Shortly after setting out on our trip, we began reading Miles From Nowhere, a well-known book about Larry and Barbara Savage—an American couple who rode their bicycles around the world for two years in 1979-1980. Though it has a sad epilogue, the book itself is fantastic and captures the struggles, joys, difficulties and humor of a long bike tour.
Throughout the last chapter of the book, they begin to talk about their concerns and thoughts toward going home to life as they knew it before… returning to jobs, family, friends, and even the “comfort” of a home would certainly be a tremendous transition and lifestyle change. This excerpt beautifully sums up the tension of that last night on the trip:
We sat on the beach that night until long after dark and talked about going home. In some ways, we were anxious to return home. We looked forward to seeing our parents and friends and to settling down for a while; to not moving from place to place every day or every week. The prospect of settling into a home that would shelter us from the elements and the bugs, that would provide a real bed, a toilet and shower, and a fully equipped kitchen, all under one roof, sounded awfully nice.
But we were apprehensive, too. For the last two years, constant exercise, adventure, and living in the outdoors had been our way of life. And there was a lot about that life we would miss: falling asleep in our tent to the sound of streams, birds, and the wind dancing through the trees; the scents of flowers or pine sap or crisp clean air, and the elation we experienced each time we pedaled through seemingly endless miles of freezing rain, sweltering heat, walls of mosquitoes, and seas of people to finally reach those places we’d so often dreamed about back home.
I still remember reading this part, sitting on the bed in our host home while we were in language school in Guatemala. I read on eagerly, as they packed up and boarded their plane and arrived home back in the U.S. The last sentence of this chapter reads, “Our journey had ended.” I turned the page excitedly, ready to read all about their transition, how it was to be back home, what changes they faced in those days. But I was sad to discover that was the end of the book! I found myself disappointed as so many of my questions had gone unanswered. What about life after the Tour? What follows such an epic adventure? Can you ever live a semi-normal life again?!
That was when I decided we would keep the blog alive after our journey ended. Yes our 22,900-mile bike tour is over. But the adventure is nowhere close to being done. We certainly hope that we haven’t hit the pinnacle of excitement in our life so early on!
So this is our commitment to you: we’re keeping the web site active. We will continue to post on a mostly weekly basis. Sure, our future ventures might not seem as exotic or exciting or even as tangible as riding our bikes around the world. But we’ll be sharing about new adventures we’re facing in the days ahead: deciding where to live, finding jobs, potentially starting a family, weekend camping trips and the like. And of course, we’ve got loads of post-tour articles queued up, both to serve as resources for other people planning bike tours, and to help with general public curiosity. For example, in the next few weeks, we’ll be doing a “How Much Did It Cost?” post, with a breakdown of how we planned, budgeted and executed a two-year bike tour with no income from jobs, including a final dollar amount on the cost of our total trip. We’re working on the statistics for a “Where We Slept” post, which will discuss strategies for finding places to sleep in different countries, as well percentages of all the sleeping conditions in which we found ourselves throughout the Tour. And those are just a couple of them. We’ve got more ideas brewing and lots to share in the days ahead.
So we invite you to continue joining us in our adventures—because they’re not over. And we’ve enjoyed having you, our readers, along for the ride!