Although we like to think of ourselves as adventurous, planning this bike tour has been pretty over the top in terms of what we’re used to. We’ve never done something so big, so far away, and so open ended. We tend to be very particular about things and we tend to plan our travel down to the last second. When looking at three months on a bicycle however, there are so many variables that we’ve decided to leave things wide open and let things work themselves out as we go, traveling a little slower and a little less along the beaten path than we’ve ever done before.
All these ideas sound pretty great in theory, but as I sit here, two days from departure, I’m honestly nervous! On Friday I handed off my job for three months and said a temporary goodbye to my co-workers and friends. As much as it might sound weird, I was actually sad to say even a temporary goodbye to my day job since I really do love going to work. Still, we’ve got some exciting things to come…this thing is really happening!
We’ve been gathering gear for probably 8 months now, and the last few weeks we’ve been working on gathering it all to one room in the house and getting it ready to go. The panniers are essentially loaded and we finally got our bikes packed down to their amazingly tiny airline friendly size (26x26x10). At this point, I’ve spent so much time going through it, I think I could have moved everything I own in the same amount of time. Preparations have been more tedious than I ever imagined, but more than anything I don’t want to lose perspective on how incredibly lucky we feel to have this opportunity at all!
Much to my annoyance and no matter how much I travel, I still feel jittery the day before we fly anywhere. In this case, those jitters have reached a new high. I find myself wondering where we’ll go and if I’ll be cold (my least favorite thing) and whether we will have good food to eat. I think about how windy it might be and how I will handle big hills on a heavy loaded bike. I worry about our families and whether my brother who is staying in our home will have any problems with the house. I’m even nervous about assembling the bikes at the airport and whether they will even arrive safely! I guess you could say I’ve spent a little too much time worrying about worst case scenario…
This morning as we packed, I spent the morning coming up with ridiculous scenarios and rattling them off to Ben.
“What if our bikes don’t get there on our flight?”
“Then we’ll hang out in Milan until they do.”
“What if it rains for two days straight and it is too horrible outside to ride?”
“Then we can stay in our tent or hotel until it stops.”
“What if someone dies while we’re gone?”
“Dude, now you’re just being ridiculous.”
All I can say is that I’m lucky to have an even tempered husband who doesn’t get rattled by much of anything. With his calm presence by my side, I can only hope that we’ll have enough patience and enough humor to get through whatever fate throws our way and have the experience of a lifetime.