Good to Know When You Start & Stop
The pro’s and con’s of deciding to live life differently, focusing on a cycling life.
This post focuses on when coming to a halt after long-term cycling. In my case I wanted it to come to a stop, and when yours will end whether willingly or not, you must know that some things will not be the same anymore. You and your outlook may have changed drastically.
I’m not talking about anything shorter than, let’s say, a couple of years cycling the world -as a once in a lifetime happening- but all that qualifies for a full immersed life on the road where you keep your credit card usage to a minimum, where you live according the seasons and be as basic as a cycling life can go.
This post has 4 separate chapters
1) Aim what is the purpose of it all?
2) Attractor what attention can do to you
3) Maintenance living a simple lifestyle is not less work
4) Danger the world is not what it often is said to be
17. When you are too long on your own, chances are you might get weird. However much I am a loner, I too need others to mirror myself with. It is essential. Not only to experience deep connectional talks or sharing of feelings but rather to re-find out that there is a purpose in gossiping, chit chat and small talk (namely, to connect, to enable friendships). I wholeheartedly dislike these three ways of connecting but sometimes its the only way to get to a deeper level. You can not always immediately plunge into deep waters. We humans are not whales and thus we might need shallowness to start off with.
Remember that it is easy to jump into a sensational depth without someone you will never see again. We need their encounters too, and living an unconventional life where you will speed off soon, needs such encounters to stay sane. But when there is more time, when you stay somewhere longer, with more conventional people, socializing goes slower. It might not be your way, you might want to run off quick, but this is the normal way. It is weird to give someone you are introduced to a waterfall of your own excited adventures because you feel a need to talk. It is weird to start a conversation without the formalities first. It is weird to begin to talk when the other is in the dark about you. There is a real danger in becoming an unpleasant person once she/he is out of society too long.
18. You will see that after a few years you change (especially when immersed in culturally very different countries for several long occasions). You’ll see that this change is different than many others regular growth, as you are moving out of society, out of commerce, away from production and far off from the disposable society. Then it doesn’t matter any more whether your bodily odor is a pure natural one, the clothes you wear patched up, less fashionable, few in numbers and basically, daily the same, as it has proved that this is a normal way to approach life.
It’s not about spending money (spending doesn’t give happiness, you know that). You’ll see that society back home, its billboards, its shops, the crowds, are sending off a big lie and this might bother you. Not in the least to see that you are surrounded by many blind and sheepish human doings. Not only that, you will have people who hear your experiences, watch you in disbelieve or tell you how brave you are, while the only thing you know is how safe the world actually is. In short, reality changes.
19. Being in places where there is not much around, usually your places to camp are outside of settlements and certainly outside of cities most of the time, you start to get fine-tuned. Being out of society, cooking yourself and thus not going too often to overcrowded places, nor gatherings, being often by yourself or with someone you want to be with, means you are away from mental pollution. You might notice this once back in a normal living surrounding. Eating out at places with an incredible sour atmosphere without visible pointers makes you want to flee the scene as quick as possible. Being out of society, in nature, can make you sensitive for other energies.
No television, no radio, not much WiFi, not much news reaching you nor languages understood, you are in a bubble. One you might (unconsciousness) come to love. Which is only normal since it is so natural and soothing.
You might feel uncomfortable in certain places, which could be even particular patches in the woods, but more often it are places where people have lived or where they do come back to now and then. I think it has to do with spiritual pollution and these places are better be avoided.
And sound in general, you might become more than over-sensitive!
20. Despite what many people will make you believe, cycling alone as a woman is NOT dangerous! The pro’s of a cycling life as a lone female are more abundant than they are confining (I think I know because I have heard men complaining about matters where I only benefited from). I think each woman need to bear in mind that where ever she goes she might be harassed, simply because of its human nature. In general a man is not a treat to a woman but in some instances a woman is inviting troubles. Think of improper dress code which gives the wrong signal. Though a woman is not a peacock, such animal who flashes her tail and afterwards be angry, agitated and offended when the male peacock hits on her, is quite a fun thought.
