Burton on Trent - contemplating......June 5, 2016 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
Sat on a hilltop camp in rural Masaka Uganda, the event I had looked forward to and prepared hard for over 6 months was tangiably close... just 24 hours away. I was prepared, excited and ready for the challenge..... yet I woud have been equally happy to have been able to stop time and retain the expectation and motivation it had given me to tick off the bleak english winter days in a job I had lost passion for. I knew that when it was over there would be a huge feeling of elation and satisfaction at completing the event, but there would also be a void to be filled which inevitably meant another 9+ months working in a office and riding out another grey British winter until I could concoct the next adventure. This time I knew it had to be longer. Working an intense job for a WHOLE year for 25 days holiday is a bad trade off, right? ;)
I met some very inspirational people in our wonderful little camp, a group of 150 or so Brits who had flown to Uganda to take part in a hilly off-road marathon all had to have something uniquely magical flowing in their blood to bring them together. The day before the marathon during our "Un-conference Day", having listened to stories about solo women cycling to New Zealand and people stepping out to change their careers, I made 2 promises to myself. One was to change my job into a role I didnt continually want to escape from, the other was to go on a long journey - and somehow cycling to Russia popped into mind.
Going back a couple of years or so, I recall having an odd day off at the end of summer, I decided to take my car up to Middleton in the Peak District and the high peak trail to Hurdlow. Being in my late 20s I remarked how all the people I encountered on the trail that day must have been retirees. Some couples, some solo, but all enjoying nature, being in the open air and getting from A to B under their own steam. I caught myself thinking "I can't wait to retire until I can do this all day...". WHAAAAT!! I was 29 and already wishing to be 65 (or older by the time the retirement age rises..!) Despite the bewildered looks I get from friends or colleagues when I tell them of my plans to do a long-distance bike trip I am more and more convinced that sometimes you have to step out of the socially-expected, safe, trajectory of "life" to actually experience "life". We shall see...
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