Fairly self explanatory, these are things I miss.
10. Bike Paths in Switzerland
These puppies consisted of the most amazingly groomed, accessible well marked network of bike paths I have ever seen. They were paved quite often and took us everywhere we needed to go with minimal flat tires and a smooth ride. They went on beautiful scenic routes and allowed us to avoid busy roads, big cities, and cars which all slow cyclists down. I would give an arm and a leg for a bike path network like this in the U.S. – or even just Michigan. Way to go Switzerland!
9. Finding a Campsite
It’s like a mix between I Spy, Wheres Waldo, and a treasure hunt every single night. Is is well hidden? Three points. Is it accessible even for the tandem and trailer? Five points. Does it have a clean water source nearby for Lindsey to shower in? Fifteen Points! The accomplishment of finding the winning campsite for the evening is unmatched, even without receiving a medal or trophy ( even though I would kindly accept one)- just saying.
8.Guilt Free Calorie Consumption
I could do what I want, eat what I want, and not become a fatty due to excessive and sometimes involuntary cycling. This was helpful since our primary food was some form of processed carbs, and I usually liked to eat a lot of it thanks to hunger and oftentimes boredom- what else is there to do at night when camping in a field?
7. Bread and Cheese in France
The best in the world, and oh so cheap. Give me a baguette and some local brie and I am one happy girl.
6. Not Picking Out Clothes in the Morning
Spandex pants or spandex shorts? Butt padding or none? Two jackets or one? Does my yellow helmet go with my pink sneakers, or does it clash with my purple shirt and the brown dirt caked on my legs? I think the dread locks in my pony tail are ruining the whole feel of this outfit…Who the heck cares!!!
The strawberry milky lolly pops that kept me going through my highest highs and lowest lows, even the currency for bets at times. I miss these little guys tumbling around in my handle bar bag, awaiting the next water break when I can whip one out and have a little Chupa- Chup bliss.
4. Life on a Map
Every day we looked at the map and figured out where we would go. Pointing to a dot on the paper shaped our days, it was all up to us, all planned last minute, and made for an exciting day, everyday. If we got lost, we weren’t really lost because there was always another way to get to the destination dot. If we wanted to take a detour, we could and if we saw a larger dot, or a dot that looked more enticing we had the freedom to go to that dot instead. Usually the names of the dots were what drew us in, and also the colors of the roads on the map. Red roads are bad, yellow roads are good, and white roads are boring and usually not flat. Life based on a map is truly the best way to travel- you never know what the dots will look like in reality, and what the routes to get there will bring.
3. Peeing Where I Please
Finding a bathroom is so over rated and oftentimes on this trip impossible. You have to pee. You get off your bike. You take care of business. You get back on the bike. Done. So. Simple.
2. Meeting Strangers
People are so good and so interesting everywhere in the world. Whether they are staring at the bizarre caravan of dirty cyclist, or asking us to come home to have dinner with them and their family, we connected with people everyday. They saw us, were interested, and sometimes we got the pleasure of accepting their stories, kindness, and hospitality. I met some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever encountered on this trip, and also made some friends who I will keep in contact with for years to come. Interact with those around you because encountering strangers is the good stuff in life- if they are weird then move on, if they are amazing then you have found a new friend, why not take the chance?
1. Movement Lifestyle
Everyday I saw new cities, new people, new landscapes, unpredictable weather, interactions, new food, new place to sleep, new experiences. My mind was always full of thoughts processing everything around me and it never got old. I was moving myself forward one country at a time and focusing on the simple things in life like eating and sleeping. Sitting still became a treat and warm showers were divine. A couch was a temporary luxury that I would encounter once in awhile, and everyday was centered around adapting and moving. This is the way to live. There is so much to see ,and do, and taste, and so many people to meet. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sit still again.
Things I do NOT miss:
Being rained on
Being so dirty my hair stands up on its own
Spandex and butt sores