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Bicycle Luke Reunion

Bicycle Luke ten years later.

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SYDNEY, Australia- “It’s been ten years since the last time we met,” Luke said as we met at the door of the Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown. 

I couldn’t believe that it had been that long. But I did the math: the last time I met Luke was before I started making people — Petra is eight years old; he was right. 

When I arrived in Australia I made it a priority to find out what Luke was up to. He just happened to be in Sydney for an annual meet event for his work on one of the scant few nights I was there. Our paths coincidentally intersected again. 

The first time I me Luke was on the side of the road in the remote countryside of Hungary. I was riding this beat up old ten speed across Europe and the guy unexpectedly popped out of some bushes at my side riding some nice, slick touring bike. Two long distance bicycle travelers were suddenly riding side by side in the middle of nowhere. It would have been too awkward not to become friends. 

Vagabond Journey readers know this guy well. He was our bicycle travel correspondent for a couple of years. 

But now I must report that Bicycle Luke’s bicycle is now sitting in his garage with two flat tires. After extended bike journeys across Europe and Southeast Asia, he got what he needed out of it. 

There is nothing like bicycle travel to make you want to do something else with your life. You just sit out there say after day, peddling and thinking, peddling and thinking. Thinking about what? Your life. 

The interesting thing about Luke is that he has this special ability to focus on big goals for the long-term. 

Everybody is a dreamer, a few of us are doers, but it’s incredible rare for someone to be able to be both for an extended duration of time to achieve a goal. 

Years and years ago Luke told me about this financial scheme where you save money in a certain type of account for X amount of years, building up a pot of X amount of dollars, and then you could live and travel off the interest indefinitely without ever really needing to make money again. He told me that and I said, “Wow, cool.” But he a actually did it. 

While Luke’s original plan was to save this money so he could travel around the world on the proceeds, he changed course and instead bought a farm in this beautiful valley north of Sydney. 

He transformed the place into a venerable compound, building all kinds of houses, starting an aquaponics operation, fields of conventionally farmed vegetables, and all kinds of animals. He also has a couple of French guys out there for some reason.  

The intent here is to not only be self-sufficient but also to be profitable enough to expand, do whatever he wants, and, above all else, live well. 


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Filed under: Australia, Bicycle Travel, Friends, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3717 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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