A friend of mine used to wander around a country using a bicycle. He did it in China, Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia. He felt a sense of freedom whenever he’s on his bike. It was an easy way for him to meet the locals and start a conversation. He would normally buy a bike. Ride it for 3 to 4 weeks. Then sell it before he goes back to his hometown.

It was in Malaysia. He decided to cross towns using his bicycle. Sometimes he would rest in a bus stop or any place where there’s a shade. He would even sleep there to let the evening pass. I thought it was dangerous, but he said danger is everywhere. He was so used to it that he didn’t expect the unfortunate thing to happen.

While he was pedalling on the side of the road, something hit his head. He fell and started to become unconscious. He saw two guys in a motorcycle. They hit him hard. When he woke up, his head was bleeding. His sling bag was gone together with some cash. Luckily, they didn’t take the pouch inside his shirt. His passport and bank cards were safe. There was no one around so he had to help himself to the hospital. Fortunately, he bought an insurance. It is really important to have one before you backpack.

I asked him if he’s going to keep cycling, he said he will but with more caution this time.