, Christian Brunner

Lunch with Maria Theresia Zwyssig (Thesi) at the Arnoma Hotel in Bangkok

Lunch with Maria Theresia Zwyssig (Thesi) at the Arnoma Hotel in Bangkok

From the Kiental in the Berner Oberland to Bangkok by bicycle: “it’s 20% the body and 80% the head!”

She is sitting alone on a bench, some 20 kilometers from Bangkok, and she is sobbing. Maria Theresia Zwyssig, Thesi as her friends call her, uses the short video clip she took of herself to demonstrate to the audience, that cycling around the world is not the same as enjoying a beach vacation. It’s not even a vacation, she says, it’s a school of life, a preparation for tough moments in life. Sitting there under a bridge completely exhausted and overheated from a long day of bicycling in the hot Thai temperature, was one of her dark moments on her trip. But in the end she gathered her strength and with an act of will she got up and moved on, cycle all the way to Bangkok, to the Arnoma Hotel.

There, 24 members of the SSB participated at a lunch event on the 15th of January. Everyone was fascinated by this courageous Swiss lady with her engaging stories and experiences, all told in her Berner Oberland dialect. Thesi started by telling us why she decided to travel the world alone with her bicycle and she showed the absolute necessary items to sleep and cook her meals, all packed on her bicycle. Together. 52 kilos, including the bike.

To have a dream and live the dream. By doing this she told us how she found her passion and her profession as a radio journalist and traveller which was not what she originally had learned and got licenced for: a gardener. Conquering the large distances through foreign countries is a recipe for her to learn mastering her life and finding solutions and ways how to reach her goal.

Travelling alone by bicycle is not easy and it requires a lot of courage. And Thesi explained very precisely the benefits of it: meetings with strangers who were also fascinated by her, the unforgettable memories of persons like an old man in South Korea who collected stones and watched attentively how they dried after he showered them, and the meeting with a retired lonely Japanese lady who became her new friend. People she would never have met if she had staid home and people who shared an apple, a tea or a story with her and became her moments of inspiration.

It became obvious for the participants at the Arnoma how Maria Theresia’s journey became an important part of her live, teaching her lessons of joy and perseverance. It was motivating to hear of her small big problems (“do not forget to cream the feet with sun blocker”), her way to deal with fear, how she learned to observe and follow her feelings and common sense, and most importantly, how to use the power of her head (“80% is head, only 20% is body”).

I am glad and happy that I was among the 24 persons who got motivated to do things which might not be part of the ordinary, motivated to listen more attentively to my wishes and dreams and to question which ones should be tackled or thrown overboard.


Continue to follow her tour
https://www.mariatheresia.ch/  Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mariatheresia.enroute/