Some of you may have come across “Ride4MedicalAid” a blog site and tag line for my ride across Europe from London to Jerusalem. This was my first long distance bike tour and had a very real cause at its heart. In order to continue my writing and sharing both cycling and other adventures with anyone who wishes to read, I felt that this independent blog site would be more suitable. Let’s face it, not every single day or personal experience I have relates to humanitarian aid and the charity MAP!
So, ultimately here on my first blog post I’d like to share with you the psychological challenge of returning from a trip of a lifetime. 5 weeks of being on your bike in the wonderful European summer and eating wonderful European food and seeing incredible European scenery is pretty…wonderful and European. G uess what? I didn’t want it to end despite the severe saddle sores! I came back to London on 3rd October 2016, caught up with family and friends, returned to my work as a physiotherapist, and promptly hit somewhere near rock bottom. I felt lost and became introverted, not sure if I should make a profession from cycle touring, charity work, continue Ride4MedicalAid, work as a physio abroad, the list goes on. What I did manage to do, was nearly stop exercise with no drive or goal and suffer a severe endorphin debt.
But ah! All was not lost! After spending hours and hours and hours listening to motivational “Tough Girl”podcasts (thank you Sarah Williams), I realised that the post trip blues was completely normal and in order to get myself out of my trough, I needed a new challenge and focus. There were 2 things I knew; firstly cycling is a fab way to see a country, secondly I don’t need my challenge to be “crazy”.
I allowed an idea I’d spoken to my uncle about during Christmas 2015 flow back through my mind. The Appalachians. He had already said he would hire an RV camper to support, so BOOM challenge 1 sorted, a 600 mile ride through Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is planned for September 2017 to capture the early days of Autumn and the last warm days of summer. Simples.
I hope to enjoy many other challenges this year be them overseas and epic or local and just personal goals. I’ll be sharing about them as I go and hope you join me for the ride!