There was a time when I thought everyone, deep inside, wanted the same thing; to see the world. Simply because I could not imagine anyone wouldn’t want that. That was then.
It is not for everyone to go venture out into the world on a bicycle, adventuring. It is a challenge that appeals not everyone. Some are afraid, others would get bored or would miss their family and and home too much, others wouldn’t like the physical effort, and so there are many other reasons why not everyone wants to peddle their way around the globe.
What I find interesting, “where does that come from?”. Why does one dream about starting family, buy a house, have children, a successful career? And why do others get excited by riding their bike in the sun, rain or cold winds through the mountains? Is that the question of nature versus nurture ? Is it in your brain or your genes? Or does it go beyond that and is there something like that elusive idea of a “soul”? What makes something ‘your thing’, as we like to call it?
Over the years it became clear to me that not everyone ‘deep inside’ has the same dreams and desires. In a way that’s good. Otherwise we’d be cycling around the world in one endless platoon. Although that idea will perhaps appeal to more people than the idea of doing it alone. Especially that “alone” part seems to intimidate. The fact that I, as a young woman, travel alone, is regularly criticized. Usually people just tell me it’s ‘dangerous’. Even just the names of countries such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan fill people with fear, while the average person knows very little about these countries, let alone been there. I am well aware of the dangers, but I refuse to believe in the ghost image of barbarian countries with ‘bad’ people.
Another response I often get is; “I really couldn’t be alone all the time.”. People find it difficult to spend a long time by themselves. Who should you talk to? The answer is obvious, indeed, to yourself, and to all the other people you encounter. I can entertain myself day after day after day. In addition, I have conversations in my head with my family or friends, I imagine how they would react, and we often agree ;). And then of course there is the population of the country and if you’re lucky now and then another traveler. The lack of much contact changes the conversations you have with them. They have more depth or you laugh as you haven’t laughed for weeks, and after two days it feels like you’ve known eachother for months.
There is one kind of reaction I regularly get that I find difficult, because it rarely leads to a satisfying conversation. Those are the different variations of “How awesome that you can do so! I would also like to do such a trip, but … ”
- BUT, I have a house..
- BUT, I have a job, and it’s bad times to find a new job and and and…
- BUT I have boy/girlfriend who has a house/job…
- BUT (I’m not sure wat the ‘but’ is but there definitely is a ‘but’)…
There is always a BUT, for everything, ever, for the rest of your life.
But if you make up ‘but’s, you can ask yourself:
- Do I really want this, and am I afraid of the insecurities it will bring? or
- Do I want to want this? With that I mean, do you want to go on an adventure because it’s ‘cool’, or ‘good for you’ of ‘impressive’ or ‘to prove yourself’ etc. Be honest with yourself. Are you that person who wants to go on an adventure, or would you like to be that person?
For numbers 2 counts: You can still choose to travel! Who knows the real traveler is there somewhere deep within you. Go, and if you fail, at least you have tried. Which is more than most can say!
For the numbers 1: I, alongside a subtle kick in the ass, want to ask you ‘what is the worst that could happen? “. IF you were going, what’s really the risk you’d take?
The uncertainty, knowing that there is no job, home, partner or money waiting for you when you return home, can be very frightening. On the other hand you’re a blank page yet in every possible way to color. There are no certainties in life (except that you will die someday). I see it happening around me, people think they have their future ‘secured’, that house, that partner, that job. The secure feeling that gives can be delicious. But ultimately it does not give more certainty about where you’ll be over 3 years, or even three months, then you have when you get on your bike an ride around the world. Everything can change every day, sometimes other people make that choice for you, but do not forget that you can also be that person to make a different choice!
Not everyone is born for this kind of adventure. Some might not even be born for adventure in any sense whatsoever. I do. When I travel I sometimes feel afraid, lonely an uncertain about my future, but there is no fiber in my body that would let that make me give up on my dreams. Sometimes I wish I’d want other things. But I always end up back on the saddle.
Whichever way you look at it. This is me.
Who are you?
If you really want something there's always a way. If you don't really want something there's always an excuse.