One of the first questions I am typically asked by people I meet on the road is which charity I’m riding for, as if I couldn’t be doing what I am if I wasn’t driven by some kind of external force. I am not doing this for charity or anyone else. I am doing it for a much simpler, but still very important, reason: my own happiness. There is nothing else I would rather do with my life right now than discover where this adventure will take me. Thus, by making me feel content with what I am doing with my life, I know that embarking on this journey will make me happy.
In this fast-paced world of ours, we don’t often find the time to take a step back and really assess what we are doing with our lives and why. We become so entwined with the demands of modern life that nurturing our personal development becomes a low priority or is simply forgotten. We learn to judge our lives through society’s eyes rather than our own. Consequently, we go through the motions because it seems to be what is expected of us, not because we know it to be precisely the thing that will bring us happiness. I am sure all of us have at some point felt disenchanted with life and wondered if somewhere out there lies the secret to becoming happier.
“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart” – Einstein
The secret to happiness is not out there; rather, it is contained within each of us. Finding it requires us to have an intimate understanding of ourselves, of what we want and why. Only by giving special attention to our own hearts and minds can we begin to identify and achieve that which will make us happy. If we can make ourselves happy, we can make the world happy. Unfortunately, most of us are too distracted to give ourselves the level of attention that we each deserve.
For me, paying attention to my heart and mind involves listening to my dreams, no matter how far-fetched they seem. Surely we can all remember a time as a child when life was a playground for the imagination and everything seemed possible. At some point this philosophy dissolved when we learned to accept life as we found it and not as we dared to make it. Instead of striving to achieve our most wild of dreams, we fell in line with the well-worn pattern of modern life, which seemingly conspires to prevent us from searching beyond our superficial needs and desires. Did it have to be this way? Did we have to let go of the naïve dreams we once held?
What do you want out of life? Are you doing what makes you happy? What have you always wanted to try, but just haven’t yet?
A powerful source of motivation in my life is a belief that even my craziest dreams are possible and that achieving them (or at least giving them a go) will bring me closer to finding that indomitable state of ultimate happiness and contentment we all seek. As you have probably worked out by now, one of my many dreams is to get to know planet earth by riding around it on a bicycle. This website has grown from a decision to dedicate a chunk of my life to the pursuit of this goal and a desire to make the story available to anyone interested in following it.
While I can’t pretend that I am doing this journey for altruistic reasons, I still hope that if there is someone out there who needs a supportive nudge towards dream fulfilment and the happiness this brings, the story of my bicycle journey becomes that nudge. I couldn’t possibly be the only person who believes chasing dreams can lead to a happy life. And I couldn’t possibly be the only person who has at least one wild dream and the courage to chase it. Surely if I can somehow make it around the world on a bicycle, you can achieve that one thing you have always wanted. Trust yourself, have courage and go for it.