When you make tea in the evening, just fill the whole pot, so that at the end you can fill a PET bottle with hot tea and put it at the foot of the sleeping bag. So you have warm feet for several hours and in the morning still lukewarm tea instead of frozen water 🤪.
We both have the Apple AirPods Pro headphones, with which it is possible to share the audio output. This way, one can buy an audiobook and by sharing the audio output, both can listen to the same part of the book/podcast at the same time.
We both use a Revolut bank card, which is highly recommended as it has extremely good exchange rates and no foreign transaction fees. In addition, you can withdraw CHF 200 per month from the ATM free of charge.
You can find more information here: Moneyland
Since Beni has a big training advantage conditionally, we packed an elastic tow rope (approx. 5m, available in every hardware store). This has proved very successful so far. This way, Beni can still work off his energy when Nicole's strength begins to wane.
Attaching the rope is done like this:
This is how it looks:
Through the app iOverlander, anyone can draw in places such as wild campsites or water sources. So you can find a lot of useful info with partly even pictures and further information.
Up front, it's not worth signing off until you've been traveling for at least 1/2 year. The administrative effort is manageable, but still not without.
Step 1: Quit job and clarify with employer where pension fund assets should be transferred to
We had our pension fund assets transferred to a vested benefits account at our bank.
Step 2: Deregistration on the municipality
Without the confirmation of deregistration from the municipality, it is not possible to cancel an insurance policy, to terminate a health insurance policy or to be released from tax liability.
With our first deregistration, we had to fill out a tax return during the year and pay the tax costs immediately, before we received no deregistration confirmation. Therefore, it is essential to take care of these clarifications early (at least 2 months before departure), it is always different depending on the canton and municipality, which requirements must be met.
With our second deregistration we were told that a tax power of attorney must be signed by our parents or another authorized person. This means that this time we could not exempt ourselves from the tax obligation in the actual sense, so there is no tax declaration during the year. We then simply have to pay taxes for those months in which we were still working before we left. And our parents are liable for any payments or queries during this time.
When you have successfully deregistered, you will receive a confirmation and a certificate of residence, which must be kept in a safe place.
Since no fixed address can be specified for a world trip, the departure location must simply list the first country entered when leaving the home country.
Step 3: Dissolve health insurance
We have informed the health insurance company by e-mail that we have deregistered from Switzerland and also want to dissolve the health insurance company on this date (send deregistration confirmation). This worked very uncomplicated for us both times. We only had to fill out another form "Questionnaire for your departure abroad", then everything was already done.
At the same time, we also looked for a suitable travel insurance. We found what we were looking for at: https://www.reiseversicherung-buchen.de/reiseversicherungen/auslandskrankenversicherungen/. Our contact person was Mr. Uwe Dittner. We are very satisfied with this insurance, as it includes all the benefits that are important to us. We opted for the Young Travellers insurance and the additional package "travel accident insurance, travel liability insurance and luggage insurance for trips abroad". So we pay 643.50 Euro/person for 13 months. This saves us at least 250 CHF/person every month!
Bei vorzeitiger Beendigung der Reise wird die zu viel gezahlte Prämie zurückerstattet.
Step 4: Fill out AHV form
To ensure that there are no gaps in the AHV, the form for globetrotters must be filled out: https://www.sva-ag.ch/sites/default/files/media/document/2017-04/anmeldung_fuer_weltenbummler_0.pdf
Step 5: Cancel or adjust cell phone subscription, cancel Internet and TV connection, redeem car
All these subscriptions and insurances can be cancelled with the deregistration from Switzerland also off-schedule. When you deregister the car, the vehicle insurance expires automatically and you get back the overpaid premium. This also applies to the Serafe premium and other payments already made in advance.
Step 6: Inform bank and other insurances about the trip
With these companies, a person must usually be deposited as a power of attorney. Otherwise, the bank can freeze your account.
After Corona, there is a lot of confusion about the Australia visa. We have made countless emails and phone calls to find out if you can apply for the visa on your own again without the help of a travel agent. The visa is called "Visitor visa (subclass 600)" and can be applied for at the following link: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/visitor-600/tourist-stream-overseas
It costs about 110 CHF and, if all goes well, takes only 1 hour to fill out the 19-page document. After that, the application will be reviewed and you will know after a few weeks at the latest.
