Today, after nearly 23 years, I loaded up my bike with my final few possessions, jumped on and cycled out the gates where I have worked, and for a large part lived, for the very last time. Having dedicated some of the best years of my life to this firm I was half expecting there to be at least a little fuss. How many others have given up a well paid job to live on a shoe string and hike/cycle/paddle full-time around the world? Not many will walk across USA, not once, but twice. I doubt many will paddle the Yukon from source to sea or cycle around Tasmania. And this is all just for starters. So what was I expecting? Some small gift? A card? A speech thanking me for years of loyal service and dedication? My colleagues lined up cheering and clapping? A reporter from the local paper perhaps? I've seen all this for others over the years. The reality was of course somewhat different and actually there was nothing, zilch. I should be disappointed but actually that's exactly the way I wanted it to be... It could not have gone better... I've never told my colleagues of my plans unless they actually asked and even then I have been very cagey with the facts. The average person, be that colleague, friend or family really doesn't understand what I'm doing and why. It's just not normal. I've never enjoyed trying to explain why I have chosen to take this path and I really don't like talking about myself so I keep it to myself and a small group of friends. Any fuss today would have been my worst nightmare.
So, finally, I have the chance to follow my dreams and live that simpler, richer life, that I crave. My goal now is to do whatever and go wherever my passion takes me. In the short term that means a quick weeks cycle tour of Scotland before Phil Turners wedding on the 21st. This will be an early warmup for a tour of Tasmania from December and in-between of course I have the Coastal hike. Not a bad end to the year! Next year will be the first of the 2 hikes across the USA. It just gets better!