In December 2014, a then-22-year-old Ben Page set off on a round-the-world cycling adventure with no route planned, very little equipment, and just £9,000 ($13,000). In September 2017, after cycling across all five continents, he made it home. Here’s how he did it.

When Ben Page was a teenager, he had an idea. He’d grown tired of racing road bikes—a pastime he had considered pursuing professionally—and began to look at his bike as more than just a tool for competition. He saw it as a form of transportation. His bike was his ticket to the world.

When Ben was 18, he rode his bike from England to the French Alps in one week. The trip involved cycling 240 kilometers (150 miles) a day and it proved to Ben that he was physically capable of long, arduous rides. The only limit to how far his bike could take him was his imagination. “I realized that if you can cycle across a country, you can cycle across a continent,” he says. “And if you can cycle across a continent, you can cycle across the world.”

The seed was planted. After the Alps, Ben cycled through the United States for 10 weeks. By the end of the trip, he was sure: He wanted to explore the world by bike. So that’s what he did.