- Getting out the door and deciding where you are going
One of the most difficult things I have found is to decide where?
Where do I want to go and what do I want to see.
For myself the solution was easy and obvious, I’ll go around the whole world, no brainer:). For Diana, it was equally easy, I’ll go where you’re going. Sorted, done, vamanos!
For you it may not be so easy, you may not want to unshackle yourself from the world by plunging head first into it all at once, you may have a family, a very close circle of friends, a job you love, or hate and will only give you x amount of time off… Therefore, I have a plan…
First, lets decide what you want to GAIN from the ride. Then we decide where you want to go, O.K.?
If you are completely happy with the life you lead and just want to see the world in a different manner than you are accustomed, very easy, decide where you want to visit, put your vehicle and gear together based upon the place you are visiting, get the requisite time of from work or make sure the trust fund credit card is topped off, find a plane/train/etc, assemble your components upon arrival and go! If it is out your front door and around the state, even easier!
Now, if you want a ride that will cause you to search your soul a bit, to purposely promote growth, you will have to find a place that offers opportunities for the growth you seek.
For instance, Lets just say you are a devout Christian, or you are very interested in the history of the faith and want to really push your spiritual growth/knowledge. Then perhaps you will ride one of the prescribed spiritual pilgrimage trails, such as the Santiago de Compostela, which is actually a Cathedral in Galicia, Northwestern Spain, in which it is thought the remains of the apostle St. James is buried. Over one Thousand years old, it is one of the most important Pilgrimages in the Faith and is a Unesco World Heritage site. It is as important to the Christian faith as Mecca would be for the Muslim Faith, and possibly Stonehenge for Wikken faith [I say possibly as my knowledge is lacking in this area, BUT, that is why I am on a ride around the world, at some point, I will learn all about it!].
I do not try to steer you the gentle reader to any one place, or religion, I am merely outlining how wonderful bicycle touring is for opening ones eyes to travel and learning!
Perhaps you want to know more about the area in which you live and are happy touring your state. My goodness, the amount of info I have learned when tourists come to visit me and I show them around. Now is your chance to show yourself around, meet new friends that you can actually stay in touch with because they live close by, and be amazed at the diversity and richness of the area you live in.
Maybe the whole of the country you live in or specific parts of it based on what you like to do and see.
Perhaps you are a rock climber, find places that have great rock climbing and bike tour to them.
You love beer, make yourself a Beer Tour and visit breweries. Likewise, you love wine, make yourself a wine tour.
It is with tours such as this that you can even have the potential for earning supplemental income, if not radically change your life and what it is you do. Imagine, you go on a wine tour, write about it, become somewhat of an expert, and bada boom bada bing, now you are running tours, blogging for dollars and being sought after as a most knowledgeable sort.
Another popular bike tour is surf adventures, the surfboard being pulled behind on a cart and having the luxury of stopping whenever you see some great waves!
Adventure cycling association has the USA covered very well. I was fortunate enough to get a complete route across the US from them, which is an extremely kind donation as the maps come at a premium, and rightfully so, they are fantastic, tear and water proof, covering basically everything you will come across from places to eat, elevations, avg. rainfall, temperatures etc.
All of that to say, I ended up not using them as I was swept away in the “moment” and found myself deciding my route day by day, of which I am still doing. In the U.S. and around the world for the most part [do not base your thought of Wi-Fi on your local Starbucks, there are many places that without a satellite, there is no internet], you are able to check in to the world wide web with enough frequency that you would be able to map out as you go.
Of course, DO NOT NEGELCT TO BRING AN ACTUAL MAP OF THE AREA YOU ARE GOING TO BE TRAVERSING, regardless of supposed internet availability! But we are straying from the topic… more on this later…
Yet another reason for cycle touring could be wanting to shift your centralized view of things to be more Worldly. You know you have it good and you want to be more thankful in your life, to live this goodness without taking it for granted. Perhaps you will ride your bike through a poor section of a third world country, I guarantee you wont leave the lights on or neglect to acknowledge how lucky you are when it comes to having water come out of a pipe in most rooms of your house!
There is also cycling for causes, very popular and very positive, its what I am doing. There are many causes to choose from, many ways to promote your ride, and you will find that it helps you better understand your cause as well as give a focus beyond having a rad time….
Whatever direction you choose for your trip, know that it will be an adventure, it simply works that way, there is no choice in the matter! All that remains from you is to what degree it helps to mold and change your view on things.
You can also let your house go into foreclosure as I did, leave your idyllic life in Hawaii, literally giving away everything, and off you go for an undisclosed period of time, undisclosed, as you have no clue!
Whatever type of tour you do, remember, to rest often and, if you want, take or accept rides from others, then you just enter into the realm of velo tourist. As long as you are happy, you are doing the right thing! Never feel constrained by what you read or others tell you. As long as you do no harm and are having a blast, well, don’t stop!