The last four days have been amongst the most challenging of Expedition1000. Out of 21,498 miles so far, these have been right up there.
At an average of 3.1mph I’ve biked over 100 miles, completed five crossings over eight miles, slept for a total of 15 hours, barged through head and sidewinds and, at times, literally inched towards my next goal in near desperation.
My mindset and the climate around me are so often intertwined and the biggest mental tests come when pace is low and conditions are rebellious. But while my feet have grown sores as a result of constant sogginess, I’ve willed my legs to carry on rotating by thinking about the sunshine. About my fiancé. About the next meal. A hot shower. My friends. The way my parents sign off Facebook comments as Mumcorn and Dadcorn. And how majestic this place is, in all of its giant, bewildering scale.
Making a living from adventure has always been harder than the adventures themselves, even the toughest ones,, but I made it work because out there, whipped by the wind and performing a form of self-masochism that my bones and joints in later years will hate me for, I feel alive. I wake up each morning knowing I must move, regardless of my unwilling body.
Progress brings surprise and reward, and however much the day has tested me, I always find a wide grin spreading across my little face as I slip into my beloved sleeping bag, pull a beanie down over eyes to block out the everlasting light, and let the happenings of the day rush through my mind one after the other until everything switches off. No sheep, just counting memories.
And then, just a few hours later which is never enough when your body craves for more nap time, an alarm gently brings me back to life. The guitar twangs, opening Amos Lee’s ‘Simple Things’…”When I am re-turnin’, ‘nother day on the job, it’s like a revelation comin’ home, seeing you sleeping with the light on…mmm hmm…it’s just these simple things, keep me holdin’ on….”
And that’s enough. I’m awake. It’s time to start again.
All images by Adam Brown from Yellow Matilda
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And when you finally succumb to the temptations of Norway, please use the excellent resources on Visit Norway to plan your trip, and consider Hurtigruten as the perfect introduction to this wonderful land.
And why not join one of my workshops on adventure planning, filming, social media and more, held either in a double decker bus conversion or in my floating home in East London.
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