How Cycle to Farms was born?

When we met in Wageningen at Cafe Imagine, where we drank our first cup of tea together. Aisha introduced the idea of cycling from Cairo to Cape Town. For Lukas, the idea was shocking at the time and it felt unimaginable. Perhaps that is how most people feel when they first hear about such ideas. The quote below describes it best.

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable”

Lukas for a long time had the desire to visit farms all over the world. He also had a vision of documenting the farms that he would visit. 

Aisha had a similar interest but was more focused on learning about sustainable agricultural practices in East Africa with a focus on food security and food sovereignty. 

All these ideas remained vague until we both graduated from Wageningen University in January 2022, when we actively started to think about the next step. 

We discovered that we both had the vision to visit East Africa and to visit and learn from the farms in the countries we would travel to. So the step to book flight tickets (which were really cheap at the time) was quickly made. We were about to leave for Tanzania on the 18th of February 2022.

A few days before departure we thought again about our plan and discovered that we were both not satisfied and flying did not make sense… What about cycling, when would we ever do a long-distance cycle tour in Africa? You need time for that and when we would come back from our East Africa trip, we would most likely not find time to do such a trip.

So a few days before our flight to Tanzania, we discussed our frustrations that we were going to miss the opportunity to do a long-distance bike tour. We agreed that now was the time, because “if not now, then when?” 

While discussing it, we thought it would make more sense to cycle from the Netherlands. We would be able to adapt to the cycling and camping lifestyle and also learn from the farmers along the way. We would enrich ourselves with every pedal stroke with the social, ecological and economic changes. This would help us understand farming practices, as we would witness and experience the context in which they take place. 

So we started writing our first proposal in February and by April our ‘Cycle to Farms’ project was ready (see the picture of us in Vilnius in old soviet apartment). We sought help because we knew that in order for this project to be successful, we needed to reach people who believe in our ambitious idea as well! Therefore, thanks for being with us on this journey!

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Lukas & Aisha

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