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Old 1 Nov 2010
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The trouble with....

Adventure, or just doing what you want is that things often pop up that mean you have to rethink, replan, reroute or make a case for doing it, to whoever (wife, Girlfriend, Employer etc)

Right now you are in the possition where none of those things will stop you. You can only make the choices for yourself, but IF I were in your possition right now I'd be off, buy a cheap bike in the US and come home when I'm done.

The whole career thing is pretty much a rat race that you can hop on and off (subject to women related things). So you really have nothing to loose, and travel makes people interesting, might not mean anything to an employer but it will break the ice at an interview.

My advice, if you are sure Ok with the whole 'being alone' thing is to go for it now.
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Old 1 Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by Birdy View Post
Adventure now! Don't try and project a future that has too many variables in to predict.

Do what you want now, get the experience of these 'little' trips under your belt. Even if you don't perceive them as 'the big one' you will learn so much and have so many experiences that one day if/when you are in a better position, you will be so much better prepared, and if that day never comes, you will have had priceless experiences anyway so you are still a winner.

Get your sleeping bag packed, jump on the bike and off you do. Africa is less than a week's concentrated riding. The Middle East less than a fortnight. Spain less than three days. Russia less than a week. AND we have so many things in Europe you don't even need to go to those extremes. You don't even need a bike. My travels are normally bike based, but I'm off walking the Camino de Santiago next week for a change. I can't afford another 'big trip' at the mo, but there is always an option.

Life is for taking. Don't be one of those who will always wish and always dream what could have been. You're in an ideal situation to drop it and go. The world is your oyster.

If you need more convincing, come out for a drink with me some time. I'll tell you some tales, show you some pictures of my trips, and do very very best to get you out and on the road ASAP.

I'm only in Boston, so not far from you.

Interesting, Birdy. I've done the Camino 3 times, (walking once from Le Puy, once from Jaca, and once from Salamanca) and I'm off in 3 days to do my fourth, from Porto to Santiago. It will I think be the experience of your life.

Are you doing the Camino Françes? If so, is it from Le Puy or St Jean Pied de Port? Don't miss Senor Jesus Jato in Villa Franca del Bierzo and his wonderful refugio. And the Quemada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 1 Nov 2010
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Thanks Jake! I don't think anyone has ever been so complimentary about me before. I owe you a when/if I come back from Spain.

'interesting, Birdy. I've done the Camino 3 times, (walking once from Le Puy, once from Jaca, and once from Salamanca) and I'm off in 3 days to do my fourth, from Porto to Santiago. It will I think be the experience of your life.

Are you doing the Camino Françes? If so, is it from Le Puy or St Jean Pied de Port? Don't miss Senor Jesus Jato in Villa Franca del Bierzo and his wonderful refugio. And the Quemada!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

This will be my first time! I'm setting off from Bordeaux on the Camino Frances on Sunday. I was going to walk all the way down France from the UK, but I just can't afford it, so I'm getting the train down to Bordeaux, then walking to StJPDP. I'm rather excited about it. It's the first time I've done a walking trip for ages. I'll miss the bike though.

I had never considered it before, I was looking for work in Spain, thought I would walk there and looking at a map realised the route I had thought I would take went almost directly along the Route de Frances - and that was too much of a 'coincidence' for me not to do it! I don't make decisions, easier to leave them to greater powers, and that one was obviously planned for me!

After Santiago, I'm walking back to Asturias to help a group of Spaniards reclaim a village from the mountains. They want to set up a self sufficient community there away from everyone, and it sounds great.

As for the refugios, as far as I can, I'm going to try to rough camp, because I really need to keep my budget to less than 5 euros a day. After you have factored tobacco and food into that it doesn't leave much leeway!

Buen camino y buena suerte!

(PS - Sorry for hijacking the thread - I still say go for it now. Work is just something that gets in the way of life. We're the most intelligent beings on earth, but we'll never answer the most important questions if we waste all that intelligence on making other people rich!)

