A few days after returning to England, I was asked if I was a restless soul. I am still trying to work this one out. Of course, in many ways the return to family and familiarity is welcome. A bed that I can starfish in, belongings beyond the cycle bags, knowing what is round the next corner and the low beamed warmth of the local pub are all small pleasures that I am really enjoying. Conversations don’t need to start with where I’m from, what I’m doing and where I’m going.
With it’s splash of russet colours, this time of year has been kind to me and whilst I am hibernating in rural rolling Sussex, I have the joy of waking to misty mornings and the subtle kaleidoscopic graffiti over the landscape as if spray painted by Autumn. To get my fix of the unknown there are doorstep discoveries of paths never previously explored, viewpoints unseen and all within a few hundred metres of the farm where I grew up. The same eyes, a fresh perspective.
On the other hand, I miss the simplicity of life on the road. Eat, cycle, sleep, repeat. I miss the luxury of being outside in the elements all day with few distractions other than pot holes and lorries. And I miss that sense of unassailable freedom and fitness that 8 hours in the saddle gives.
I’ve been dislocated from a world of news bearing stories that upon return seem increasingly sad and hopeless. Two jungles burnt – one accelerating our chance to turn back the clock on climate change and the second causing a dispersal of shattered dreams of a better life.
It is too soon to determine the repercussions, other than a desire to lead a life less ordinary. And so this restless soul will be making its way to one of those smoke filled jungles to try and assuage the collective guilt of many in our shameful politicians to handle young lives seeking hope. We are global citizens.
A few days after my return I reached my target of £8,000 through the generosity of so many and I may even get to £10,000 – thank you so much to everyone who has supported them ..and me. I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that this would be possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of all the people you are helping.
For the Youth Adventure Trust £4,000 allows one vulnerable child to compete a three year activity programme and gain long lasting confidence and self esteem.
For Re-Cycle £4,000 will allow school children in rural Zambia to attend school regularly and avoid a two hour walk daily. Anthony says “With my bike I can carry water much better and I always get to school on time”. Anthony’s bike saves him energy for lessons and homework and is a tangible help to his life.