Since the end of the adventure I have had a mixture of emotions. Being alone for so long confirmed my belief that there is much more to life than seeing spectacular places, being wild and facing new challenges. Being alone means you are completely reliant on yourself for motivation. Nobody is checking up on you, nobody praises you if you ride an extra long day, nobody cares if you take the easy road or raises an eyebrow if you spend frivolously or if you avoid a challenge that frightens you. I realise more than ever the importance of self belief for how happy you feel.
I believe we underestimate our capabilities. Too often we strive for and achieve only what we believe we can achieve. We should aim higher. Aim for the stars-you may not hit them but you’ll get close. We settle for too few accomplishments and we are not satisfied with what we have. I know on my ride I sometimes found myself wishing for what “would of, could of and should have been”.
I think the greatest barrier to success and happiness is the fear of failure.
The journey and preparation for the journey of almost 4,000km has taught me a great deal. Hours free each day to think and read. To talk with people of different races, religion, political views, wealthy and poor has been an eye opening experience for me.
Everyone loves their children. Everyone loves to laugh and see beautiful things. Everyone has hopes and dreams. Don’t listen to the media. Their is more that draws us together than pulls us apart.
A writer that I enjoy to read said “Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice and hatred. I would make everybody travel for 6 months through the country of the people they think they hate and have insoluble differences with. That would cure them.”
Some people have asked me would I cycle as far again. My initial thoughts are no I wouldn’t. Not for the reasons you may imagine though. Though perhaps this sort of adventure is like child birth. The days and weeks following the end are too soon to decide if you would ever embark on something similar again.
I do hope that somewhere out there my adventure has perhaps been a small catalyst for another person to step out of their comfort zone. Risking for others I believe is to live life.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to others is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to do nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave, they forfeited their freedom.
Only the person who risks can be free”
TO AN ENGLISH FRIEND IN AFRICA
Be grateful for the freedom
To see other dreams.
Bless your loneliness as much as you drank
Of your former companionships.
All that you are experiencing now
Will become moods of future joys
So bless it all.
Do not think your ways superior
Do not venture to judge
But see things with fresh and open eyes
Do not condemn
But praise when you can
And when you can’t, be silent.
Time now is a gift for you
A gift of freedom
To think and remember and understand
The ever perplexing past
And to re-create yourself anew
In order to transform time.
Live while you are alive.
Learn the ways of silence and wisdom
Learn to act, learn a new speech
Learn to be what you are in the seeds of your spirit
Learn to free yourself from all the things
That have moulded you
And which limit your secret and undiscovered road.
Remember that all things which happen
To you are raw materials
Endlessly yielding of thoughts that could change
Your life and go on doing so forever.
Never forget to pray and be thankful
For all things good or bad on the rich road;
For everything is changeable
So long as you live while you are alive.
Fear not, but be full of light and love;
Fear not, but be alert and receptive;
Fear not, but act decisively when you should;
Fear not, but know when to stop;
Fear not, for you are loved by me;
Fear not, for death is not the real terror,
But life- magically-is.
Be joyful in your silence
Be strong in your patience
Do not try to wrestle with the universe
But be sometimes like water or air
Sometimes like fire
And constant like the earth.
Live slowly, think slowly, for time is a mystery.
Never forget that love
Requires always that you be
The greatest person you are capable of being,
Self-regenerating and strong and gentle-
Your own hero and star.
Love demands the best in us
To always and in time overcome the worst
And lowest in our souls
Love the world wisely.
It is love alone that is the greatest weapon
And the deepest and hardest secret.
So fear not, my friend.
The darkness is gentler than you think.
Be grateful for the manifold
Dreams of creation
And the many ways of the unnumbered peoples.
Be grateful for life as you live it.
And may a wonderful light
Always guide you on the unfolding road.
Thank you to everyone who supported me with your words, thoughts and prayers. Also a huge thanks for the amazing amount you helped raise. I hope you can help out financially next year on the cycle from London to Paris or even take a risk and join in with your own sweat and tears.