Welcome to our mid-life adventure blog! After working for many years in relatively stressful jobs (IT and law) we decided it was time to live some of those dreams that we had talked about doing ‘someday’. So, we took a break from the rat race and headed out on an open-ended bicycle tour. The initial plan was to ride around Australia (in celebration of recently becoming Australian citizens), then head up into Asia and across to Europe. The route was relatively undefined, as part of the goal was to have an unstructured life for a change. We didn’t quite make it all the way around Australia (several weeks in the Outback seemed sufficient) but that just leaves us more places to explore on future trips. We eventually covered 26 countries and 22,000 kilometers over a 20-month period.
Cycling has been part of our life for many years – Dave started riding in 1987 as therapy after blowing out his knee pretending to be a basketball star; I (Nancy) started riding soon thereafter. We spent many happy hours riding our Lippy tandem (including our honeymoon across the US) but have also done multiple loaded bike tours on our single touring bikes (we have posted some of our journals under the ‘Previous Trips’ link). A long-term bicycle tour, with no scheduled end date, had been a goal for several years and after almost 10 years of talking and planning it was time to do it.
As bushwalking is also one of our favorite activities we had intended to kick off this change of pace by hiking the Bibbulmun Track end to end. The track runs from Perth to Albany in Western Australia, and is just under 1000k. We intended to carry our gear and hike for approximately 7 weeks and thought it would be a good way to transition to our new unstructured life. Unfortunately a freak accident the day before our departure date resulted in a broken collar-bone, which meant a re-jigging of plans – read about it here. Despite that unexpected turn of events we finally set out on the road in April 2011 to start the long-awaited trip. The Bibbulmun Track remains on our to-do list.
We started this blog as a way to document our journey, mostly for ourselves and our family and friends. We tried to post every day, in the same way we used to write daily journals of our trips – it is amazing how much you can forget if you don’t write it down. The benefit of doing it on the computer meant that at least we were able to read it later – unlike those older handwritten journals which were often illegible as they were often written while I was falling asleep in our tent! But, while it was often difficult to sit down and write each evening – there were many days where we had conversations of ‘you write the blog today / no, you write it’ – having all of this now is a treasure as it captures how we were feeling and what we experienced each day.
If you’d like to read about our journey you can do it in several ways:
-start at the beginning by going here and moving through each entry by clicking the link at the top of each page;
-start with any particular calendar month or topic by clicking on the relevant month or topic in the listings along the right side of the page;
-see all the entries for a particular country by clicking on the ‘Trips’ link at the top of the page, then ‘Big Trip’ from the list of trips (note you can roll your cursor over the ‘Big Trip’ link and select the relevant country from the drop down menu that appears); or
-click here for the most recent blog entry and work your way back.
While the first ‘big trip’ is over, as any cycle tourist knows, once a cycle tourist, always a cycle tourist. A trip like this just makes you realize how many places there are in the world to discover – and how a bicycle is one of the best ways to travel to discover the true nature of a place and its people. So, while we are happy to be settled in Sydney for the foreseeable future, the dreaming stage for the next big trip has already begun…