So, I’m in my final year of University, which means many questions are asked as to what everyone is doing next year. This is a perfectly reasonable question. Every time I’ve been asked I’ve nearly always responded with a ‘fluffy’ answer like, “Oh, I want to travel”, or “I have no real plans”. Both answers aren’t completely true. What I’ve really wanted to say is “I want to cycle around the world”. In my opinion, this is a perfectly reasonable answer. So, why haven’t I answered with that? This is because to do so would be to open myself to criticism. Cycling to the other end of the world is hardly the ‘normal’ step following graduating from law is it? Still, where’s the fun in ‘normal’. In my current position, a long distance bike tour seems like one of the sanest decisions, and I’m beyond excited about getting started with it.
So, where did this dream come from? To answer this question, I must take you back to my first year in University, back when I thought my future was mapped out already (graduate, study more, become a lawyer, work for a long period of time, retire, and … well yeah, you get the picture). At this time an important lawyer came to visit from a top London law firm and gave a talk. One of the things that I took from this talk was that he was more likely to interview someone who had cycled Lands End to John O’ Groats, or who had hiked in the Himalayas for a period of time, rather than looked straight for a job. Straightaway, I decided I would cycle Land’s End to John O’ Groats before taking the next step to becoming a lawyer, something I had always thought would be a lot of fun. So, I was reading some blogs, reading some books, getting some inspiration and some more knowledge about this 1,000 mile or so cycle, when I stumbled across someone who cycled across America, which made me reconsider: “Wow, why would I just cycle Lands End to John O’Groats if I could cycle across America as well?” I realised this would be even more of an adventure, and probably further increase my chances of becoming a lawyer. So, same story, I was reading some blogs, getting stoked for cycling across America when I stumbled across someone who cycled around the world. This blew my mind – he must have had some incredible experiences! So, same thought process again, who is going to refuse to give me a law job if I have the life experience of cycling around the world. “Why would I cycle across America if I could cycle around the entire world?!” This led to a further reconsideration: why should I do all this merely to increase my chances of getting a job? If having an adventure and incredible experiences is what I want to do (which by then I was confident it was), I should do it for that reason, simply because I want to get the most out of my life. So now, I have decided, I shall be setting off to cycle to Australia, and hopefully beyond in spring of 2015. For those wondering why so far ahead, as much as I’d like to leave now, I should probably finish my degree, and I’ve arranged to work at Long Point Camp in upstate New York again this summer, and in the pipeline is working at a ski resort over winter. Exciting times!
So, I have told some people my plans, and received mixed views. While some have been supportive, other less so, telling me, they wished they had my sense of naivety, or I couldn’t do it. That sounds like a challenge though and does little to deter me from trying. I’m happy to be sharing this now, and hope this will allow everyone to hold me accountable to starting this cycle!
And what awaits after the cycle? Well, that’s part of the beauty of it. I simply don’t know. Life is no longer mapped out, but more adventures and awesome experiences are sure to lie ahead.
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“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should do for the rest of your life” – Jessica Hische
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go” – T.S. Eliot
“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts” – Albert Einstein