On the road: Rachel’s ride around the world

Headshot of Liam Beatty
Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
Rachel Yaseen has been biking across Australia since January 2020.
Camera IconRachel Yaseen has been biking across Australia since January 2020. Credit: Supplied,

If you’re driving north this week and you see a self-described “crazy American” cycling along a desolate stretch of road, she’d love nothing more than a wave, a toot, or a stop to chat.

51-year-old nomad Rachel Yaseen arrived in Geraldton last week on a cycling tour she hopes will take her around the entire world.

With 40,000 kilometres under the belt, riding through six countries over a three year period, she’ll tell anyone that’s listening that she’s only just getting started.

According to her, the story begins during a month-long hike on the Camino de Santiago — which, to the uninitiated, is a Christian pilgrimage following the footsteps of St. James along the northern coastline of Spain.

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“I think I found out I needed to be living my life in a different way,” she said. “I had lived in Arizona for 25 years and then yeah, it just kind of broke everything open.”

Since 2018, Ms Yassen and her partner have cycled enough kilometres to circumvent the globe, starting in Thailand and working their way south to Australia before arriving in Darwin at the beginning of 2020.

Rachel Yaseen.
Camera IconRachel Yaseen. Credit: Supplied,

From there, the pair have ridden approximately 17,000km through the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia before the borders reopened to Western Australia this year.

“It’s been challenging, but we never really had a plan to begin with, so we’ve kind of taken it as it comes,” she said.

“Actually it’s been really good for us. Because it's really slowed us down. If you have a very strict plan then when interesting things come along you can’t take advantage of.”

Ms Yassen said she was enjoying a stop in Geraldton, with daily swims, coffee and good food around the corner — a treat rarely accessible in a life on the road.

“We’ve spent up to three months at a time on the road without seeing a city,” she said. “I love the diversity of the road.”

Asked why she cast away a life in Arizona for a nomadic lifestyle, she said she knew it was time for an adventure.

“I believe everyone has an adventure in them,” she said. “If I can do this at 51, anyone can.”

Intending to leave Geraldton on Monday, the pair say they will travel north through Kalbarri, Shark Bay, Exmouth and on to Broome.

Rachel’s tour can be followed on Instagram under the handle of @rachelyaseen.

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