Our next Tribe story comes from Fin and Tim... thank you Fin for your words and for sharing your exciting Say YES story...
After a year working and travelling around Australia my partner Tim and I had both fallen in love with the freedom and excitement of the nomadic way of life. We loved the fact that we could stay somewhere for a couple of weeks and then move on to somewhere new. Things never got boring when there was always a different part of the country to see and different people to meet. Having the opportunity to take a year out to purely enjoy our lives and gain amazing memories was really special and we loved it.
Then we came back home….and back to reality with a bump.
Broke and with nowhere to live we moved in with Tim’s parents in Reading. I mean Tim’s parents are lovely and all but we needed a job and fast so that we could get out of there and into a flat of our own! We ended up taking the first jobs we could find… working in an office in the complaints department of a call centre. Not fun.
After a year we realised that we were stuck in jobs that we really didn’t like and that didn’t make us happy. Stuck in a boring routine. One day we were at the pub and little did I know but Tim was about to ask me something that I really wasn't expecting.
"What would you say if I asked you to cycle around the world with me?"
"Erm...?!" I wasn't quite sure what to say to be honest!
The idea scared me, but there was definitely something about it that really appealed - freedom, the open road, no more bloody call centre!!!
Could a normal girl like me really do something like that? Was it even possible? I wasn't sure yet but something told me that I should grab this opportunity. I wanted to see the world and this would allow me to see more of it than I had ever dreamed. I said YES!
So it was decided. Over the next year we saved as much as we could. For our birthdays and Christmas we bought each other useful gifts, things that we would need for the trip eg Ortleib panniers, a Brooks saddle, a Kindle and camping gear.
Tim started volunteering at the Reading Bike Kitchen so he could learn how to fix our bikes if we got into trouble and it was there that he learnt how to build a bike from scratch. He built his own custom made bike from old parts of other bikes. I found my bike second-hand on ebay for £120! We weren’t going to let the fact that we didn’t have a huge budget stand in our way.
On the May 4th last year we set off from Reading, giving ourselves two years to reach Reading in the US! We carried a tent, a camping stove, a bag of bike tools, a few changes of clothes and a fairly large dose of trepidation (I know I did anyway!)
Oh God! This is really happening?! What have I got myself into???? Is it too late to change my mind??!
But there was no turning back. So off we went, scared, excited, and ready for whatever surprises the adventure would throw at us!
It is now a year a half later and I am writing this from Auckland library in New Zealand. We are half way through our trip. To get to this point we have travelled through 27 Countries and cycled 24,500kms. The trip has taken us through towns, cities and villages in Europe, Central Asia, China, South East Asia and Australia. We have slept on the banks of rivers, in forests, on beaches and by the side of the road. We have crossed mountains as high as 3,800 meters in sub-zero temperatures. We have cycled through deserts in Kazachstan and China, and battled headwinds that made you want to cry (and many times I did!)
We have been invited to stay the night in mosques, in temples, huge houses and tin huts. We have shared food, laughter and stories with so many people from all around world: Romanians, Azerbaijanis, Kyrgs, Chinese, Vietnamese, Turkishthe list goes on and on and we have been so lucky to meet people who have been so amazingly kind and generous.
When I think of all the places I have seen and people that I have met it’s like there is a secret corner of my heart where these memories stay. They make me happy and they are a part of me now. I am a stronger person for having had these experiences and I wouldn’t swap them for anything. Although at times things get tough, I cannot wait for the next part of the trip!
The next stage of the adventure is to travel to Ushaia in Patagonia, the southernmost city in the world. From there we will make our way north. We will cycle through South, Central and North America and up to our final destination of Reading, Pennsylvania!
I know that some of the toughest challenges are yet to come. The Andes in South America are higher than any mountain we've encountered so far and going above 4,000 meters will mean that we will have to deal with the effects of altitude and extreme weather. I'm nervous but I will of course give it my best shot. After all, I've got this far!
When we started this journey we weren't very fit, we didn't have a lot of money but we went and did it anyway.
If you wait until every condition is perfect you may never begin. If there's something you want to do you just have to go for it. You won't regret it.
Just say YES!!!
Read about our adventures here on our blog.