Spain was originally the catalyst for buying the bike and the trip expanded from there, as I have mentioned in an earlier post. Of the places I have so far travelled through in Europe, it is set to be my least favourite. Which is disappointing, but you can’t love them all right?
I can see the appeal for sun starved Brits and alike, who yearn for lazy days by the pool and a tan they may otherwise never achieve, but for an Aussie who spends their summer days at some of the best beaches in the world, it doesn’t really cut it.
The biggest challenge I have found here has continued to be the people and their unwillingness to welcome visitors to their country, even in the much quieter, less tourist crowded places. As a result, it has felt like a solitary journey for the past two weeks and one I would have moved on from, if it were not for meeting my wonderful friend on Monday to spend the week together.
Having quiet time can be restorative, it can also allow your inner chatter to become incredibly noisy. Many a time since I left Australia I have questioned, what on earth I am doing out here? What is the point to all of this? Why I am riding in the rain, now cold and trying to find a camp site to put up my tent when I could be at home, on the lounge watching Netflix and drinking tea? All very valid questions I think when you realise how far from home you are, and how long there is still to go. This week, as I have slowed down to a crawl to make Valencia at the right time, I have felt lost.
My logical brain tells me that it is a point in time. It will pass. Of course, out of all these months they won’t and can’t be all good days, or even sometimes, weeks. I must take the good with the bad and just roll with it. So, with that, I set out to plan the coming month to give myself a feeling of direction once I leave Spain and begin the long trek towards Russia and beyond.
Speaking with my friend and walking tour guide, map, historian and riding guru, David, I relayed my worries and self-doubt as he has walked this path many times before me as a sole rider. After our chat he sent a message which in part, said, when that inner voice begins to question, tell it: “I am different”.
Such sage and timely advice. I forget sometimes that I do make seemingly bizarre choices in life, but I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. I know I am different, I am always clueless as to who and what are the latest ‘in’ topics. I have no idea. Nor do I want to, it doesn’t interest me. Setting myself challenges and always following them through has been my calling card for a long time now and something I should give myself more credit for. So once again, David, for being such a fountain of knowledge and advice, thank you 😊
With my spirits lifted and a feeling of soon leaving this chapter of the trip and my self-doubt behind, I moved on from the desert of Tabernas to Benidorm. Some of you, like me, may know that name from the English tv series. After a mere 5 hours here tonight, I can assure you that it is incredibly true to life! Although a somewhat tacky place, it has life and laughs and a lighter side which I definitely needed. I am actually a huge fan of the show so staying in the hotel where it is filmed and seeing the sights has been a lot of fun.
Did I forget to mention the storms? Spain has decided to show me some extra love by waiting for Yogi and I to set off, and with amazing consistency, rain on us. I have yet to learn not to trust it’s brilliant blue skies and have been caught off guard more times than I am pleased about. With our ride being not different today, I stopped only after being thoroughly soaked through to put my wet weather gear on. Muchas gracias!
In reflection, I shall enjoy every glass of sangria with Sara next week and acknowledge, it can’t be all rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, it’s storms and self-doubt. However, those are the times you know you are doing something you will remember, for a long time to come.
Be different, in any way that makes sense to you. Even if it is scary and uncomfortable. Push through that, I am sure it is worth.