Why I Decided to Cycle from France to China
It’s Monday morning. Or Thursday, I’m not sure. The first rays of sunlight pierce through the net of my tent. I wake up three thousand kilometers away from home, a place I left with my bicycle three months ago. A quick look out of the tent reassures me: My bike is still there. I’m going to need it – it’s a long way to China. But I prefer not to think about that distant goal which will take almost a year to reach. Instead, I breathe and look at the expansive green mountain range in front of me. I have to think simply: the trip starts anew every single day.
The most recurring question I am asked is: What motivated you to make this journey ? Why would you leave everything behind to embark on such a long and perilous adventure ? If you wonder, read on. I hope it can inspire you to dare the unknown in your own way.
I Listened to my Intuition and Heart
I have to start by disappointing you: I won’t be able to give you a simple answer to why I started this journey. Regardless of its cause, it’s ultimate influence is undeniable. It started with an inner voice desiring to be free, to break loose, to pursue something bigger. The mind is good at shutting those dreams down, discarding them as irrational, dangerous, and weird. But rationality, however useful as a tool, is also the primary weapon of the comfort zone. So when I decided to make the trip, I let my heart take the decision, and the mind the implementation.
I Received Inspiration from Others
The first time I was exposed to the idea of a long bicycle trip was over two years ago, when my friend Victor cycled with his friend from Bangkok to Paris in just six months. My initial reaction was similar to most others: “This is insane. I would never do this.” But then I saw the pictures at his presentation and heard the Q&A. My friend had a bright smile on his face, talking about his trip like it was the best thing he had ever done. I still thought he was crazy. But craziness, it dawned on me, was a creator.
YouTube was the next source of inspiration. Browsing will show you that many are happy to share the wisdom they gained during similar trips. I am grateful to all of the pioneers who have come before me and have shared their experiences, and am grateful that i was able to seize the possibilities illuminated by the new age of information, and let myself be inspired by them.
The Map is not the Territory
When I was I child, my parents let me climb on trees and build zip lines with ropes. They taught me early on that some limits were simply natural, others man-made. As tree-climbing kid, I learned about the natural ones the hard way when I felt the law of …read more
Source: Steven Aitchison