The 9-5 grind sucks. Standing in the warm stale air, shoulder to shoulder, on a sweaty, delayed Southeastern service. Or, sitting in a que of red brakelights, edging onto that roundabout or around the parked bus. Get to work, and then repeat the nightmare all over again. I bet you would rather be anywhere else in the world right now?
Probably getting fed up of yet another amazing landscape or high quality selfie, shared on my Instagram and linked on my Facebook. To think, I’m asking for donations to charity when I’m basically just on holiday right? ….
I couldn’t agree with you more, as I make another desperate run to the bathroom. Im writing this the morning after, being fortunate enough to spend the majority of my time, sharing a 1 x 2 metre throne room, with a family of cockroaches.
Why you ask? Because the stomach bug, so selflessly passed on from each cycle tourer to the next – in Uzbekistan; had finally graced me with its arrival.
Over the past few weeks I have risen at 5am to to traverse a barren and shadeless expanse, in an attempt to avoid the 50 degreee heat of the day.
Travelling – at times, up to 140 plus Km without a place to refill water, eat food, get any kind of supplies or rest in a bed, and all whilst heavy loaded on a bicycle.
I was close to being dehydrated twice, weak, hungry, dizzy, tired, bored and doubting my ability and mental strength.
I go weeks without showering, wash my clothes hostel bathrooms. Sleep in sand ditches and am constantly covered in bites.
I have experienced rain, hailstones and snow, all in the space of a few hours, gone to bed – in my tent; woken the next day soaking wet, and had to carry on.
My bike has broken countless times, leaving me stranded in small villages, scouring buildings for any sign of a potential savour. I have replaced three wheels, a bottom bracket, several chains and cassettes, pedals, crankshaft and a few spokes.
Completely draining my budget on repairs and servicing, only for it to fall apart less than 100Km later.
Spent hours being blasted by impeniterable wind, crawling forward inch by inch, at a depressing speed of 10Km/h.
Got lost, very very lost, traveling over 100 miles on a circle – Day 2. Climbed thousands of feet up mountain passes and vertical roads.
Experienced several “actual” near death incidents, being knocked completely off my bike on one occassion. Had my tent poles crack, straps on my bags snap, and lost just about every screw on my panniers.
Who doesn’t have a few issues on their holiday?
BUT, there is a reason I didn’t get the train over the desert, take a bus around the hills, or quit when my bike broke. THIS IS ADVENTURE!!
The whole point of this journey and experience, is to challenge myself in a way I have never done before. To do that, you need to get as far out of your comfort zone as possible.
I want it to be difficult, thats what makes it a worth while challenge, to support such amazing causes as Meningitis Now and Macmillan Cancer Support. I am fortunate, in that nothing I have ever experienced, has come close to that which the individuals and their families, who these charities support, have.
I feel immensely proud that my small struggles can help raise money to make a difference in somebody’s life, for this reason I am very lucky.
I am having the adventure of a lifetime and wouldn’t change a thing.
If you enjoyed reading this post or have anything to add, please leave a comment below.
If you haven’t already, please visit the charity fundraising page and make a donation towards Meningitis now and Macmillan Cancer Support