24 Jul Preparing For Adventure
When Will You Be “Ready”?
I am unsure whether cycling around the world is something you can ever prepare for
June 2010, two weeks until departure. As a master of procrastination, I have, yet again, managed to stare through a computer monitor all day, sipped through gallons of tea and still don’t feel ready to leave. It’s my first ever bike tour but, in my defence, I am unsure whether cycling around the world is something you can ever prepare for. From the comfort of a suburban family home in central England it’s hard to imagine the November climate of Uzbekistan or barren landscapes of the Peruvian Andes, let alone know how to prepare for them. Beneath a giant map of the world upon which visa issues and rough dates of arrival are scrawled, my attempts to equip myself for the next few years lay scattered across the floor. A stove that burns anything from the cheapest diesel to jet fuel, a water filter that could purify a swamp and a tent so small and light I wouldn’t notice if I accidentally inhaled it. And can I use them? No. I am the man I have always avoided being; I have all the gear and no idea.
The First Step Is The Hardest
Although in having the equipment and still a couple of weeks before leaving, I at least have a fighting chance of survival. As with every aspect of this adventure so far, the learning curve plots a huge mountain to climb before even the first pedal stroke has been made. In the year that it has taken to get to this point, I have had to get a job, learn it and leave it, met amazing people and left them, I have learned how to write a website from scratch, publicise myself, coordinate media and raise sponsorship; none of which I would have imagined or could have achieved 12 months ago. Physical preparation is the easy part, essentially buying things and getting fit, however, if mental preparation exists, I don’t know if it is something I will ever completely grasp. A willingness to jump in at the deep end and the faith that it will work out doesn’t lead to a good night’s sleep. Whether mental preparation is a retrospective figment of imaginative storytelling I am yet to find out, but only by putting myself into the situation and learning through it will my mind be able to accommodate the preparation required.
Enjoy The Moment
As friends call and visit to check on my progress, we sit drinking tea and discuss the merits of burning Naphtha over Kerosene. Nodding along, we know that I have no idea what they are, where you get them or how you would make fire out of them in the rare instance that I was given some. But in sharing a brew and a laugh, in being human and counterproductive, we ease our minds and enjoy the moment. In the years to come I’m quietly confident that I will have much greater memories of cups of tea, shared with friends and strangers than I will of camping stove fuel.
I’m quietly confident that I will have much greater memories of cups of tea, shared with friends and strangers than I will of camping stove fuel