A difficult choice : visiting home

New Zealand part I - Posted On

A few months ago, when I was still in New Caledonia, I had big news coming from France. My sister Marie told me she was going to get married in June 2012, the 23rd, 2pm. Such news makes usually people happy. I must say that I got quite a bit puzzled.

“- You mean you getting married means that I MUST be present in 8 months, 14 days and 4 hours? WELL! That might be difficult! As the chosen spot for that is Grenoble, France. Only 20.000 kms to go, FINE! I love you sister…”

However… I have chosen my life of those years being travelling with Zero Carbon Emission means: bicycle, sailboat and paraglide. And my return to France is not planned before three or four years from now. It’s quite a complicated choice to make here.

I must here go more on details.

Going back by plane would make me going twice half of the world on a plane. All what I have done the last three years wouldn’t have much meaning anymore.


How would that look to me when I quit my original concept to rush back and forth to France from New Zealand, the antipodean point of my house?

It looks really bad in fact, really bad for me first, and for those for who I cycle as a symbol to use less petrol, to live with less ‘needs’.

On the other hand, now has been four years that I have gone from everyone I dearly love, I care really about. I have barely seen any of my relatives and from my closest friends. I have pursued my chimera, my artistic way of travelling, letting no one and nothing stopping me.

it has been quite an extreme way of doing really. What will that be as a life not to go to the wedding of my sister when practically I can? Giving what sort of excuse exactly? I mean I believe deeply in the philosophy of assuming environmentally whatever action I do, but what would that be if I put that above my relationship with my family?

So after some long thinking and exchanges, I had made my unaesthetic choice: I will go home back and forth from New Zealand for some months with whatever means possible that would be both realistic and environmentally acceptable.

- First idea is to try to go hitch-hiking a cargo ship. They usually cover great distances within one to three months. Why not with me when a simple container can go on it?

At that stage begins hard enquiries amongst maritime companies that would accept us on board. Among the listing of companies I go to in Nouméa, three of them would accept to try to help.


Unfortunately after more enquiries, theses tiny doors closed themselves with only one option left: A cargo trip that would cost me something about 15.000€ a one-way trip. Way out of budget!

- Second idea is to go with a fast sailing vessel that would need to cross the world quickly in the right period of time. But no adverts for such things came out from my enquiries.

- Third idea comes with flying to Singapore and then hitchhike all the way to Europe. But it’s too many different countries with so many strict visa regulations that I cannot hope to make it in less than six months minimum. The same conclusion came when thinking about Vladivostok.

- Fourth and last idea is to resign myself to … take a plane. Plus Nadège will of course be part of it. It will be 40.000kms flying in the very mean I DON’T WANT to use.

My parents here play an important role when writing me on the subject.

“Whatever good action or philosophy in life becomes dangerous whenever start fanatism or extremism into it.” they write.

“Especially when this prevents him/her to see those he loves and who love him/her.”

I guess this made a lot of sense. I might go on for a few more years, as I am in the middle of the tour. Preventing myself to see them such a long time could end up by … becoming a complete stranger to them.

Now that my decision has been taken, I must conclude: I do not GO ON by plane.

I will leave the bike in New Zealand, going back and forth to Europe, and then take bike, sailboats… again to continue the world tour.

We could nearly say the trip to Europe will not be part of the Fly’n’roll trip. I always allows myself to use whatever means when going back and forth from a point.

Of course, this way of doing is not very using ‘fair means’ from my point of view. We are now thinking with Nadège how we could assume the responsibility of such expanse of energy. Some hints come to our minds such as working in some tree plantation to get back the carbon emission out from the atmosphere, or paying a specialized company for doing it with the money we get from our work … None of these ways seem to be 100% satisfying. But life makes things happen.

We will be back to France from the 9th May to the 7th October 2012. We will mainly be around Grenoble in the Alps. Anyone wanting to see us is welcome to contact us via email or the website. It will also be the occasion to attend the world’s most famous paragliding festival, the Coupe Icare in St Hilaire end of September 2012.