Journey From the Road: A Project Sharing Meaningful Life Stories While Cycling Solo Towards the East

“I quit my previous life to start this amazing journey. I'm cycling the world solo with no fixed destination and no time frame.”

By Marielle Catral

July 5, 2022

How many people have you heard said this? Or better yet, how many Asians have you heard said this? Oh, hold on let me rephrase that question —  How many Asian WOMEN have you heard said this?

On April 4th this year, Spanish-born Chinese Sara Qiu started a new chapter of her life with a project called “Journey from the Road”. A solo cycling trip at a pace that allows her to appreciate the uniqueness of the journey and its people rather than rushing towards a destination. 

Her first ever cycling trip was back in 2020. She got inspired by the lives of some people cycling around the world whom she followed on social media. So, in October of that year, she cycled alone for 13 days starting from Zaragoza and ending at the cathedral of Oviedo in Spain, spanning a total of 701 kilometers!

Today, the purpose of her new cycling journey is to share meaningful stories and bring valuable content and knowledge — the way Sara sees them, and the way she lives them, “JFtR is a long-term project where I can combine the things that make me feel most alive: Raw Travel Adventure & having a Healthy Lifestyle.” she shared on her Instagram.

Sara’s new solo cycling journey, according to her, mainly revolves around her biggest fear – REGRET, “To wake up one day as an old woman and regretting not having done the things I wanted to do.” she said, “Venturing into this journey brings a feeling of relief. The most apparent fears become secondary.” 

Since she was a teenager, she was developing her adventurous spirit, new and unfamiliar places easily felt like “home” to her. At the age of 13, she spent a whole summer in Xinjiang (West of China) at his great uncle’s home. The following year, she stayed with a host family in the US for a month. At the age of 18, she moved to London for half a year and work as a waitress. And in her twenties, she moved to Shanghai and then the US to study business. She then went back to Spain and worked in the tech industry for 5 years.

She had her first solo backpacking trip in Portugal and the South of Spain in 2015. The amazing feeling of discovering new places, and the excitement of meeting new people made Sara’s desire to travel stronger, so she used her work holidays to travel to different parts of the world.

New adventures happened for Sara when the pandemic hit. Aside from her 13-day cycling trip in the northern part of Spain, she spent 9 days hiking alone in a semi self-sufficiency mode in the Spanish Pyrenees the following year. She also did a 320km pilgrimage from Oviedo to Santiago for 9 days. Sara also took the opportunity to complete her first marathon. What’s more, she joined a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat, which she practices until today.

Fast-forwarding again today to Sara’s Journey from the Road project, her route started from her hometown, Zaragoza, and aims to cycle towards the east. There is no final destination in mind, but her route will mainly take its shape while on the road. As what she has learned from her first cycling journey, “It is the spontaneity of the journey and fortuitous happenings that places you at the moment, in the present.”

Website: journeyfromtheroad.com

Instagram: @journeyfromtheroad

Youtube: Journey From the Road