It was very tempting to begin this post with a small moan, in a vain attempt to sum up my feelings, six weeks after completing one of the most surprising and memorable cycle journeys, I’ve had for a long time.
The usual experience of most adventurers on their return from a long journey, is a low mood. Often triggered by the return to the routine and even drudgery of everyday life.
Having a long adventure is undoubtedly a positive addiction!
Yes, I too did not want to return ‘home’ Continuing on the boat from Helsinki to Tallin and cycling south along the coast for evermore, was a huge temptation. Though an impossible dream at that point in time.
Who would want to swap strong feelings of peace, well-being, joy and a spiritual connection with nature, for an immersion back into the polluted ‘rat race?’
I for one definitely did not.
However as all adults know, sometimes in life we have to temporarily follow a less attractive road for a while. Compromising, but always holding the sparkling jewel within, that contains the spark and glow of awe and wonder, no matter how life is lived out.
Luckily on arriving home I was to start a new job. One that absolutely suits me so well. It’s rewarding, creative and meets with my personal values. My small contribution to the good of humanity which I hold so dear has once again become a worthwhile one. Feeling happy and content to wake up to thoughts of work each morning and being able to cycle commute through open, quiet countryside, is a blessing! Surely helping to avoid, a deep plunge into post Finland despair.
The ‘highs of Finland’ are embedded somewhere deep within myself. Beautiful, bewitching memories, often revived by, the simple smell of wood moss, the turn of a pedal, a flitting dragonfly, a blue mirror lake, pearl-white graceful swans and of course the eternal ‘Annie’s Song.’
One of the main aims of solo cycling a route from Lapland through Finland was to hopefully inspire other women especially more mature ones, to explore the possibility of a cycle journey of their own. Travelling, spending time in solitude, enjoying ones own company, for a few hours, a single day or even weeks, can have huge positive benefits that spread outward into ones relationships and outlook on life.
Fortunately, as most of you know, the Alpkit Foundation kindly paid for my flights and I now have the opportunity to hold some talks (free) for the Ambleside community, and further afield. Hopefully contributing to at least one or two women, summoning up and enjoying their own solo adventures. More details will be posted on here, once the dates have been firmed up.
As life moves forwards, my time in Finland will inevitably become more dreamlike and intangible. Gratefully the invaluable experiences and wonderful people, have added to that inner shining beacon we can reach for, particularly in times of struggle and difficulty.
As any person with ‘restless feet’ knows….another plan for the next journey is usually brewing away at the back of ones mind!
Working out a plan within the constraints of modern living is usually a challenge and sometimes seems insurmountable. Since Finland though, I have started to believe in the clichéd expression…’you never know what’s around the corner’… in a more positive way.
In my case a seed becomes planted, often without conscious knowing. It starts to send out tiny shoots into my mind, to be met by a plethora of thoughts…’that will be scary but exciting…or…strange country/language will I find my way….or…wow it will be stunning…or…will I manage the mileage…or…or…or!
The battle begins!
The way I offset internal mind doubts, is by thinking/dreaming on an intuitive basis, until the need for very concrete plans arises. In case you are all wondering? Yes, the seed is sending out shoots and the journey is emerging. It’s a long while yet, so I am hugging it close with huge smiles of suppressed excitement!
At some point, all will be revealed on here…but don’t hold your breath!