I Traveled Through France With Only What I Could Carry on My Bike, and I Loved Every Mile


My husband and I moved to Austria a little over two years ago and have traveled to many European countries since, but biking through the French countryside may be the single greatest trip I’ve ever taken. While I had never been much of an outdoorsy person, I finally found a hobby that stuck when I got into road cycling. And that’s where the idea for our adventure was born.

I used to think I preferred a relaxed vacation. Sitting poolside sipping on a cocktail — how could anything be better? Don’t get me wrong, vacations like that are dreamy, too, but an active trip can end up being so much more memorable. There’s something exhilarating about getting away from your normal life and pushing yourself toward adventure. Even if you’re not a particularly adventurous person by nature, just shaking things up and traveling in a new way can feel revitalizing.

After taking a train from Austria to France, I spent a week traveling with my own strength across hundreds of miles of hilly forest and farmland. It’s something I never dreamed of doing, but it was an experience I’ll never forget. Here’s what I learned along the way.

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