I managed to leave on the day I had set a month previously, although just an arbitrary date it provided a focus to getting out of the front door.
Part of the reason I waited so long in telling close friends and family what I was planning on doing was so the background noise it creates didn’t distract me from what was important.
It’s not really a surprise that a plan like this generates a lot of interest from those that know you well and those that know you not so well. With that interest comes a lot of questions. Those questions can either reaffirm what you are doing or create doubt in your mind. I wanted to be sure on what actually mattered that I knew the answer to, before I created the firestorm of interest.
That way when faced with a tricky question about some future event that may or may not happen, I could just smile and say, I’ll worry about that when it does.
Living like a travelling hobo on a bike refocuses what is important to you. Your priorities realign to focus on the three things that matter; water, food and shelter. Anything else going on becomes a luxury or a distraction, nice to have but it doesn’t matter and shouldn’t have the power to alter my mood negatively.
Saying goodbye to my mum and dad, my voice cracked as I tried to say thank you for their help and support and the tears ran down my cheeks as I cycled off down the road. I guess in that moment, the act of saying goodbye turns the plan into my present. The emotion took hold of me and the sledgehammer of realisation that the talking stops and the doing starts here and now.
I was ok by the end of the road and then about a mile or two later a different sledgehammer hit me. It chokes me to write it even now.
What the 5 year old version of me would have thought about what I’m doing now.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up but if you had told that little boy he would go off on his bike to cycle across the world he would have said, I want to do that!
That is why it feels like I’ve turned a dream into a reality.
What stopped me from doing this for so long was the fear of dark spaces, the unknown but I had a deep desire to explore and find out what is in there.
So on that first day when I came to the end of a route I had cycled before and was to turn right to continue with this new journey I was met by a dark railway arch. A dark space to cycle into with the unknown stretching out in front of me. It seemed very apt.
A week has gone by in what feels like the blink of an eye and I can feel the fear evaporating from me. The feeling of just being out in the world with nothing but what I can carry and my wits about me soon brings a smile across my face.
That, after all, is why I am doing this, to bring a smile across my face.