If you’re following this blog or following me on Twitter you probably know by now that I’m getting ready to cycle in Portugal for three months next year. But why am I going?
This is a question that have weighed on my mind a lot. My answer was simple when I first came up with the idea for this trip, but as the months went by it grew in complexity and became plural.
But most of it was a lie.
When I prepared to announce my plan to my family and friends I became terrified that they wouldn’t understand my drive. So I searched for ways to justify myself. I was going to cycle in Portugal to launch a career based on my writing and sounds. I would come back and take up studying again, retrain into something new. My experiences in Portugal and what I would produce based on them would act as my portfolio to help me get into the school I had chosen.
I applied for a few grants to help me financially but really I sent my applications because I wanted to be able to say ‘See, my trip is not a whim. I have financial backing.’ I am now glad I did not receive those grants. They were just a mean to validate my trip in the eyes of others.
In the few weeks when my trip was only an idea known to me, my reasons to go where entirely different. I wanted to get to know Portugal more intimately. I wanted to find a head-space I lose too easily in London. I wanted to explore writing and sounds at my own pace, without the clutches of work during most hours of the day.
I never wanted this journey to bring any money or to build a new career on the back of it. But as I started to talk about it to others, I felt those ingredients needed to come into play. So I began to make notes on how people made their living from travelling and exploring new places. I knew this was not the life I want to live but I kept on anyway because their stories fascinates me. I admire and on a certain level envy them. But what I envy is not their job but their passion. They love what they do and are driven by it. This was something I had and lost. I have been wandering ever since, letting myself be carried by the flow of life. I want to know again what it is to do something you love on a daily basis. And this is why I am going to Portugal.
Now is the perfect time, a moment when I don’t have many ties to hold me back, when I have no squabble leaving a job I don’t really care about. I have enough savings to allow for this trip and just about enough to scrap by when I come back. So I’m going to make the most of this privilege and explore what I love. Not for others, not for money. But for me.
Pedalling Portugal will begin in March 2016. For more information about this upcoming trip, visit this page.