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Rainy Day

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Rainy Day

I peeked out of my tent again, this time by a beach near Bøvær. It was my third night on Senja, even though the island is small enough to ride through in one day. What’s the point of hurrying when the scenery is so good?

Except today the views weren't as great. It had rained most of the night and according to the forecast, would keep raining until the following day. I didn’t mind. This time I’d actually get to rest on my rest day! There was plenty of food and water to wait out the weather. Plus my phone, laptop and power bank were all at full charge. I was comfortable right where I was.

Wait a second.. this isn't sand. It's billions of pieces of crushed shells!

I had found my secluded beach late in the previous night. On the way I had passed the much bigger Ersfjord beach, which several people had recommended as a great camping spot. When I was there in the evening it was absolutely full of people. I counted 24 tents, 10 caravans and several campfires, and those were just the ones I could see where I was standing. The beach itself was indeed beautiful, but that’s a little too many tourists for my liking.

You see, I don’t like crowds. I enjoy meeting people, and I’m always disappointed if someone at a rest stop avoids eye contact, or responds in a mild “not interested” kind of way to my usual hello. But I really prefer people in small doses. Honestly, large groups and crowds tend to make me slightly anxious. And for me it’s not camping if I can’t visit the bushes without being seen by half a dozen people. So I didn’t stay.

With the sound of rain on my tent fly, I spent the day quietly doing blog stuff, napping, eating, and just generally allowing my muscles to recover. It’s very important that I remember to rest even when not forced to by the weather. Although the actual cycling is very slow and relaxed and much less strenuous than you might imagine for this kind of journey, some amount of rest is still required even at my pace.

And going slowly is basically my motto. I talk about this and other topics in a well-written interview I had with Alpaca Travel: Click here to read it.

Cooking under the tent door flaps.

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Around the World by Bicycle

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Around the World by Bicycle

So my dream is to cycle around the world.

This has been my life's biggest goal for at least a couple years now. Of course I could've packed my bags and set off almost as soon as I got the idea. But I wanted to get a couple things sorted first. Mainly, to learn photography to the point where I can somewhat confidently take high quality images along the way. Somehow I felt I wouldn't want to pedal for five years in truly amazing landscapes and end up with mediocre holiday photos. And secondly, sort my finances enough so that I wouldn't need to rely on the kindness of strangers just to get by.

The current idea for an approximate route is this: North Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, East Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, North America. After that, I don't know. Whether the oceans will be crossed by plane or boat is also still undecided.

The world record for circumnavigating the globe is 123 days. Most people do this in a year or two or three. I have no interest in trying to set any records. Not that I could even if I wanted to - my athletic prowess is somewhere on the level of a wet baby koala. But more importantly, the point of the trip is to enjoy the adventure and take as much time as I want. Trying to go fast would miss the entire purpose of the journey. Nothing kills enjoyment as easily as hurry. So I've set aside at least five years.

But who knows, it might take longer.

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Introduction

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Introduction

My name is Tomi Rantanen. I’m a 35-year-old photographer and long distance bicycle tourer from Finland.

I’ve been cycling for four years. Every summer I pack my bike and hit the road for two or three months. I simply love everything about this hobby. The adventure, excitement, sense of pure freedom, fresh air, gorgeous views, connection to nature, self-sufficiency, all the amazing people I meet, and the countless learning experiences. Here are my previous trips:

2013: I toured in South Europe, around Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Hungary (3000km)
2014: Criss-crossed from South Finland to the Arctic Ocean in Norway (3000km)
2015: Cycled to all 39 national parks in Finland (5250km)
2016: Nightless night tour in North Norway above the Arctic Circle (2000km)

You can find photos from the last three tours in the Gallery section.

I’ve studied photography for three years. The motivation to learn came in Slovenia. I didn’t think I could ever adequately describe the beautiful landscapes there, and phone snapshots just weren’t enough. So I decided to study photography in order to show friends and family how amazing the places I visit are. I bought my first DSLR in early 2014 and now my goal is to become a professional eventually.

My even bigger aspiration is to cycle around the world. More on that later.

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