UPDATE: due to the corona-pandemic, this cycling journey has been postponed until late 2022, follow here the latest developments of the journey
The decision is made. On April 1, 2020 I will go to Fairbanks in Alaska to undertake a new long-distance bicycle journey. This time from Alaska to Argentina. And that’s not a joke.
In my last article I wrote about the common thread in my year 2019. It’s a vulnerable piece and came straight from my heart. I have been writing irregularly since 2012, but rarely manage to express my thoughts so clear.
The common thread is that in the past period I have consciously been working on discovering my mind. I describe this in a playing field of a feeling mind and a thinking mind. I want to share more of what it really feels like to make a dream like this come true. To better understand myself and not just write about practical matters such as visas, outdoor equipment and the route. More in depth behind the motivation from me as a person by exploring that in a vulnerable way.
I feel like a rebel who rebels against society and expectations of others. I question the norm and try to challenge it in order to find my own identity.
With the norm I mean in particular what is generally seen as normal or is without questioning seen as normal in society. Cycling alone for a long period of time is not by everyone seen as normal, that sometimes makes it difficult. Especially for the people who love me and whom I love. I therefore try to keep expectations as realistic as I can. I explain why this is so important to me and what others can and cannot expect from me.
I think that I’m certainly not the only one in my generation who is concerned with her or his identity in this way. Where it used to be more obvious that you were following a certain path, younger generations now much quicker questioning what seems obvious. I think that internet and cultural influences play a major role in this. There is a generation gap that cannot be solved by imposing the norms and values of the older on to the younger generation. We can only bridge a distance together by finding a balance between conservative and progressive ideas. By communicating openly, daring to be vulnerable and respecting each other and learning to understand each other. I’m all the more aware of this now that I’m planning a new period of being on a bicycle.
In this journey I want to share more about my feeling mind. For example, what it is like to have a long-distance relationship temporarily while you are used to being together.
In 2015 I cycled from Rotterdam to Singapore and raised money for the World Wildlife Fund. In this journey is not directly charity involved. I do have ideas to tell stories about cultures and individual people. What do people dream of, what challenges do they have and what makes a life worthwhile. I think it’s extremely interesting to link this to micro funding campaigns. I’m going to check if that might work.
In Alaska it will still be winter in April. So I start in temperatures below zero degrees Celsius. I have some savings but travel again with a very tight budget. I have bought a new second-hand bike that is just a bit stronger than the one I used to cycle to Singapore.
New stories will regularly show up again. I will write differently than in my previous journey and the experiences will of course be different. If you have any feedback on my writings or have any questions in general then I would love to hear from you.