Final call


At the end of my first solo cycling trip I came back to the Netherlands unannounced. I had spread my blogposts a bit wider over time so they ended up being a few days out of date. I was planning to surprise my parents by cycling over when they didn't expect me yet. It was quite fun to do. But just before reaching my parents' house I had a little break moment on a bench in my home town. Then I suddenly realized: "If I go this way, my trip ends, I see my parents, I'm back in a familiar situation. But if I go the other way, a new trip begins and I will end somewhere random and unknown".

Since then I've had several trips with such a moment at the end. Last October's trip's end was quite memorable, perhaps even painful. I was unfit and overweight, and suffered technical difficulties during that entire trip. I had finally gotten myself to a point where I was able to enjoy cycling again, and there it was: the long bridge to the airport. All I had to do was go straight instead of turning right and a whole new adventure would begin. It tempted me. Every time it tempts me. Every time I resist.

Although, at the end of the 2014 trip I didn't quite resist. It was a trip without a 'true' ending, in that I hadn't fixed how I planned to get back to Tokyo from Hokkaido, and I also didn't have a hard time limit such as a flight to catch either. I changed my mind twice during that trip's end: first I decided to cycle back instead of taking a ferry, and then, while cycling back, I decided it was a good time to stop, and quit halfway. I had nothing left to prove, and without a powerful goal left it's hard to focus. At least I think that's why I ended up doing that. In any case, it felt like the right decision at the time, and it still feels right.

This time I didn't think I was going to be tempted. My mind was clear yesterday, my thoughts wrapped up, and I was and still am ready and looking forward to resuming my real life back in London. But still.. It happened on the last bridge before the airport. Again. I had stepped off my bike to take a photo and was hesitating to walk back a bit to buy a drink from a vending machine. It was then that I heard the voice in my head that told me that all I had to do was turn back, turn right and just keep on cycling, and a whole new cycling trip could begin right now.

I never intended to give in to that voice. Not this time. But I can't help but try to imagine the consequences if I did. In this case two people very close to me would end up being very pissed off at me, and my bank account would be too. Not to mention the company I'm supposed to start working for again soon. There's always consequences. But despite that there is always the temptation. Maybe one day I will give in to it.


Right. Time to get back to real life.

Posted in Spirit of Japan 3