North

Globetrotting family brings 72,000km bicycle journey to Whitehorse

Xavier Pasche, his wife, Celine Pasche and their two daughters, Nayla, 6, and Fibie, 2 have cycled 72,000 kilometres together for the past nine years, 11,000 of those kilometres after the birth of their two children.

Xavier, Celine, Nayla and Fibie Pasche have been exploring the world since 2010

Xavier and Celine Pasche have been bicycling across the globe for the past nine years. They had their two daughters, Nayla and Fibie, while on this adventure. (Xavier Pasche photo)

A Swiss family is in Whitehorse, fresh off a two-month bicycle journey through Alaska. 

Before that, they were in Japan, Vietnam, northern China, Mongolia and Siberia.

Xavier Pasche, his wife, Celine Pasche and their two daughters, six-year-old Nayla and two-year-old Fibie, have cycled 72,000 kilometres over the past nine years — 11,000 of those kilometres after the birth of their two children.

In 2010, Xavier and Celine decided they would try to cycle from Switzerland to New Zealand in less than three years. After a year and a half, they started to realize this challenge they'd made for themselves had become a way of life. 

And that's when they decided to bring the children into the mix.

"We had the feeling that if it was our life, [in] the celebration of this life we could have a family," said Celine. 

"We just said, 'If it happens, it happens.' But of course Nayla was like, 'Ok I am here,' … She came straight away."

Celine says she told Xavier she was pregnant while they were in Nepal, at a 5,500-metre elevation facing Mount Everest. Then, the couple did research into an optimal place to give birth.

"One of the most important things for us was … to have a place to welcome our child in this world with a lot of softness and love," said Celine. "Everything went toward Malaysia … so we ended up in Malaysia."

Four years later, the Pasches returned to the country to give birth to Fibie.

'We have a very simple life'

The Pasche family keeps life simple on the road. They live in a tent, cook their own food and only keep what they can pack. (Xavier Pasche photo)

Xavier and Celine say they don't need much in the way of finances to keep up their lifestyle. They have their bikes, live in a tent, cook their own food and keep very little in terms of other belongings.

"Everything we have, we have to carry," said Xavier. 

"We don't have a lot of room … but we have a couple [of] books because we homeschool Nayla and we have some toys of course," said Xavier. "We have a very simple life."

The couple's income stream largely comes from a Swiss newspaper they contribute to every few days. Celine writes and Xavier takes photographs. They have also written a book about their lifestyle, and will sometimes give talks. 

The family will be giving one of those talks in Whitehorse next week.

Sharing road tips, inspiration

During the talks, they give tips about living on the road and discuss which routes are good. For example, Xavier says they've returned to Japan a few times and love the landscape in Mongolia and New Zealand.

The family also shares what it's learned about humanity.

"We have just encountered amazing kindness on the road," said Celine. "[It's] something beyond culture, that transcends culture." 

But she believes the most important message is simple.

"You can create your life, and live the life you want to dream."

The Pasche family will be giving a talk Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Baked Cafe.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Malaysia as an island country. In fact, part of Malaysia is on an island.
    Jul 21, 2019 1:19 PM CT

Written by Randi Beers, based on an interview with Dave White

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