Im wondering if a long epic trip could not have been made just as well, if not better, with more of the stock set-up.
That big skinny front wheel is good for rolling over very rough terrain but for a variety of broken asphalt and dirt roads, I like the 19 inch. Handles better on hard surface and gives more traction too.
I admire this effort. Do it while you can ! No kids or entanglements of life to hold you back is a good time.