Thursday, 31 May 2018

Finding Direction - Two Months On!

‘No GPS is going to help you out of this one.’ I thought as I tried once more to take control of the ping pong ball that was bouncing around in my brain with random thoughts and unwelcomed emotions. This was getting far deeper than I had expected and I had not prepared for this leg of the journey.

‘What are you going to do when you get back?’, said just about everyone I came across near the end of my trip. ‘I’ll figure it out’ I’d say with a confident nonchalance, ‘It’s just the next chapter and I’m quite excited about it. A blank page to fill with whatever I choose.’ That was what this journey had done for me. I felt I could do anything I set my mind to. The World had made me an optimist.

Then came the regular reinforcing comments, ‘You are going to get SOOOO depressed. It’s going to be strange for you after moving around for four years non-stop.’, and I knew that to some degree they would be right. I know how I work and there are times when I get a punch to the gut in life and it hits me hard, but I also know I recover quickly. I get it out of my system in an intensely short burst, and I move on by getting busy. I am an expert at picking myself off the floor – we are old friends the floor and I, but there is a process to work through first. This is where I am at now! Somewhere in the middle of that process -  without a map!

What I have reminded myself of course, is that this is a dramatic life change (a punch, albeit expected). Four years is a very long time and for 18-months before that I was completely submerged in the planning stage and excitement of it all. Suddenly there is no end goal. No purpose and no sense of direction. It created a hole. A real sense of loss. Not straight away, but it came. What do I focus on now?

I have only been home a couple of weeks really as I came home and then flew back to Cairo to continue an emotional roller coaster (with a guy who was on an even bigger emotional roller coaster than me and stuck it on top of mine to see if it helped! It didn’t so he went off to try another, and another! Shit happens! We are all human!) and dental surgery! The bone-grafting, face-swelling, stitches type of dental surgery! Of course, I need time. My decision making has clearly been skewed lately! I had to give myself space to get emotional, expect it and allow it without questioning it too much -  BUT DON’T JUMP INTO ANYTHING! I may be tough but I am also human, and accepting you are vulnerable is a strength in itself.

So back to the question – What do I focus on now? Well the ping pong ball is calming down slowly and the mojo is coming back in fits and starts. The presentations have started and I am loving meeting up with friends, walking my dog and healing my body. Ideas are forming. I can’t help it. That’s who I am – but the main focus this year is the second book AND getting more women to join me on an expedition to Everest Base Camp in 2019. (

Summer is here and I am looking forward to being at all the main biking events this year. Nick Sanders’ Mach3 last weekend was the perfect start!

My perspective has changed. My world has changed. Not unexpectedly and not for the bad. It really is a new chapter and a blank sheet that I cannot wait to start filling!  Life WILL never be the same again but that’s OK.  Security is overrated! I didn’t go into this looking for ‘same’.

One thing you can be sure of with me, is that ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN AND PROBABLY WILL!!! J

I just have to remember the lessons the road taught me -  Approach with optimism -  even when people are dumping roller coasters on your head!! J  

PS - Thank you to all my amazing friends and family who allow me to be me! :)  


  1. I know the feeling you have. We are dromainia or complusive travelers. OCD travelers. I am for sure. Good luck. Staying put. I will be back on the road soon.

  2. Very eloquently written almost prose
    Steph.Im sure that whatever you do next will be gratifying. Follow your heart live love and be happy works. I've been riding for 47 years with an enforced break for a year spent 9 months in a wheelie chair. A GSXR1100r moment! Today a 400km ride in the beautiful north Thailand mountains.

  3. Aaron Mitchell1 June 2018 at 10:16

    Great read Steph. And totally get what you're saying

  4. Yes, I have those thoughts about what I'll do when I finally get back. Fortunately that's a long way in front of me. But I'll be watching and learning while you get yourself sorted.

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