Bjorn Troch prefers to journey by phrase of mouth.
From the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur to the haunting depths of Satan’s Lake in east Latvia, Troch has travelled the world with out the good thing about guidebooks or web engines like google.
He is known as The Social Traveler and he depends completely on native recommendation to chart his adventures.
He connects with folks on social media, or in individual, and eschews any sort of official itinerary.
The Belgian’s newest journey has introduced him to Edmonton. Recent off a tour of Yukon, he’ll spend a number of days within the Alberta capital earlier than hitting the highway once more.
“I by no means do any analysis,” Troch stated in an interview Friday with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.
“I simply go someplace and ask ‘Hey, I am in Edmonton the place ought to I’m going, what ought to I do?’
“That method you’ll be able to uncover a number of hidden gems and locations that aren’t that frequent to see.”
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‘A bicycle for 2’
Troch has been travelling full-time since 2010. And if roaming the world with out analysis wasn’t arduous sufficient, he additionally accepts challenges from his associates and followers.
His first concerned a 900-kilometre hike via the north of Spain on Camino de Santiago.
In India, he obtained challenged to journey the south of the nation on a basic Royal Enfield motorbike. In New Zealand, he hitchhiked his method throughout the nation.
Most just lately, he cruised via France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Latvia behind the wheel of Rose, his beloved VW Westfalia van.
However of all his wild adventures, his two-wheeled odyssey via Kuala Lumpur tops the listing.
“The craziest one I ever did was cycle a tandem bike, a bicycle for 2, from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Hong Kong, which is like 5,000 kilometres, and I needed to discover folks to affix me on the bike.
“I used to be like, who’s going to try this?”
Regardless of his trepidation, Troch did discover 25 keen biking buddies however the journey would take him 5½ months to finish.
His Edmonton problem was rather less aggressive.
One native clue down, one to go
Armed with some clues from Edmonton Tourism, he was tasked with discovering Edmonton’s “unofficial-official” meals with assist from the general public. (Trace: the inexperienced onion cake.) On Saturday, he might be given a second clue.
It is his first tour of Canada in 5 years. Final time he visited, he was challenged to an epic cross-country highway journey.
“I obtained a problem from somebody to seek out an previous VW van, a hippie van right here in Canada, and cross the nation. And alongside the best way I needed to be taught to play the guitar. That was my problem,” Troch stated.
“Now 5 years later, I am doing the identical factor however the different method round, from west to east. And this time, I am taking the prepare.”
Troch has one piece of recommendation for nervous travellers with a penchant for over-planning.
“Be social and discuss to folks. Do not be afraid of individuals.”