We've been on the road for 3 months now, and to celebrate I'd like to share 3 lessons learnt.
Travelling by bicycle means you've got to let go of all your comforts. It also means you've got to submit to the elements - people and conditions completely out of your control. No matter how prepared you are, things are going to go wrong. It rains, it snows and sometimes the wind is so cold your skeleton turns to ice. Your bike can ride like a dream for weeks on end, before the back axel explodes unexpectedly (like Manon's did in Georgia). Sometimes you're so tired you just want a warm meal, a hot shower, and to crawl in bed with a good movie. But guess what? You're camping, you've got to cook in the grass and there's definitely no shower.
In situations like this you've got 2 solutions: dig a hole of negativity, or just keep smiling. Being negative never helped anyone, and it certainly won't make things any better. Sometimes being positive isn't easy, but if can laugh in the shit moments (and you certainly will laugh when looking back), then you're going to get through.
Most importantly, though, I've learnt that you're energy is like a boomerang. The more positivity you put out, the more you'll get back. Every time we're happy and laughing, no matter how dire the situation, someone turns up laughing right back at us, usually with a helping hand at the end. And people are the best part of the the trip, so keep spreading those positive vibes.
Live in the present
Life happens now. What's happened in the past, good and bad, has been and gone. There's no use dwelling on what was or what could've been. Now don't get me wrong though, reflection is how we learn and grow, but there comes a time to let go.
Live in the moment. The futures out of your hands, so don't stress over what may or may not be. Although I'm a dreamer, and believe it's the dreamers in this world who are brave enough make the life they want, now it's time to open my eyes. Right in front of you, here and now, there's little pieces of beauty all around you.
Be present and you'll notice that beautiful tree. Be present and you'll see that smiling man waving you down for tea. Be present.
Life is how you see it
There's so much fear, all around us. Turn on your TV and there's war and unemployment. Read the newspaper and Gen Y are spoilt brats who'll never own a home. Log on to Facebook and the sky is falling because some nut job politician said this or that.
Screw that, let's talk about all the awesome things there are in life. Like all the friendly, open and generous people who helped us in Turkey. Even after so many people told us not to go after the coup, or because of the war in Syria, or the fact they have a semi-dictator in power. Let's talk about all the people making a good life.
Life is how your perceive it. The world is how you choose to look at it. If you focus on the problems, you'll live in a scary world. If you focus on all the good, you'll realise how lucky we are to be alive. So switch off that TV, put down that phone, and get out of your comfort zone, because life's pretty sweet.