With the rise of popularity of travel blogs, many dream of quitting their nine-to-five jobs to travel the world. Bloggers like Nomadic Matt, The Young Adventuress and Adventurous Kate all walked away from their corporate careers in order to pursue full-time travel, and now sustain themselves entirely off of travel writing. Still, for most people, that dream remains a dream.
For Chris Haag and Sophie George, a couple who have called several places around the world home, the dream is quickly manifesting into reality. Both had moved up the ladders in their respective careers, with Haag working for an energy conservation company and George teaching in her field of neuroscience.
In early 2018, they decided to do something about it. With both of them being avid bike riders, they opted to do a tour all the way from Homer, Alaska to Argentina.
“Chris [Haag] gave up his job in 2011 and has been tapping his foot for the last seven years, waiting for me to take the plunge on an adventure like this,” George said. “We made the decision to go early in 2018, and have been feverishly planning since.”
Haag was ready for the trip early on, keeping it at the back of his mind for years.
“We made the decision last fall that we did not want to live in Southern Utah anymore. Like I always do in times of transition, I suggested that we take some time off to travel,” Hagg said.
Still, there were certain logistics to work out. The couple had several pets, which needed to find a home for the two years that they would be away. On top of this, Haag and George owned property in Detroit that they rented out on AirBnB, which would still need to be managed during their absence.
But there was even more beyond these logistics. Emotional labor had to be put into the planning.
“It is mostly a matter of choosing your gear and getting into the right frame of mind,” Haag said. “We want to have the freedom to make things up as we go along.”
In lieu of extensive planning, Haag and George have both pondered on what the next two years may bring. George, especially, is maintaining a positive outlook on the trip.
“I’m really excited that every day will bring something new, and for all the fantastic sights we’ll see and the people we’ll meet,” George said.
While Alaska to Argentina has been an iconic bike route for hardcore cyclers over the years, Haag and George have thought deeply about their starting and end points.
“Most people that are into this type of travel dream of a ride like this,” Haag said.
George has never been to Alaska, but has dreamt of what it might be like during the ride.
“Being able to pedal through that landscape during never-ending summer days sounds nothing short of magical,” George said.
From beginning to end, Haag and George will travel over 20,000 miles and pass through 15 countries over their two-year ride. They cycle out of Homer on July 2.