“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
I often spend my days dreaming up ideas for new adventures. One of my favourite parts of a new adventure is the planning phase. Checking routes on maps, researching locations and reading about other people’s experiences in similar places.
The end of an adventure is often quite depressing. From exploring new locations and soaking in all the new sights, sounds and smells to going back to the everyday existence of work and family life. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work and cherish time at home as I am often away. It is the adjustment from living in a manner that is so simple and free to going back to some of the mundane things in life, like mowing the lawn or paying bills.
Being on the road during my cycle/busking adventure through Northern Ireland had a certain routine to it just like a ‘normal’ week at work. It goes like this:
- Wake up at sunrise and slowly pack away tent and re-attach the panniers and equipment to the bike.
- Find somewhere to refill water bottles.
- Get some early morning miles under my belt. If I have over 50km done before lunch time it makes the afternoon easier.
- Aim to arrive in a large town to busk after lunch.
- Set up the music stand, retune the ukulele.
- Pluck up the courage to sing loud and hopefully in tune.
- Count the meagre amount of coins I have made.
- Pack up and get some more miles under my belt before sunset.
- Look for a stealth camp spot.
- Once selected, occupy the spot and get out the tent.
- Cook some hot food and have a wash.
What makes the day interesting is the people you meet whilst travelling. People will often stop and talk to a lone traveller on a heavily laden bicycle. The scenery and wildlife do a good job of keeping you entertained and stimulated as well.
I feel I have had my summer fix of type 2 fun (horrid at the time, only fun to reminisce afterwards). Now it’s time to relax. Is that even possible?