My life right now on the bike

Au Revoir Belgique, bonjoir France…?

Last night with the amazing setting sun we crossed the border between Belgium and France. The only difference between the two nations was a Jupiler sign on the Belgium side. Tonight I will upload an article of Belgium Borders. For now, we will ride through French countryside.

Hopefully today Jeroens carrier will hold it so we don’t end up fixing it on the side of the road like last two days.


Let’s see what is around the corner today

First day, first problems

Leaving for such an adventure, you know you are never quite ready. In the morning me and my travel partner, Jeroen, raced through the city to do some last minute errands. We also decided to skip the Netherlands and take a train into Belgium, we have both cycled more than enought in the Netherlands so it is not even remotely interesting anymore.

Starting directly in a forgein country would help us capture the spirit again that we’ve lost during the rushed preparation this morning. Ofcourse the trains we delayed and they didn’t want us to take bike with us, so fortunately at 14:30, we stepped out in Leuven to start our first non motorized kilometers of the journey!
Only after 100 meters the first and the major problem of the day occured, a screw in Jeroens’ bag carrier broke and we spend the entire day every other 3 km, stopping to fix his carrier. This ofcourse doesn’t help get us in the right mindset, when frustration is growing to material break downs.

The hero of the day was a bike repairman who helped to fix it for atleast 20 kilometers, finally giving us some clearance in the head to focus on the adventure itself. Just 61 km done we arrived at 20:30 on a camping in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere between Brussels and Charleroi. The Flemish fields have shown their true beauty last night with the setting sun while we inched through them. We got a beer offered by a lovely English couple which helped us to fall a sleep really fast. Time for day two, hopefully without problems!

Day -1

Absolutely terrified. Crazy wanderlust. Fear of missing Nijmegen. Fear of physical injury. Fear of not enjoying. Wanting to start immediately.

In the months leading up to this trip, I have thought, pondered, contemplated way way too much. As a thinker instead of a do-er, I spend many hours thinking how this trip would be like. Mainly with good and happy thoughts, but I got scared of the doubts I felt in some of my thoughts. Fear of doubts, made me doubt even more and voila I got stuck in this vicious circle of negative thoughts. It was hard to break free from these, sometimes I wondered if I should do it anyways. I realized that the only way of knowing if I like it, is to do it. Since I love travelling and before this trip started already I traveled a month through Europe in a van and spend a week in Danish forests, without a doubt I am going to love the trip.

Another aspect of uncertainty was if I would be joined by people on the road. I realized that travelling alone for a month would be too lonely and I asked some people around me if someone is willing to join. I found a great friend of mine, Jeroen, who is willing to join me. Only two days before we left he got is definite answer.  Near Paris we will be joined by another friend and with the three of us, we will make it to Bordeaux where I will continue alone, and they will head back to Nijmegen.

Realizing and accepting the doubts of travel partners, destinations and the trip as a whole, created some rests in my head. instead of overthinking before, I created the mindset of ‘let’s see what happens’. Now with much more ease I am preparing to leave Nijmegen for good until December and pack all my belongings for Bath and the trip to Porto. Still there are some traces of fear in my thoughts, but much more confidence and joy is now filling the chambers of my brains. Let’s see how this trip will go and where I will end up coming weeks.

Let’s see what is around my corner.