A mountain of magnificent stature ahead of us, beautifully green vineyards all around, grapes glistening in the heat and my best friend by my side. I knew in this moment that we had made the right decision, the decision to leave it all behind us, all the heart ache of the real world, the world I was beginning to see as a place filled with sadness and nothing good in it anymore.
This was the moment I knew I was wrong. The world was a fascinating place, a place I’d dreamed of wandering my entire life. I knew that I had to explore it, go as far and wide as possible in order to find happiness again. To find myself again.
For me, travel and adventure is the only thing that has ever worked. When times get tough, I’d find myself daydreaming of traveling the world. All the wonderful places I could explore, all the architecture, art and culture I could immerse myself in and I used my work as an outdoor activity instructor as an outlet to travel and it worked. I feel alive the minute I’m on that train, plane or bus going on my next adventure but nothing ever seems enough. Ive always wanted more. A bigger adventure, to venture further in to world, the unknown, to see it all, but how? My job has always brought me happiness but never a great fortune. How do I see the world on a budget?
I am 28 years old now and people often ask me when I will settle down, get a house and have a family? And I do want these things, I really do but my need for adventure and to see the world has always been the strongest passion in my life. Now at 28 years old I have embarked on a journey that I know is going to keep me fulfilled and excited for as long as I’m on it. And the best thing is, I AM doing it on a budget. Plus I’m getting married along the way so I’m ticking of one of those adult things people go on about!
After a tragic family loss, in fact, one of many over the last two years. This one was the one to change the course of our lives forever. When my Mel’s sister Kerri passed away unexpectedly at the age of 32 years old. It was time to make a decision, grab life by the balls and get out there. Go as far into the wonderful world as possible. Use adventure, travel and the world to take back control. To feel happiness again. To feel alive!
And so we did.
We purchased two cheap mountain bikes. Why cheap? Because Mel had his very expensive touring bike stolen a month beforehand. They are just possessions after all. They don’t matter in the grand scheme of things and we were doing this on a whim. Let’s try it. See how it goes. I don’t have the money for an expensive bike, nor the time to save up for one.
Our cheap bikes in hand, we packed a couple of items of clothing and some essentials for the road. Toothbrush, screwdriver, first aid kit …. noodles!
We researched the cheapest flights possible. We found them into Venice and just like that we made the decision to go. To carry on with life and try and combat our grief the only way we knew how. The great outdoors. Our passion for adventure and outdoor living was what brought us together in the first place and what will be the making of us as we embark on married life. Travelling as far as our B-TWIN bikes will take us.
We are 3 weeks into our journey right now and the things we have already seen. Our plan is to cycle from Venice to Munich. We are currently in Austria, so almost there!Life on the bike has been fantastic. A real challenge physically but by far the best way to travel. You don’t miss a beat. Every single second you are witnessing something new, something incredible. It’s a feeling I cannot even put into words. You just have to try it. Trust me. It’s exhilarating.
Setting up camp wherever you find yourself at the end of a long sweaty day. Wanderer of the world. You feel so free. You do things at your own pace. You make the rules.
But it is hard work and you do have to be committed to pushing yourself. Get to the top of that mountain! Just think of the downhill glide. Cycle through the pain just think about where it is taking you! Plus..Everything is better when you have earned it… food tastes better. A sip of ice tea, the most magical thing. The simplest of things become a treasure. Like lying flat on your back on the ground. Who would of thought. You’ve worked hard for it. You deserve it and it’s great. Take it all in.
Being on the bike is a wonderful tool for your mental well being. Although you have all the time in the world to think, every second there is something new and fascinating to look at and you are always busy admiring your surroundings. We’ve made it though Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Austria so far and we’ve just scratched the surface and I can’t wait for the rest. I know I’m on a truly life changing journey. I’ve finally found my path and with the love of my life by my side, in the great outdoors, our combined true love. It can only get better from here.
July 14th 2018. -Jen-