My entire blog is built upon the fact that I cycled 18,000km from KL to London. I’m here to inspire others to do the same (in their own way), to convince some of you skeptics out there that biking is as good as I keep saying it is. So today’s post is a bit of a contradiction because I need you to think about whether this is really what you want to do. I’m asking you to doubt yourself before you go on that big bike trip — because it’s important. And really, you don’t want to be stuck halfway across the world with no one but your bike when you realise that this is not what you want.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I like being alone?
There was a point during my KL To London journey that I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. The loneliness is real. Imagine cycling up to a beautiful scenery and your instant reflex is to turn to someone and say “Look!”, but there’s no one to turn to. Scary? Yes. But if you can learn to enjoy being in your own company — to just feel grateful and happy in that moment alone, that’s when you know you’re ready.
2. Can I tahan the not-so-glamour part?
It sounds damn cool to go on a long-distance adventure with minimum necessities and a good-looking jacket over your shoulder. It’s not so cool when you’re actually on the road. Setting up tents, when there isn’t a place to stay or having to walk through the tougher trails where your bike is useless. Not every road you travel will have a public toilet so think long and hard about that.
You’ll fall off your bike sometimes and rip open one of the only good pants you brought. Because obviously, you couldn’t fit 6 months’ worth of clothes into your luggage.
You’ll have to, sadly, nurse your own wounds, pick yourself up and ride again. If you feel challenged when I say these things, perfect. Go and let the adventurous soul in you live.
3. Can I solve my own problems?
It’s a bit like watching reality shows like Amazing Race or Survivor. Not so cham lah, but quite close. Unexpected things happen. You might get robbed, you might get into an accident and trash your bike. It’s tough. But long distance requires you to solve your own problems. You need to know how to get yourself out of trouble and back on the road.
To be continued in my next post!