In some countries a woman on her own is not as safe as she wishes it to be, because no other woman does what she does. This in itself is not a reason to harassment but an understandable happening; if only you could place yourself in the other. Some men simply do not get the concept of what a solo female is doing out there. Sexual harassment might happen out of an unbalanced mental mood, and/or wrong understanding. Remember that you are not out there to change perspectives of the locals. You are not the long-wished-for-feminist to change the culture you are riding through. I fought every man who attacked me yet often I find their harassment rather a logic reaction (though not acceptable). And believe it or not, but each time I was with a man (whether it be my ‘uncle’ or ‘husband’) I was not less harassed. In fact, being with a man (not fully aligning you) leads to more troubles, due to rash decisions or a false sense of security. As a lone female I feel rather safe. I am taken in, adopted, cared for and usually noticed in a town. It is in the nature of men, too, to care and protect, and thus I feel safe when I am on my own dealing with men (and the more men, the safer it gets) yet, each person is judged immediately and I act accordingly. This all fades off and doesn’t count at all when with a man (as than this companion is supposed to, psychologically seen, care and protect you).
Remember, when you cycle through countries as Iran or travel through Afghanistan, however modestly dressed, you are giving off a certain signal. Take this into account. When going to India, where I was harassed, sometimes even pathetically, the first 3 times. But not a single time after the 15th time, you must remember that the locals are not fond of the half naked dressed tourists; you might reap the results of those who do/did.
21. The absurdity of our western world is obvious, but I guess people of all era’s said this when they begun to age a bit. Climbing pyramids against all warning signs and vlog about your great achievement. Being half naked in the streets where others cover up in great modesty. Trying to get as many ‘likes’ as possible on social media through disrespectful behavior. The tangible unhappiness in big cities, the individualism (though I love that too), the media what tells you to ‘do what you like’ and the absurd messages on T-shirts in Benidorm (‘lick my p***’ and ‘enjoy my c***’) makes me realize we live in a semi state of slavery. A woman in the west can not choose what she desires, however much media makes you believe the opposite. A man is rather confused what being a man now exactly is? Many people are stuck in a life they by default moved in to, where the choices are few. The choice to step out of it perhaps the most scary and not least difficult. Some ‘can not’ wear what they want, simply because fashion direct them. Many are mere hamsters in a wheel, be aware when you come back in, especially a European environment, this has an effect on you. You feel it in the energy of people (at least I do).
All of this only counts when you have lived a life outside. Once you are in for long, you are almost kept hostice.
22. Cycling may have been a great lifestyle -it was- because boredom never seemed to be present. That in itself is deceiving already, because one gets bored of a surrounding not being what you are used to in the heyday of your journey. For me, I was always in need for a book to read, a real book that is. I was often feeling creative but could hardly pour it out. Yet all these impulses of feelings and want are short-lived: I can not read all day nor can I be creative all day. All goes in a pattern, in hours of being creative, in blocks of having concentration (as I learned in an ashram, the left nostril get all air one hour, the following hour it is the right nostril which has all the air flow). And so works the active-part therefor too: in a pattern that wants to be active. To fill this up with cycling is a fantastic way (downside is that a feeling of uselessness may pop up). To stop with cycling is to miss it because you may have idealized all of it (the mind always remember the best parts), the absence of boredom, the constant input of new things surrounding you, the collecting of impressions. Once at a stop you need to process this, while all the same you might have this need in you to be active: the hours of activity where you otherwise would push the pedals. When you are sensitive or creative I think it make all sense to dose cycling with an equal amount of stability. To process. To come to terms. To be creative. To read. To develop. Cycling life is captivating enough to keep you going for ever. Its like an addiction: some sugar on a daily base isn’t that influencing, it start to become a problem once you start to need it because that’s the only thing which makes you going through life!