My name is Jelle van der Munnik, 23 years old. I am born in Amsterdam but raised in Schagen. Since childhood, I always wanted to become a pilot. Therefore, it was a logical choice to do an aviation-related education after I finished the higher general secondary education. I chose the Aviation Academy, part of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The vast majority of the students that started this education also wanted to become a pilot. During the education, I found out (together with lots of fellow students) that the profession is different than expected. It didn't suit me and the poor chances of finding a job were also not helping. Nevertheless, I really liked the dynamic aviation industry, so I did finish my study.
I just turned 21 when I got my degree and I wasn't ready yet to start working. I wanted to see the world! For me, it’s easy to end up in a daily grind that it's difficult to escape from. I see many people that are being lived by others and I would like to live my own life. I was in the unique position to be without any obligations; house/work/family and it was therefore the perfect moment to travel the world.
Many people ask me why I'm doing it on a bicycle instead of a car, motor, public transport or plane. Good question. I can start by saying that the Netherlands has a bicycle culture, there are more bicycles in my country than people. Moreover, I enjoy the physical challenge and I'm convinced that it is the best way of getting to know new cultures/languages/environments. How amazing is it to cross an entire continent with your own muscles with just some water and food as fuel? I consciously chose not to start from home (and go to, for example, Asia) because I didn't want a gradual change from the known to the unknown. I wanted to be in the unknown from the start until the end. I chose Sydney in Nova Scotia (Canada) as a starting point just because it's like the edge of the mainland and Alaska would have been too predictable.
On this website, you can read the stories about my trip. If you are interested, you can subscribe yourself here and get an automatic message once I post someting new.