Graham Field: The Bravery of going out of range

I used to say (as a solo traveller) that the hardest part of any journey is getting to the point where you are actually ready to leave. From the initial concept of the plan, to the obtaining of the visas, carnets, ferry tickets, the packing, route planning, climate research, bike preparation and pannier packing. Life pre-trip is an endless list of things to do, preoccupied and paralysed by contradictory information and opinions.

Let-down by travel companions and any other company that you relied on to do as they promised. The day of departure arrives; the shed door is shut and locked but the bike is not inside. Everything has been crossed off the list, if it hasn’t, it’s too late, doesn’t matter anymore or has been overlooked, in any case now it’s just you and the road. The long-awaited departure is now, and you wobble off on the first mile onto the planned, predicted, dreamt of, talked about, fretted over and ultimately, unknown, the beginning of your journey.