I’ve never been much of a traveller, only straying outside Europe once on a trip to see my family in the states, and rarely travelling by myself, although the times that I have have been great.
Living in a big ski town you always meet a mix of people passing through on a new adventure, or you meet people who’ve settled here after years of being on the move. My best friend travels to far flung corners of the world at every chance she gets. Not me. I’ve never worked a season, I’ve never back-packed around Australia, seen the Northern lights, or Easter Island, or Egypt or any of the places so many other have been, or that I’ve wanted to go to. National Geographic has been the closest I’ve got to most of these places.
I’m turning 40 in a year and a half and I feel the urge to do something big (well for me anyway) and set myself a challenge to mountain bike in a country I’ve never been, with a language I’ve never spoken, with a culture I know bits & bobs about but want to learn more about – the ancient bits at least.. So here I am with a big map of the place I’m planning to go, a lonely planet guide book and a dream that I can pull it off. I have stubbornness on my side and a gritty belief that if you want something badly enough it will happen, something good will come of it if you just keep going.. god knows I’ve been through enough shit in the past to know that works!
My plan’s only really vague at the moment, head to Lima, Peru then onto Cuzco (at this point I’m not sure about visiting macchu pichu as it’s a bit young for my archaeological tastes & bound to be massively over-crowded) so maybe take a bike tour there for 3-4 days (unless I get my shit together and plan a route by myself?!) and then onwards to see the Nazca lines, one of the many iconic archaeological sights on my life long hit list.. It’s about time I started picking some of them off..
I’m the kind of person that needs a plan; something to look forward to and to work towards, and so I’ve decided that I should do a ‘get fit for 40’ plan (that gives me a year and a half.. yikes!) I want to get really bike fit, well just fit in general; quit the fags (again), get trim and lean and fast and able to eat hills on my bike like they don’t exist, just like an American friend of mine who I was in envy of all summer! I can be that girl right?!?!?
There’s a long way to go. Planning a trip like this is something I’ve never done before, never costed up, booked or undertaken. Buying a map and having an idea in the making seems like so far away from it actually happening… Getting fit is a bonus, the trip could be a year away – especially knowing my shit ability to squirrel away any money, but at least there will be positives along the way, lose some weight, feel better about myself..
Can I do this on my own? I have no idea. At the moment I’m thinking a solo trip would be just what I need, but the reality is I’ve got no idea how to fix anything serious on my bike if anything did go wrong.. anyway that’s a long way off and I want to experience the process as a journey for myself, planning, testing myself, pushing myself to see if I can actually pull it off.
Who knows how this is going to pan out, but at this stage I’m feeling inspired, driven, geared up (excuse the bike pun) and raring to go.. I’ve got one night of exercise under my belt this week, which is crap & needs to improve. I’ve been saying to myself for ages that I should do an hour a night, but I knew pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen. Maybe I need to keep an exercise diary? A food diary again?.. There’s so much to think about… anyway it’s begun and if I make it to Peru then I will be one happy woman!