Riding from Rotherfield to Paris
The culmination of 8 years musing, about 3 years saving and 6 months planning is finally to unfold. The general plan is to circumnavigate the world, traveling east across Europe and Asia, hopping across the Bering straight, down through North and South America, sailing across the Atlantic, up through Africa, and finally spinning through Europe on the home straight, 'just like that'. This is intentionally a vague route - to plan it road from road, or even country to country would be unrealistic; there are simply too many factors that will affect were I can and can't go. There will be entry requirements to contend with (visa's through the middle East are tricky), possible mechanical and equipment breakages to deviate for (availability of replacement parts in remote areas will be almost non existent), political or social unrest (my original route through Iran is ill advised for any westerner), regional diseases (malaria), my own curiosity (listening to the tales of other travelers or places I'll read about), unforeseen natural barriers (I think I've got the oceans down), extreme climates (The possibility of my arrival at the Himalayas in winter could be problematic), and of course, people (friends, foe, bureaucratic officials.....). However, I have little doubt that all these factors thrown into the melting pot will only add to the adventure.
A question which I have been asked many times, and one which I know is very familiar with other long term travelers is 'why'? Why do this? Why leave the comfort and security of modern living, with it's hot baths, mirrors and toasters, to live a primitive and stripped life on the road? This is a romance which I'm sure will resonate with many, and as such I will leave the answer to that question to you. I decided to do this trip years ago, and have since more of less steered my life in preparation for it; staying foot loose and avoiding long term commitments - so I best do it!
I also hope to promote my current campaign; an online petition for the creation of a nationwide, government run litter clean-up scheme. About a year ago I returned from spending some time in New Zealand, and I was frankly aghast at what a huge problem littering in this country is. What is equally as worrying is how little is being done about it. If this petition succeeds, this is a chance to not only set an example to each other, but also to the future generations on how to take better care of our environment. Please check out - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/244/519/111/ for more information, and feel free to do all you can to promote this necessary campaign.
So, my panniers are packed, the passport is in date, the farewells are almost said and the ferry is booked. This isn't easy - I could happily throw it all in now and go back to the security of friends and family, but when I focus on what I believe will be, the freedom of the open road, with all it's possibility is too greater thing to resist - 1UP! So in the words of one famous Italian plumber - LETSA GO!