Live the dream

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do”. Bob Dylan

I’d always felt lucky in this regard. I had a job I loved…. And given much of what we do between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night is work then I suppose, in accordance with the quote above, I was successful….. but, is it all that simple?

As long as we all follow the conventional norms and accept a 35-50 hour working week then I was doing ok. I had friends who had actively decided not to follow this norm… accepting less income for a more frugal way of life. As a self-confessed Imelda, a holiday lover and someone who wanted to be able to afford what she wanted I had instead found myself on the treadmill. I had a mortgage to feed, direct debits to cover and the usual spending habits in accordance with my income. I was officially part of the rat race.

However, in finishing work at the end of 2011, for the first time in over 15 years, I found myself in a very different situation. I was no longer spending 35-50 hours per week at “the desk”. I had instead a different goal in mind. In 2012 I was setting out to cycle the world. It seems easy to say it now but believe me, this was not an easy place to get to. Sometimes circumstances that felt tough at the time can help us discover what we really, yes, really, want to do.

It seems that one of the biggest challenges in “living the dream” is being honest with yourself and having the guts to step off the treadmill and just do it.

So, what does that mean in terms of waking up and what that actually transpires to in terms of daily activity? Right now, it means training, planning, selling a house, reading about the adventures of others and looking for work in the interim until the adventure begins. It means I have reflected to bring balance into my life again – the great work/life balance we all talk about but do nothing to address…. until now.

It means I have fire in my belly once again and in accordance with the opening quote… it means success!!

Joining a new group ride

With most of my friends into mountain biking and the difficulties of persuading others that they would really enjoy going out for even a short cycle let alone 50 miles or more it’s always a challenge to find people to go out with. However, when you start looking there are many new people to meet who love nothing better than a jaunt on their bike.

On January 8th I bit the bullet and, arriving at the designated meet up spot, joined the first Sunday of the month Spokes cycle ride. It was a chilly day, my bike had just come out of storage and I arrived, rushed, with skewed handled bars to see who else had turned up. For the first 10 minutes of waiting for any late arrivals it looked like this would be a trip with the boys. As it happened in the next few minutes another woman did arrive and we were soon off…. with what were now straight handle bars!

The great thing about organised rides is that you really can spend time enjoying the ride, not worrying about navigation and learning new cycle friendly routes while out with those who’ve cycled the area many times before. Everyone in the group was friendly and over the course of the next few hours I spoke to most folks out for this Sunday ride. Within the first hour the other woman on the trip had even worked out where we had met before. (I had been a presenter on a training course she had attended some 12 months earlier!).

Heading out of town, past Musselburgh and Prestonpans we found time for pub lunch and after a few hours out on the bike I started to head towards home. All in all this had been a great trip, a friendly group, non-competitive and full of interesting rides and information from other travels. For me the only negative had been that the speed was very slow at times and in chilly conditions a faster pace would have made for a slightly more pleasant ride. I will definitely be back for the February trip… especially having been assured that the pace was much slower than normal….


My first post


The world at 15mph

So, aged 36, an ex career girl plans an adventure. With trepidation at stepping out of the rat race this site documents not only a bike ride around the world but a personal journey and reflection on people, priorities and whatever comes to mind.

2012 will be the ride of my life. Having signed up for a supported world cycle trip – now cancelled – a mission has begun. Routes, flights and even a companion all need to be sought…… bring on the adventure!

So,  it’s time to start planning and see what happens next…… tips, comments and encouragement would be much appreciated.



  1. Hi Naomi, really good chatting to you tonight at the triodos launch; looking at my desk and list of “To Do’s” really envious of your plans – kind of wished I’d taken some time out before setting up this venture – in too deep now! . Sounds like a great adventure – go for it I wish you well.


  2. Hi Naomi – Sally sent me the link to your blog as she thought I would like to read about your trip… Sounds like a brilliant adventure, and if I wasnt off sailing round the world then would love to sign up to travel with you… Hope you have a great time and I will look forward to reading about your adventures! Lucy

    • A few friends have remarked that I should get a pedlo for the water sections…. I think i’ll stick to G and T style sailing however… when does your trip start? Pretty cool too eh?

  3. This is awsome Nao, let me know the detailed itinerary and I’ll see if I can join you for a few days.

    Preferably in a warm country with a strong reputation for good red wine!

    • cool… look up tour d’afrique…. you can sign up for stages of that trip…. maybe the end in south africa would meet the red wine requirements!! pacific coast highway if you prefer californian… my experience of wine in india is very very bad indeed!

  4. Dear God Daughter -What on earth/heaven possessed you to do this then??? Knowing you, you will have a great time – take plenty of vaseline and padding for the sensitive areas!!

    Stay safe – dond’t forget to phone home.

  5. Naomi, am so envious, you will have the most amazing adventure and you have the true black country spirit /grit going for you. Take care and be safe on your travels. God speed. hehehehehhe

  6. Hi Naomi,

    Best of luck with your venture – have you ever read Josie Dew’s books ‘The Wind in My Wheels’ and ‘Travels in a Strange State’ (eight months travelling around the US by bike). Might be worth a read anyway? Have fun – I look forward to keeping up with your writings.

    • hey sigi – cheers… i don’t have travels in s atrange state but do have wind in my wheels…. just finished reading alastair humphreys first book…. also a great read – makes a girl even more excited about her trip!

  7. Some obstacles just make winners more determined than ever to succeed! I look forward to following your adventure Red… wish you the time of your life!

  8. Wow Naomi, you are going to have the most amazing experience, perhaps you could go round twice, you may never want to come back. Keep me posted, I’m supporting you all the way. X