At an average speed of 30km / h from Switzerland to Australia via Iran and India – that was the plan of Margit Hasselwander when he launched his moped on Sunny on in August 2019. Then came the corona – it got stuck in Turkey.
She waited almost ten months for the trip. Then she and her supporters, a moped company in Switzerland, decided to cancel the project.
Margit Hasselvandar: I had to arrange a lot to get it back, for example a way to send my »Sunny« motorcycle. I already had time. But my ego still struggles with that decision. After all, I had already imagined what one day would be like in Australia. Not getting any more in Turkey is bitter – even though I know there is nothing I can do about the epidemic.
Spiegel: What was your original plan and how did you plan to implement your world tour?
Photo: Margit Hasselvander
Hasselvander: I wanted to go from Switzerland to India via Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and then via Southeast Asia Australia. But of course it was always clear: a thousand things can happen along the way, so you have to be flexible along the way on such a long journey. That is why there is no fixed schedule.
Spiegel: You are traveling – with an interruption – from August 2019, traveling to other places via Croatia and Albania. What did you meet there?
Hasselvander: For me, the best moments are when I decide to stay in one place – because it’s so beautiful or people are so awesome. For example, in Roskov, Albania, I had a breakdown, and as I was descending, someone ran up to me in blue overs – his name was Mandi. He immediately pushed my moped into his garage and told me to wait with his family. When I got there, the bean soup was almost on the table. So it continued. Eventually I stayed for ten days, lived with family, ate with them, visited their tomato garden and visited their friends and relatives.
Spiegel: What did you learn about life in Albania during this time?
Hasselvander: How traditional is the division of tasks. Usually three generations live under the same roof – each family has a site. And everyone has a role to play. Traditionally, Mandi, the eldest son, stays at his parents’ house and gets a site there. After marriage, the wife, Fjogerta here, takes care of the children and helps the mother-in-law. I also met Jozerta’s parents. The wife also takes care of the mother-in-law. Their 102-year-old grandmother lived with them too – she was cared for by the whole family. I found the computer very interesting and social.
Spiegel: Very different from your home in Switzerland.
Hasselvander: I could not imagine this for my family. Our goal is to live alone as soon as possible, and then in old age it is difficult for most people to ask for help.
Spiegel: What else surprised you along the way?
Hasselvander: How different Turkey is, for example. The journey confronts my prejudices. I have always associated the country with the urban palaces in Antalya – and much more than that. But I had to travel here first to notice it.
Spiegel: In between, you were close to giving up. The cold surprised you, you were tired from the long journey, you flew back to Switzerland. But you persisted above all else. Why?
Hasselvander: There are many obstacles you can trust in such a journey, but you do not know how to do it. For example, driving in the cold and hours was incredibly tiring. The snow in Turkey around Corcovado challenged me a lot and I was exhausted. I need a break.
Spiegel: Couldn’t have done this on the go?
Hasselvander: On the one hand, yes. But there was a little loneliness: I met great men everywhere. But old friends are completely different. Seeing them gave me strength and motivated me to the next level.
Spiegel: You call yourself a slow rider. What is the difference between a moped and a motorcycle for you?
Hasselvander: I like to drive both. But motorcycle is about power and control. I notice myself sitting on a machine like this and want to know what I can get out of it. When I was out on the moped, it was about the terrain. I have time to feel how a bird is hovering somewhere or how cloud patterns reflect in the shadows in the valleys.
Spiegel: It works with it வான Slow Journey-Not just about the speed of the board …
Hasselvander: … but of course about getting involved. The recession exacerbates everything: smell, taste, sensations. If you rush from one to another and don’t work through the checklists, you suddenly have to endure that moment. That too is a kind of fatigue.
Spiegel: Can this travel in 2021 – when we can all still travel long distances?
Hasselvander: I am tired of this topic. I advise everyone to postpone their vacation until next year if they can do it somehow. But of course, if you really take the time to explore your immediate environment, you will somehow find something new.
Spiegel: Special situations often arise when traveling because you make yourself vulnerable – for example, you met Mandy and Jojerta because you were a breakdown and helpless.
Hasselvander: Yes, it was always my experience when I went on the road: when you think nothing works, great things happen. Who knows, that might apply to 2021 as well.
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