Published: Wed 06 Sep 2017.

Journey map

East Asia by Bike

There are a lot of hobbies you can do outside school and when you are committed to it, you can do awesome things!

Having a hobby is highly important as it helps you release stress, enrich your perspectives, and open new opportunities to meet people! You can also explore new skills and ideas. Last but not least, you can build your self esteem and be 100% you!

Here is an interview with a Chalmers architecture student who is extra passionate about his hobby. He is William Siesjö. His passion towards cycling gives so much colors in his life and it inspires him to do different things. Here it goes!

Q : Hi William, can you tell us about yourself?
A : Hi, I’m curious and very social person who loves food, except for honeydew, that literally makes me puke. My mom recently made me try a salad with it. Pure evil.

Q : Please tell us about your plan for this summer?
A : Me and my dad will cycle from northernmost Japan to southern Vietnam, passing through South Korea, China and Laos. What I think we both look the most forward to, being architects, is Japan. It's also the only country neither one of us has been to before.

Q : That’s so awesome! How come you came up with this idea?
A : Back in 2011 we did a cycle trip from Cologne in Germany to Cadaques in Spain. It was 16 days of European summer from the saddle, full of great food and sleeping outdoors. Really the best spice is hunger and a foolproof way to get hungry is to cycle all day every day. Our pace is going to be a lot more chill this time around.

Q : How is your preparation going and what is your biggest challenge so far in the preparation?
A : Ooh, time management, lame as it sounds, getting all of those thing done before you leave, is there ever enough time. I mean maybe you don't HAVE to have that coffee with that one person but then again, you actually DO. The day before leaving I was finishing of painting the house I live in dad was an angel and helped me til the end. I think both of us are good at solving things ad hoc, take things as they come.

Q : Which place is the one you’re most excited about and why?
A : Tookyyoo, without a doubt. Growing up an anime-fan I practically know Japanese (ok not true but still). A place with all them neon lights, all the otherness, at least for me coming from a Swedish cultural context. It just seems like a crazy almost surreal reality, the busiest place on earth in a country where just making tea can be an elaborate ritual. I want to get under the city’s skin (as much as I can in the short amount of time at my disposal). In short, feeling so psyched. It will also be our first longer stop sans-bikes. Let the ass get its well-deserved rest.

Q : How do you think this trip will help your study or your self-development?
A : Podcasts, I’ve downloaded tons, and I’m listening every now and then when I feel like it. I mean, carpe diem and all that, I enjoy the beautiful landscapes and sceneries we’re cycling through - but it's long hours in the saddle. Stuff you should know, BBC documentaries and several Swedish podcasts (like sommar i P1). Tip for Swedish learners I think it's a great resource, a chance to listen to great and varied storytelling in Swedish, look it up! I recently listened to a podcast on Kant, he thought one has a responsibility towards oneself to develop one's skills and learn more, I kind of like that mindset and approach.

Q : Is there a personal philosophy or motto behind this trip?
A : Oh, my constant struggle. I think I try to learn to be a bit more patient.. I think I try haha, fail. Well, I’m trying to give myself some more headspace, yes that's an app, it's going quite ok, trying to learn how to meditate a bit. Aka chill.

Q : We wish you good luck and we hope you will have a safe and inspiring trip! Any messages for the readers?
A : Go get yourself a bike. It’s been proven in statistics that cyclists and pedestrians are happier people than car owners, a good step in the right direction :)
Pictures of William Siesjö Exploring Japan

Awesome, right? The last time I spoke with William, he is in Tokyo already and I am super happy for him to finally reach the place he really wants to visit! If you are curious and wants to know more about his trip, follow his journey in his blog : East Asia by Bike at https://eastasiabybike.wordpress.com/

Text by Alberta Maria Titis Rum Kuntari
Photos by William Siesjö

Published: Wed 06 Sep 2017.