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Old 1 Nov 2010
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Hi B

It's not really offtopic because it's about lifechanging decisions and events, and the Camino is certainly a star in this area. But even then I'll be brief.

The refugios are donativo but they look for around 5 euros. Problem is, that around this time of year the nights are long and it's good to be inside. But more than that, a great part of the Camino is meeting the others who are doing the same walk. The people you meet there are often remarkable. As you're starting in Bordeaux, you won't meet many others (if any) till St JPdP. It's a challenging start. But go for it. In France there are no refugios but gites d'etapes. Costs more than refugios.

For avoiding blisters, use one thin + one thick(er) pairs of socks, not just one thick pair. Don't forget your compostelana, to ensure you can use the refugios if you want. If you need more on this, better PM me. But I'll be gone shortly, to Porto, to start my camino. I expect to be in Santiago around 20th. We will both feel the benefits of Atlantic storms. Got a good poncho? You better!!

You know about the website of the Confraternity of St James Or CSJ. Google it as my links never work.

PS You won't miss the bike..................

Buen camino .....................et Ultreia et Suisea!
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Old 4 Nov 2010
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Go Go Go

I will put this plain and simple go do it ! dont get hung up on career's , life for living you cant take your money with you when its all over , but you can take your memories with you

I have my own business , had dead end jobs half my life and started working for myself doing the same dead end jobs but for myself self ! the good money came rushing in , so took some time out drove from preston uk to mongolia
A 10 week trip turned in to almost 5 months! I found out more about my self
in those 5 months then 20 odd years !

So here we are earning good money back to the norm but its not the norm for me no more ! so planing my next big trip going to ride the world late 2011 hopefully, and i will simply end the business that ive always wanted and work so hard for , now i see there so much more to life live the dream you wont luck back ! ps my spelling aint the best no comments lol
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Old 5 Nov 2010
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Close eyes, clench teeth, and JUMP


I was where you are now about 30 years ago, and decided to start a job, earn some money buy the bike of my dreams. I got the bike, but then got into a relationship, then out of it and into a new one. I raised two children, achieved a lot professionally and a fair bit personally and have managed to see a reasonable number of the parts of the world I want to see. I've achieved this by a combination of using holidays and periods of unemployment wisely, and working in multinational organisations. I am now in a position where my youngest is setting off on her gap year travels early next year. Within minutes of waving her a tearful (tears of envy) farewell I will also be setting out on a small (by HU standards, big enough for me) adventure. There are things I will see on this "adventure" that would have meant more when I was younger, and things I would have done then but won't do now. Partly this is because I am older and (maybe) a little wiser, partly because I have different tastes, but I am aware that I regret not having done some things, even if I don't want to do them now (when you're as old and knackered as I am you'll understand).

I love my family and would probably not change even if I could, but I often wonder where I might be now if I had seized the opportunity 30 years ago.

In short, my advice is to jump at the adventure. Reading between the lines of your original post, I suspect that is the advice you wanted to hear anyway.
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Old 17 Jan 2011
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Let go and go.

I just found the following masterpiece and wanted to share it. Looks like this thread could be a good place for it, hope it's helpful.

I was directed to it through a conversation on another blog, having recently returned from a wonderful African journey. Thoughts still all jumbled up, trying to stop thinking about "what next" and just let it happen, but pretty difficult as it's what everyone asks.

If I had found this piece before my departure (I wish I had), I would now be saying it was the best advice I ever received.

Stephen, let us know how your decisions went.

There's a wonderful narration of it at this link. I challenge anyone not to find some inspiration in it.

ITHACA [1910, 1911]
by C. P. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaca,
hope that your journey is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - do not be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare sensation
touches your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon - you won't encounter them:
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope that your journey is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbours seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn, and learn again from those who know.

Keep Ithaca always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so that you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithacas mean.
TTR250 - London to Cape Town
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Old 17 Jan 2011
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Go now .... later might never happen.
He who makes a beast out of himself
Gets rid of the pain of being a man
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