’Around the World in 1,000 Days’ would be a good title for the story of Andrew and Friedel Grant. The Canadian couple quit their jobs, sold their house in the United Kingdom along with everything in it and set off on an epic road trip.
Leaving from MontrĂ©al in 2006 with specially made bicycles, they went east and kept going. Since then they have been through dozens of countries from Australia to Uzbekistan. Now back on North American soil after reportedly making a complete circumference of the planet, they passed through Cochrane a few days ago. The Grants are heading north to St. Albert where they will stop their journey to stay with Andrew’s sister Marlene Leslie.
The distance between their homes has made the separation between the siblings an endurance test of its own, Leslie said. She is really looking forward to the visit.
“It’s been a long time, a long time,” she said with a pause. “It’s probably been close to 10 years. I’m so excited.”
That doesn’t mean she hasn’t been keeping abreast of their travels. The intrepid duo maintains a website at www.travellingtwo.com where they have been posting photos, regular journals, podcasts and international biking tips. The entry from Thursday chronicles the 630-kilometre section from Lakeside to Cochrane. Andrew commented humorously on crossing the border back into Canada.
He wrote, “We’re shattered when we finally spot the border and dying to get to a campsite just on the other side so the few minutes it takes to scan our passports and answer the questions of the border guards seem very long indeed.”
The reunion will last two weeks, giving the Grants a chance to catch up with family and stretch their legs a bit. Leslie said that they wouldn’t want to rest for long though.
“Oh, they’ll be back on the bikes. They’ll be itching to get back on it.”
She pondered on how amazing the story is, especially considering that they weren’t really bicycle fanatics. She doesn’t even think that their legs at the beginning were as formidable as Lance Armstrong’s.
[At least] they werent when they started, she laughed.