New starts

Every so often we start another journey. Indeed, embarking on my trip of a lifetime was a whole new experience, mentally as well as physically. It was a slowing down from a life lived in the fast lane to a new speed. I was now travelling at 15mph. Taking time to see better what was around me, living a day to day life rather than one ruled by diaries and appointments, finding space to think, reflect and just be.

I wrote my last blog noting that for a while- as I was now caring for my moma- life was in a bit of a pause. I was unable to travel far yet this was a major journey. It was a very precious time and one in which I continued to learn so much. Just as I have no regrets on leaving the rat race I also feel privileged to have been able to be here as I was needed. My mom sadly passed away at the end of 2015.

Now, a few months into 2016 I’m starting to look at what next. John, my cycle buddy and fabulous friend came to help me in the past year and we are now looking to set up our own business and move on. I’m currently writing a book of my experiences and starting to share tales from our journey at a variety of clubs and events. I’m also hoping to bring together both business and enterprise experience and cycle tour learnings through inspiring presentations.

John and I started our trip as strangers and we’re now embarking on new adventures as the best of friends. I hope we may also get a few trips away on the bike.

I’ll be back updating my blog and while I’m not currently out cycling the globe I hope you’ll continue to take an interest.



There are many situations in undertaking a long trip on a bike when we have to pause. They may be brief stops while undertaking bike repairs, becoming ill or waiting in relation to VISAs. We were lucky as we toured. Our ride was rarely halted while we were out of the UK. We had just the odd day of sqiffy tums, a day waiting just before a border in Thailand and time waiting on train bookings while in India.

However, our trip overall was built around pauses. Unfortunately my mom’s cancer diagnosis meant John and I came home every five months or so to ensure valuable family time wasn’t lost and neither too was our opportunity for the ride of a lifetime. As it turned out it was a great way to travel. As well as having more valuable time with family and friends, thereby sharing more of our experiences, it also meant we never took our trip for granted.

Right now the pause is bigger than ever. This is not just a pause from riding. It’s a pause from life…of a kind. John and I are both now full time carers for my moma. While this is a tough time it is also one full of richness, patience and love. It’s a pause from life in the sense that dreams and goals I have may be put on hold but in essence a reminder of the very fragility of human existence, the importance of achieving goals when you are able and the absolute value of family and friends.

I’ve learnt a lot while I was riding but boy, I’m learning an awful lot now. Take time to pause. Tell people you love them. Live life to the full but don’t be too busy just doing. Sometimes you just have to be.

Being home

I haven’t blogged for a while. Quite frankly I’ve not known what to say. Having flown home at the end of September my global bike trip ended. While I’d shed a tear on realising I would have to head home slightly earlier than anticipated I thought I was ready. Well, as ready as one can ever be. Were money no constraints I would still be on my bike. But it is, and I’m not.

This was how this blog continued as I wrote back in October.

There are reasons of course why being home is good and spending proper time with family and friends is of course too of this list but it’s also hard, and I’m struggling. I can’t move home properly until mid November when tenants move out of my flat. In the meantime, I’m staying with my ma.

She’s not felt so well this week, crippled with back pain and as I spent time preparing for a job interview I was finding myself becoming increasingly stressed. Nothing quite prepares you for parents getting older, roles twisting on their head while we all also just try to get on. Lacking in personal space and getting more and more tired as I stay up till the early hours…when my quiet time exists.

I didn’t finish or publish this update and it’s now December 6th. I returned to Edinburgh on 12th November, excited to see friends, my flat and Edinburgh, the beautiful city I am lucky to call home. John, my cycle buddy came too and it was brilliant to have his help and of course, his company. Sadly, he was finding the transition with being back really tough and after a few days he headed home. I was really worried.

Back in Edinburgh I had packing and unpacking to do as well as small DIY tasks to prepare my flat for sale. I was making good progress and while still unsure of exactly what I was doing next I was enjoying seeing friends and being home even if I was planning to move. Thankfully I had pushed on as just a few weeks later I am heading back to my ma’s. She is really unwell.

Nothing ever prepares you for these times. All we can do is be there and thankfully I am in a position where I have this time and flexibility. The bike tour seems much further in the past than the end of September and while gutted it had to end I am so pleased I am now here. The transition to “normality” after such an adventure was always going to hard but with such uncertainty and emotional ups and downs the next few months could be the toughest part of the journey.

The last few km

We have just 24km to go until we reach our final destination which will now be Kusadasi and it feels very very weird.

Having decided to end our trip slightly earlier than anticipated my feelings are in a real mix. I have loved riding and travel over the past two years yet already my thoughts are now on what next?

Right now I’m looking at jobs, dates and planning returning to my flat which I have only seen on brief visits in the past two years. I’m excited about being home with family and friends much closer yet thinking it will be weird not to be with my cycling buddy. I’ve ridden over 30, 000km but I’m looking forward to getting fit again and losing weight. Ironically, not being in control of your own diet so much means the additional bonus of losing a few pounds has not quite been realised.

To date, while we have been back to the UK a few times we have always still had the next tour in the diary. This time the next big date in my diary will be my 40th birthday and with a few months still to go between now and then, who knows exactly what I’ll be doing.


There are exciting ideas and a different “to do” list is emerging. First, I’m just waiting to find out if I’ll be living in the UK or an independent Scotland. These really are interesting times.

Coming home

And so the time to end our cycle tour has arrived.

Despite planning to ride home for Christmas all the way from Turkey we have unfortunately decided it was time to revise our plans. Thankfully, this was a decision we could make and not something we had to do due to issues back home. Given the way our dreams to bike the globe started we are both so pleased to have got this far and even more happy that family health issues are “stable”.

We didn’t know each other when we set off, having met just three times before flying out to Seattle. Quite honestly, the trip could well have been cut short much more quickly had we not got on. Fortunately, while quite different in many ways, we seem to make a good team. I’m sure we will now be friends for life.

The opportunity to travel, particularly by bicycle, is so much more than just a journey by way of distance. Slowing down, taking time and not simply rushing past all that we see is sadly, something few of us are able to do. My diary was always full and while for me, I would rather that than simply wasting away on the sofa, I do think I will return with a different perspective.

Travel, and the ability to take time out of “normal” life is truly a phenomenal experience. It provides space to reflect, a different scene to peruse and provides an entirely new pair of glasses through which one then views home, life and the rest of the world. We only ever seem to read bad news – it’s the negative stories that make the press. We were always asked if we felt safe and while perhaps we have been lucky, it is the kindness of complete strangers throughout the world that I will never forget.

The strapline for my blog, and indeed the title of the book I plan to continue writing on my return is “The world at 15mph” and while I’m aware I’ll need to speed up a little I will never forget that in one of my favourite sections of our tour we barely reached 4mph! Before starting this ride I was always looking for the next thing and, given it’s certainly part of my nature, I’m sure I’ll always be a bit like that but I hope I have learnt to be more in the here and now.


Cycle touring is not all about the destination and neither is is life. We don’t know what’s at the end but we can take time to enjoy the present. Neither of us know exactly what will happen next but then we didn’t know how the last two years would go either and it seemed to go ok….