Anselm Nathanael Pahnke

Anselm Pahnke at his bike
  • Name: Anselm Nathanael Pahnke
  • Time on the road: 2.9 years
  • Kilometers cycled: 35.000
  • Visited Countries: 35

Anselm Nathanael Pahnke

Anselm Nathanael Pahnke is a geophysicist from Hamburg, Germany and has traveled the world by bike and with an open eye. The impressions he made will easily last for several lives.

Schoolchildren show Anselm her school supplies – no trace of loneliness (Ethiopia)
  • Mother AfricaWhen Anselm started his journey to Southeast Asia he first flew to Cape Town to explore the expanses of Africa. The diversity of animals and the kindness of the natives left their lasting impressions.

Were there any breakdowns while you were on the road?

I was in the Egyptian prison since I tried to cross the Suez Canal with a small ferry. I got captured in the most spectacular way and I had to hand in all my digital media and written correspondence as my fine. I was tracked down by park rangers at the border to the Kongo and had to pay a lot of ransom. Africa is full of adventures but way safer than you would think at the same time. In the end, my steel frame broke, but it could be welded.

  • Dessert KingdomPassing through the desert has its own set of challenges. No drinking water for kilometers and enormous temperature differences push Anselm to his limits. Even with all the hardships of the harsh desert terrain, the landscape still presents its charms.

What’s your ultimate tip for traveling by bike?

Do things for yourself only, not for others. Get inspired and give yourself maximum flexibility, which allows you to live thinking to the future as little as possible. Meaning, plan less and be present. Many riders are in a country and their thoughts are already in the next. Try to experience your travels unbiased. You cannot plan an adventure. Adventure comes to you.

  • TajikistanThis rugged country, lying just to the west of China, particularly impressed Anselm. The people in this remote region were very hospitable.

What is more difficult: to leave heading out into the unknown or to come back to reality?

I had my difficulties to trust the freedom. After a regulated life at home, having all new possibilities every day proved more difficult than I thought. Since I never planned to stay away that long, the decision and the goodbye weren’t hard. Coming home means a different set of challenges for me, which is manageable.

  • The roof of the WorldAnselm reaches the Tibetan high plains after covering 25,000 kilometers. The thin air presents a new challenge for Anselm, but the breathtaking views outweigh the new struggle.
  • Coming full circleAfter 30,000 km through 33 countries, Anselm arrived back in Laos. This appeared to be the perfect ending to his 2.5 years journey, but Anselm has already continued his travels across the world without even thinking about tomorrow.