we will cross four American states over the famous Appalachian Trail, through deep forests we hope to find more wild animals and spoil our senses.
Zoë en Olivier - WeLeaf