Attention: Australia may require you to undergo a health check. This has to be done by a medical officer of Australia and costs incredible 700 CHF/person!
As far as we know, they require this especially if you have been in a "risk country" regarding tuberculosis, HIV or polio for longer than 3 months. In our case, it was Georgia.
Next time we would perhaps rather apply for a new passport 😉.
The website is not very clearly arranged, so first the most important page:
Here, as the link suggests, you can book a trip from port to port, similar to rail transport. Since you can book such a partial route without a cabin, the price is a lot cheaper than if you book one of the package tours! However, as soon as the trip lasts longer than 23 hours, you must book a cabin.
So we paid for both of us incl. bicycles from Trondheim to Nesna (17 hours) about CHF 300.
Attention: The bicycles must be booked separately, either on site at the port or who wants to be completely sure calls the German hotline (+49 4087409353). Unfortunately, you can not select them on the website.
You should bring your own food/drink on board, because a normal beer costs about CHF 11.- on the ship.
There is a luggage room where you can store your bicycle bags and they are also accessible during the ride.
Nicole has unfortunately always had problems to find a really suitable bike saddle, without which she can sit after a long tour the next day in each case practically no longer. This is not because of problems in the buttocks, but in the genital and perineal area, which makes it particularly uncomfortable. Through research on the Internet, we became aware of the company Schmidt Pedelec & More GmbH in Nuremberg during our last trip. Since the gut feeling was right from the start and they have written on the website of the remedy of exactly my problem - the hope of finding a suitable saddle after all spread.
At the end of April 2022, the time had come and Nicole made her way to Nuremberg to then ride her bicycle home to test the saddle directly. Because there is a 30 day return guarantee with Schmidt Pedelec if it doesn't fit. I was received very kindly by the store owner, Mr. Schmidt, and we immediately got to work. There followed an introductory discussion of the procedure and the first thing I was asked to do was to take my bicycle out for several short laps so that Mr. Schmidt could take stock of my current ergonomics (which is also elementary in the case of saddle problems). He found that I was sitting somewhat compressed on the bicycle, meaning that the distance from the saddle to the steering was too small, so that no relief could take place in my lower back area as well as my shoulders. In addition, my saddle was set about 2.5 cm too low, which caused an unfavorable knee angle.
Back inside, my bicycle was measured so that exactly the same settings could be adjusted on the stationary bicycle in the store. There followed namely then a simulation, as it would be if the stem of the bicycle was longer, so that I have more space between the saddle and handlebars and so my back can be stretched more. He also showed me the option of a rounded handlebar and other handlebar grips, but this would only need to be adjusted if neck discomfort occurs while riding, which is rarely the case for me.
When we decided to adjust the stem accordingly and this was implemented directly on my bicycle, we could then also start with the actual saddle measurement. We have tried quite a few saddles of the brands SQlab, Comfort Line, Ergotec and finally found a Comfort Line saddle (picture 1), which can be individually adjusted in the ischial tuberosity distance. After a final 30-minute test drive, I have then also decided for this saddle. I was still given all the documents of the measurement and Mr. Schmidt and I hope I think both equally that this saddle now fits 🙂
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the generous sponsorship contribution and the whole team at Schmidt Pedelec for the very pleasant time and advice. If someone has the same problems as me and you are not afraid to travel to Germany, I can only recommend the professional advice and implementation of the saddle and ergonomic measurement. Detailed information and contact details can be found here: https://www.pedelec-schmidt.de
Addition: I noticed during the test phase that the saddle unfortunately also does not fit, it came after a few kilometers while cycling then again to my known problems. After an intensive mail exchange with Mr. Schmidt, he then sent me two more saddles by mail, which I was also allowed to try out. And to the big luck, I have already almost given up hope, the one of them was then the right one (picture 2)!!!
In conclusion, I can say from my experience that all the measurements I had made were certainly not in vain, but above all, you simply have to find the right saddle by trying it out, even if, according to the calculations, another one might fit better during the measurement. You can not find out within a few minutes of test riding in the bike store whether the saddle is the right one, but you should definitely test the saddle at home and do many kilometers several days in a row. Only then is it meaningful and you can take time to feel if everything fits. Mr. Schmidt advised me really well and accompanied me during the whole process. I would go back to him for business anytime.
Will be continuously expanded, we must first put the tips & tricks through their paces ourselves 😊!