How to start the trip of a lifetime

Each story has always got many beginnings and this one is no different. One of them leads to Bulgaria. One day before Football World Cup while backpacking in Southern Bulgaria I learnt that to go on the trip of a lifetime you need to meet your patron saint of bike rambling. I met Jess. That’s how the story goes.

How to start the trip of a lifetime
summer 2014

Jess says: ‘I’m cycling to Singapore’.

I’m sitting in a hostel in the historical city of Plovdiv in Southern Bulgaria and it’s stifling hot. I’ve just got here and I don’t even feel like organizing anything to eat, despite my hunger. Next to me there are other survivers of the heat, so the usual talk begins. Jess, a British girl in red glasses, says: ‘I’m cycling to Singapore’.  Having absorbed these words, I realize for the first time that you can get further by bike than just to a shop around the corner.

I check Jess’ s cycling route and a bomb explodes in my soul.

First cycling tip: no pants in padded shorts.

autumn 2014

I search the Internet to check if Poliester PU 5000 mm H2O (tent) and T comf -8°C (sleeping bag) will be all right. Well, first I try to decipher this code.

I wonder what a crank or a cassette is.

winter 2014

Although I’m already a homemade expert on equipment, I fail the survival contest. I can’t make the water boil on an alcohol stove which I produced.

However, I win another contest: Fools are always lucky. I order a bicycle in an Internet shop and it turns out to be the most comfortable one ever. Now I know how many things could go wrong.

spring 2015

I watch on youtube how to put the panniers on a bike rack. Seriously.

I also watch how to repair a flat tyre.

I spend a lot of time in Decathlon trying to guess which ones the patches are.

summer 2015

I cycle 3400 km solo around Poland.

I patch a flat tyre feeling the pride of a space rocket constructor.

I discover that bike rambling is exactly the way of travelling that I love. Who has tried it, will know; who hasn’t, at least check out these photos.

autumn 2015

I’m in an endless quandary over whether to go on a really long cycling trip. Should I be romantic or sensible? Should I make my dreams come true? Should I leave my comfortable life in search of adventure or put if off until I’m retired? Finally, I realize that I would always regret it if I didn’t even try to live my life the way I really want.  I decide to go on a two-year-long cycling trip to Asia.

winter 2015

I buy warm gloves and search other cyclists’ blogs to figure out what to wear while pedalling in cold weather. However, when weekends come and I can try out winter outfit or sit in an armchair with a book in my hand, I always choose the latter.

I don’t study Russian because I’ve  still got plenty of time to do it.

spring 2016

I wonder how people menage to get their Central Asia visas and don’t get crazy.

I don’t study Russian because I don’t have any more time to do it.

I decide to run a blog. I read beginner’s guides and get lost in the third sentence of all of them. When they tell you to buy your own domain, settle a web host, download wordpress and find a nice theme.

summer 2016

You read this post. It’s from my own domain with a (hopefully) trustworthy web host.

I eat homemade dumplings because I won’t find them anywhere else.

I leave my job and start the trip of a lifetime. We’ll see what it brings to me.

 

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