Simone de Beauvoir
“To exist is to dare to throw oneself into the world”
That little bit of trepidation before embarking on an adventure is something we’ve all experienced before. There’s the anxiety of what could go wrong. The fear of the unknown, of the uncontrollables taking centre stage, and denying us the opportunity to maintain momentum.
I depart today for my longest, probably loneliest and potentially hardest trip ever. I’ve been on a lot of expeditions, big and small, in the past ten years. I’ve failed and made mistakes but have had successes and wonderful experiences along the way.
This is different again. I intend to be away for several years as I cycle around the world. I head towards Turkey before navigating my way through Asia. The main target in my mind right now is Auckland, New Zealand – the furthest city from the UK – but there will be many checkpoints en route. I wish I could tell you how many days and how many miles it will take to get there but, in reality, I don’t know. I don’t know because I haven’t done anything like this before.
I intend to explore and be distracted. I intend to meander my way through unique landscapes as I encounter fascinating people. I anticipate fear, loneliness and frustration as much as I crave freedom, solitude and adventure.
I have no doubt that my well-intentioned plans will spiral into a sinkhole. I’m hoping my resourcefulness can give me the ability to adapt. I’m hoping my lack of diligence in planning doesn’t lead to regret. I’m hoping my ignorance helps me learn quickly and grow fast on this journey.
I head alone to the continent excited and nervous. In reality, I don’t know what to fully expect. Either way, an intriguing venture awaits.
How to Follow
In terms of following this trip and how I will be sharing it:
1. Instagram is probably the best way for regular photos and updates. Follow @geordie_stewart.
2. I’ll try and write a blog every month or so but that rather depends on how the journey shapes up.
3. My YouTube channel is here. I will attempt to make a short video (likely to be every couple of months) which I will publicise on the above means.
I am aware that situations might arise that undermine my vaguely planned route so it is certainly not set in stone. Visas, politics, terrain, bike failures etc all could force me to shift my plans. I am not breaking any records with this venture so am ok (I hope) with the alterations that may occur.
As a rough guide though, below is my intended country-country route from London to Auckland. As much as anything else, it could be of interest to some of you if you fancy a holiday abroad and catch up over a pint in a suitably random location: