It's the longest time since I posted! Why have I abandoned my post? Well really my time staying still has meant that I can take an opportunity to write more, but I have to take the jobs that pay me good hard cash! That is the reality of it! My blog is for pleasure and a girl has to make her money somehow. Getting across Canada, then over to Africa is not going to be cheap! Choosing an alternative lifestyle does not mean all play! Money makes the wheels on the bike go round and round! Romantic it is not, but it is what it is, and I kinda like what it is! I was never one for romance novels anyway!
Since we last spoke, I have written an ebook, several articles and columns! I have been snowshoeing, skiing, wine tasting and practicing flying my new drone called Marvin (a healthy work/life balance I think)! I have enjoyed the snow, but I must admit, I am getting a little tired of it now! I am grateful to see it retreat! The birds are of the same mind it seems. They're buzzing around, singing and foraging as fast as they can peck! The neighbourhood Coyotes are happy too. They yip and howl all around me at night, and the deer? Well they don't seem too phased whatever the weather! (one phased me the other night, outside my window at midnight though!)
British Columbia is not a bad place to be stuck for the winter, but after nearly three years on the road, I do find it hard to stay still. Logically and logistically it makes total sense. The roads are treacherous, it’s too cold for a tent, and I have lots of paperwork to prepare for the next leg. However, Adventure Deficit Disorder (ADD) is an affliction I find myself having to deal with on a daily basis.
It is certainly challenging to find distraction when you are snowed in, but it has also given me time to reflect on my journey so far, with all its ups and downs and whether, indeed, it has all been worth the effort.
It's easy to put a heavy blanket of nostalgia over our memories, but I feel it is important to re-evaluate from time to time. I ask myself, ’Do I want to continue? Am I still enjoying the ride?’. After all, it’s a long way home with many challenges yet to face. Africa will not be easy riding alone, living hand to mouth and relying on a tent for shelter. Perhaps it is time to cut the losses before the banks do it for me. Perhaps I have collected enough memories AND injuries! Perhaps the only way to beat ADD is to go cold turkey.
All of the above makes sense but there is as much chance of me being sensible at this stage as there is of scientologists finding the mother ship. The future, like the past, is all about perspective! Africa is a whole new adventure just waiting to happen and I am well and truly in!
I’m not sure I will ever be able to recreate those first few months on the road. The ultimate feeling of freedom mixed with fear, excitement and anticipation. I felt so alive and probably the happiest I have ever been. Perhaps I will always be chasing that feeling.
The journey is constantly evolving though. Just the very act of moving becomes addictive. I find peace within more often than I ever did (not always, but certainly more often). I look forward to new challenges without the drama that comes with those blasted butterflies. The newness of relationships and the ever-changing scenery. Seeing the best and moving on, never settling long enough to get into a quarrel, see the dark side or, god forbid, get bored. The thought of finishing becomes another challenge to face, perhaps even scarier than the start. Is this why we keep on riding?
I was recently told by a well-known long-distance rider, ‘If you didn’t fit in before, you’ve got no chance when you get home’.
Having said that, I don't believe this is a life long journey for me. There is an end, and I am already planning my next adventures. There is a certain pleasure in finishing a chapter and starting a fresh one. I look forward to it as much as I fear it. The page is starting to turn so watch this space! It is a very slow turn though, so don't hold your breath!
With all my doubts and insecurities about the future, there is one thing I can be sure of - given the opportunity to go back, I wouldn't change a thing (romantic enough for you?)! :)