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On human power around the world


A human powered travel, it was our dream and it turns out to be the key to adventure, pleasure, personal development and a healthy lifestyle. A journey on your own is unique and also good for the environment! What do we mean by travelling on our own, why and how do we do that? Discover a new way of travelling!

WeLeaf human powered travel

#onhumanpower is our new slogan and represents our way of travel. Slowly, conscious and independent. You might know it like 'slow travel', it’s the same, we just gave it our own twist. We almost did 20.000 kilometers by foot, by bike or by sailing boat. Our muscles bring us further every day, following an independent route. Our new plans are already made, we plan a long distance canoe treck in the wilderness of North America, but first we will get there on human power.

Slow travel or human powered travel

Slow travel is a modern term that means nothing else but slow transportation. It is a concept that is created to demonstrate an environmentally conscious way of traveling where we get closer to our surroundings, local culture and nature. Go on human power is our slogan and has the same meaning as slow travel. If we analyse #onhumanpower then we can say that it is a journey where we are our own transportation, we drive our transportation or we steer the transport that is driven by natural forces, like sailing or paragliding. That might be the little difference. With human powered travel we can be clear that trains and busses, although they are slow, are not driven by muscle forces or natural forces. That means we don't count them in.

We do more than moving on human power to the next place. Every night is a an adventure to a new place. It happens often that we don’t know in the morning where we will end up the same night. There is nothing arranged, we don’t know the place and start searching self supported. We ask around, go to the local voluntary fire brigade, school, municipality and local people. Sometimes it takes hours, sometimes we have a place after five minutes. For us, this is also travelling self supported.


Why travel slowly?

We learn that travelling slowly, brings much more than the pure inertia. This is why we travel on human power:

  • Creativity: outdoor life requires creativity. Keeping yourself warm, washing without water or finding camping spots.
  • Healthy: daily we are outdoors and on the move.
  • Unique adventure: it is easy and necessary to get in touch with people, leading to beautiful encounters and special adventures. Our routes also go off the beaten path, a guarantee to adventure.
  • Sustainable: by traveling on muscle or natural forces we do not use fossil fuels.
  • Cheap: no or low transport costs, and in our case we also save a lot on overnight stays. We sleep in the tent or get invited. We travel around with 12 euro per person
  • Conscious: by moving slowly through the landscapes and culture we learn about different facets of life, nature conservation, families, money, livelihood. We become aware of necessities, possibilities and qualities.
  • Personal development: physically we are -sometimes- driven to the limit and mentally we have a lot of rest and time. We get the chance to find answers to personal question marks and to develop ourselves.
  • Knowledge about the world: we are drawn into the culture of each country, we form a beautiful world view in which we got to see how the world looks from different angles.
  • Learn from others: many people support us in the way of travelling by inviting us in their house or giving some food. We learn how beautiful it is to share. That sharing has a long lasting happiness effect, while owning is just a shirt moment of joy. We learn from others, just by seeing them, about hospitality, about the value of family and friends, about living in the present and being happy with what you have.

How to do travel on human power?

Many things are possible, and probably many variants that we have not thought of ourselves. We have been cycling, sailing and hiking, but there are plenty of other options; dog sledding, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, skating, longboarding, paragliding or stepping. Recently we saw a picture of a girl traveling around the world on her unicycle. Everything is possible! Follow our instagram @slowtraveltime for more inspiration.


Bus, train or hitchhiking

We wouldn't grade them to slow travel, but there are different opinions about this. Anyways, it isn't human powered travel. That we support slowly travel does not mean that we are against other types of transportation. In fact, we think the bus, train and hitchhiking are very fun ways of traveling. Including, they have a lower footprint than when you rent a car or fly from place to place. During this trip we also hitchhiked several times and we will take the bus or train in some parts of the trip. The importance is that we start to consider 'slow travel' as an exciting way of traveling and remember there is so much more to explore when we travel slow. That we partly or fully exchange fossil fuel transportation for human powered travel. Its just so much fun!

Can I not take the plane anymore?

You decide how you want to travel. For example, you live in Europa, you want to cycle the Carretera Austral in Chile and you do not have a year to cycle and sail to the other side of the world, as we did. Then it is obvious that you take a plane. It’s already great that you don't hire a car but cycle trough the country. We, too, occasionally take the plane, the train or the bus, but try to do so in a conscious and limited manner. Think for yourself what the values ​​are. Do you have a short time or are you a beginner in 'human powered travel' then think nearby. There is always enough to discover closer to home. We have learned that traveling on human takes you anywhere in the world and will supply a ton of energy, great encounters, unique experiences and a fresh mind.

It takes so long to get somewhere

Right! That is exactly the intention. It is not about the final stop, but about the way towards there. 'It’s about the journey, not about the destiny.' The journey is the way to the destination. Several times we have arrived disappointed at our final destination. The journey itself turned out to be much more unique than our arrival. New York, Santiago, Paris or OempaLoempa-country as destination, nothing seems as valuable as the slow road towards it!


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