The Next Adventure
“Why, sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” | Alice In Wonderland
When planning the walks across America and New Zealand I made very loose plans for after I finished, and they have changed multiple times. Some of the options were:
• Row across the Indian Ocean – there was only a slim chance of me doing this anyway, but the challenge has been postponed to next year.
• Travel with Julia – we all know how that one worked out.
• Travel with Rory – haha.
• Hike the Bibbulmun track in Western Australia – this was very high on the list and almost a definite at one point, but there were a couple of reasons I decided against it this time. Maybe one day.
• Bum around in SE Asia. Find and island. Lie on a beach. – great for a couple of weeks, then what?
• Become a crew member on a boat and sail around, learn a new skill – I got a bit scared about this one. There’s nowhere to escape to on a boat!
• Volunteer for Just A Drop – not possible.
• Volunteer for VSO – not possible, I need to be living in the UK.
• Stay in New Zealand and be sponsored for a work visa – I gave this one a lot of thought, and it might be something I regret, but I decided it wasn’t the right for me this time.
My mind has been going backwards and forwards and never sticking on anything. Nothing felt right in my gut (other than the ocean row which is out of my control). I could continue walking and carry on ticking trails off a list, but I’ve never wanted to do a trail just for the sake of it. I only want to do things I’m really passionate about. I also feel like walking doesn’t present enough of a challenge anymore. I know I can do it. I know, that if I wanted to and if I had the time, I could just keep on walking (although I would probably give myself diabetes).
One of the problems is that I don’t feel like I have a goal, and I don’t feel like just wandering around without a purpose – and yes, I know I should just be living in the now, but it’s so hard!!
So I asked myself, what is the only thing (aside from seeing my friends and family) that I need to come home for? That’s my cousins wedding in September 2018.
AND SO AN IDEA WAS BORN!
One of those ideas that’s all consuming. One that you just can’t get out of your head. One that ignites the passion! I have 15 months…15 months to make it from Sydney to Salisbury…15 months to go overland…15 months to try and get home – by human power! It’s just a thought at the moment and there are several hurdles – mostly bodies of water – that I have to do a lot of research into, by the journey starts with cycling across Australia…
“She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.” | Beau Taplin
Sydney to Darwin.
So, Australia is massive.
You can basically fit the whole of Europe into Australia. And you can fit the whole of North America into Australia. It doesn’t look that big on the map. But it is. It’s colossal. And there is a huge amount of nothingness in the middle.
Originally I thought I could cycle from Sydney to Perth, but I connected with someone I know from the PCT – who is currently hiking the Appalachian trail to complete his triple crown (check out his blog – bikehikesafari – and Instagram @bikehikesafari). Shepherd lives in Darwin and he suggested the route that goes from Adelaide to Darwin through the outback. It immediately pierced my grey matter and I found out as much information as I could about it (and that was the moment when the going home overland idea popped into my head, maybe from Darwin I could hitch a ride on a boat to Indonesia?…)
Oh man, cycling through the outback! That sounds so cool. What a way to see the real Australia, to travel through the vast expanse of nothing. And what a challenge! I’ve not ridden a bike further than about 50 miles! But the journey had to start in Sydney, so the route was born…
Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide – Alice Springs – Darwin.
Through my research I found Mac from HalfwayAnywhere (very good blog), had done a similar thing – cycled from Melbourne to Darwin. I used his blog when researching the PCT and I thought, well if he can do it there is no reason I can’t. He also had no clue about bike touring which gives me hope! (Spoiler alert: he didn’t like it much!)
Of all the people I have told about this I have had only one person (but there’s always one) who didn’t believe I could do it and told me I should change the route, told me I couldn’t make it through the outback because it’s ‘dessert’ – I quite like the idea of cycling through a lemon meringue pie! That person obviously doesn’t know me very well, because if they did they would never doubt me, and they would also know saying something like that to me is fuel to the fire.
I will do it and I will prove you wrong! So positive vibes only please, negative nellies keep your opinions to yourself!!
I would like to tell you that I just turned up in Sydney, bought a bike and started pedalling. And I kind of did do that, but I also did a tonne of research online and asked a whole bunch of questions to various people who have done cycle touring – mainly, how did you stop your bum hurting?!
To be honest, I don’t know how I’m going to get on, I don’t know if I will like it. After I’ve cycled across Australia maybe I will just be ready to go home, but if you don’t try you never know…
I continue to raise money for Just A Drop – they bring sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities around the world.
663 million people across the globe are living without access to clean, safe water. That’s 1 in 10 people. A child dies every 90 seconds from a water related disease. One third of the worlds population – 2.4 billion people – don’t have access to adequate sanitation.
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