Sunday, 31 October 2010

'the times, they are a changing' (Bob Dylan)

'..You will not meet,
the Cyclops or fierce Poseidon
Unless you carry them in your soul,
Unless your soul sets them in your path.'(C.P.Cavafy)

Hurling pieces of old furniture,pots and pans and other assorted rubbish into an ever filling skip while clearing out my father's garden shed and garage recently, gave me a huge sense of satisfaction. This de-cluttering of our lives is something we have all done from time to time, especially when we move house or flat. And aren't we amazed at what has been stored up over the years!

But this de-cluttering can also apply to ourselves as people. The reasons I chose to do this trip were many:for adventure, a challenge,the joy of travel and seeing exciting new places, meeting different people and understanding different cultures;all those things, but also to change as a person. There is simply no point in doing this trip if I am not prepared to allow it to change me in some way. A trip like this should do just that. But you have to allow it to and sometimes it means breaking down some of the old barriers, built up from years of working, living and other influences, as we go about our daily lives. And already, even in preparing for this trip, I am aware of subtle changes in myself.

Being somewhat entrenched in my ways, I was going to do this journey without taking mobile phones or computers. I was intending to rely on using snail mail and internet cafes or WI FI outlets (if I could find them)in towns or cities. The rather romantic notion, where I thought the trip would perhaps be more 'real' if I didn't take any new fangled technology with me, was reinforced by telling myself that I could manage and who needs it anyway, as a convincing excuse. My love of reading also meant that I had to decide how much limited space I could give to taking any books. And if I didn't take any then how would I manage, without spending a fortune on buying books for long plane or train journeys.

Determined I was not going to give in to technology, I have just downloaded tens of free books on my recently acquired IPhone! Deciding that my Luddite ways had to go, I persuaded myself to get one. And I'm glad I did. I can now download various applications, that include, languages, directions, bookings, any internet query, email friends, send an instant photo (if I havn't got my real camera to hand)and ..Oh! the possibilities are endless!.Expensive, yes, but worth it just for my piece of mind. To be able to get all this information without the trauma of traipsing around a city or town after 50 or so miles of exhausting cycling,just to find an internet cafe or outlet, is worth every penny.

But thinking about how I may have betrayed my original ideas about how I felt with taking technology with me, I was reminded of what a good friend had said to me recently. 'It doesn't matter how you do this trip, there are no rules, it's your trip.'And she was right. I can put this journey together in any way I want to:in a way that I feel comfortable.

So already my mind is opening up to new ideas and possibilities, perhaps something that wasn't my strongest habit in the past. I have alsways been very single minded and while good in some ways, it can also make you blinkered.

What I want most out of this trip is to come home with a more open mind and different attitudes. Do we have to go around the world to do this? Probably not, but it's a great way to find out!

Bye for now


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