“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single pedal stroke.” (adjusted quote, originally by Lao Tzu)
This cute little quotation being used as introduction, let’s move on to what makes most people scratch their heads when I tell them I want to cycle from Australia to Belgium:
“Awesome! Wait… Isn’t Australia an isolated piece of land, kind of floating in the middle of the ocean?”
Once you realise I too had geography classes, then it’s the right time to confuse you : “Yes, I’m going for a pedal boat ride to Asia until somebody comes to the rescue.”
While I’m confident with the fact mankind has ever produced some reckless explorers who could be dead serious about pedalling through stormy seas, this is not my case. I’m so terrible at swimming I could drown in a public pool anyway. (Hey, see, mom and dad? I know my strengths and weaknessess, so trust me!). Seriously, only my bikepacking dreams have been swimming in my head for the last couple of years.
People often ask me : Why are you doing this to yourself ?
I generally reply I have a burning desire to sense an unprecedented feeling of “Freedom”. And also, that I want to enjoy the power and beauty of my youth. Because several decades from now, I will only be able to fantasize about my current physical capabilities. Don’t take them for granted!
I expect to maintain a constant Love & Hate relationship with my heavy bike. After all, cycling had always appeared dull to me. Until two years ago, a bicycle was nothing more than a handy tool to move from one place to another. The proof is I have already forgotten three bikes at my local train station. Needless to say, I never saw them back. I like to think they are somehow enjoying a happy new life abroad!
However, things are different now. I’ve decided to make a short-time life partner out of my bike. Whether this adventure actually fits my personality still needs to be figured out. In any case, as much as I know I will miss my close ones, I am completely at peace with my decision to go. In fact, I don’t mind suffering from loneliness and physical pain as long as I don’t have to carry the weight of regret. And by regret, I mean not giving myself the tiniest of chances to fulfil my – special – dream.
This is why I am completely determined to take the road on two wheels.
And I’m excited to see what happens next 🙂