Across Continents

Ken's Blog

The tent can be a lonely place

This may seem a little strange, but only now am I beginning to contemplate the enormity of the task ahead. I know the theory – take it bit by bit – and reckon I’m pretty well equipped, both in terms of what I carry and the training I’ve done. The tangible stuff is fine – can be a bit tough a times, but the problems you encounter can be bounded, they can be broken into manageable chunks.

The psychological aspects are a little different – grasping the notion of four years – actually three years and eleven months – is almost beyond comprehension. Knowing you are going home, having contact with family, friends or just interested well wishers visiting the website, helps enormously. And yet meeting English people abroad can be problematic – the company is always appreciated, often relished, but in the background lurks the unsettling certainty that, unlike you, they’ll be going home soon.

This was always to be expected, just a question of when. Eight hours a day in the saddle is a lot of thinking time. Writing the blog has become very important, keeping the grey matter busy as I pedal along, toying with how best to convey to the reader a flavour of what I’ve seen or experienced. In a honest but, I hope, interesting style. And the certainty that, back at home, people are reading it helps maintain that vital link with the world I’ve left behind. The tent can be a lonely place.

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