When I first heard this idea of longterm bike-touring, I was silently fascinated. A little at first and then more and more. Silently, because I didn’t share this fascination with anybody in the beginning. I was starting to think things like: “Would that be something for me? Could I be a person who cycles for years, cycles in sunshine and in rain, through cold and warmth? Would I be willing to give up many of the comforts and nice little things of my life at the time? Could I keep travelling for such a long time and not ever meet the same people twice?
Aaaah, all these questions… But then, the idea of cycling through all these different pathways, trails, tracks, roads, lifes, worlds really stuck and kept growing: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to travel so slowly, to really experience everything around me? To meet people I wouldn’t usually meet, to really feel the weather, the air, the sun, the wind, the rain around me? To be outside a lot of the time, to get a lot of exercise. And of course, to see different lifestyles, hear about hopes and dreams and difficulties, be part of some, many lifes for a time.
It’s not just about the romance of seeing beautiful sunsets or letting the waves of the ocean set your mind at ease, though. Because at some point nature is going to suck and I might get wet for days on end and curse this whole idea. It’s not about the sexyness of hanging on beautiful beaches with a drink in each hand and enjoying a lifelong holiday either. Because – as much as I appreciate beautiful beaches, this is not a holiday, this is my life and that means all of it. Happiness, frustration, hopes, longings, soreness, relationships, people, ideas.
So, maybe in the end, this is about change. And I have no idea what that really means or rather will mean down the road. But the one thing I know is, that the idea of longterm bike travel still totally inspires me and this fascination just keeps on growing. In the meantime I am trying to answer some of the questions above, thinking about the route and what to pack. And getting some musical inspiration (whilst the song is not originally about travelling, but oh well…):
“(…) It’s somewhere I can taste the salty sea
There’s a kite blowing out of control on the breeze
I wonder what’s gonna happen to you
You wonder what has happened to me
(…) Who’s to say where the wind will take you
Who’s to say what it is will break you
I don’t know
Which way the wind will blow (…)”
(U2 – Kite)