Anne-Marie and Knut are both from Norway but have lived in Thailand since 2000, due to new job opportunities. Throughout the years they got to know the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Pattaya – and therefore also got to know about Tour de Gulf of Thailand. Knut joined the biking trip at its inception in 2011, and have been on the trip every year since then.
He participates every year because he likes the community around it, and always looks forward to spending time with the people who join the trip. He has even helped the administrative team before with doing research. For instance with discovering which hotels to stay at during the trip.
Before he joined the trip, Knut didn’t have a lot of long-distance biking experience, but he was never too worried about the distances, as he says they’re doable. However, he has also had to accept that he may not be physically able to bike on all days of the trip. A fate which doesn’t seem to bother Knut. Anne-Marie was unfortunately a bit ill and therefore also couldn’t bike all the days, yet it didn’t seem to matter – every time you would see the two of them, you’d see nothing but big smiles on their faces. It’s hard not to get infused by their warm and social energy, always ready to help out wherever needed.
It’s about doing it together
But special about these two people is not only the fact that Knut has done the Tour de Gulf in all the years it has existed – but also the fact that they are on the trip as a couple. It’s not the first time they do so, but it still means a lot for them.
“Coming here as a couple means we get to share this experience together,” they explained around a table on one of the first days of the trip. Doing the cycling trip means they get to see a different side of Thailand, besides what they see in their everyday life after having lived here for around 24 years.
“That’s the good thing about this trip. We get to see something else than we normally do, and the people are very welcoming,” Knut said.
“We’ve always liked doing things together. And it’s not just an experience for the two of us. It’s something we get to share with the whole cycling team,” Anne-Marie follows up.
And what are your plans for Christmas?
“We’re going to spend Christmas this year with some friends here in Thailand!”