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….