I turned back from Mexico 4 days ago and have spent the time considering my next move. It seemed my knees were not getting better in a hurry and it was too expensive and boring to sit around in a hotel waiting to get back to full fitness. I also felt like I'd had enough of cycling by myself. It was only this morning when I finally decided to book a flight home. As soon as the flight was booked I knew I'd done the right thing. I miss everybody back home. I've now been away long enough that I can sit here and dream about home in the same way that a few months ago I would sit at home and dream of being out here.
I felt pretty low after leaving Mexico. It seemed like a big failure. With some perspective and the support of family and friends back home I can now start to look at the wider scale of what I've achieved. I made it from Canada to Mexico using only pedal power, carrying everything I needed (and a bit more) on the bike. I slept almost every night in a tent. When I started the trip I could hardly sleep for fear of bear attack. By the end of the trip I would sleep like a baby, preferring my tent to any other accommodation. I met hundreds of wonderful people, a few of which became great friends. I saw bears, whales, seals, eagles, vultures, hummingbirds, snakes, lizards and far too many raccoons. I was fairly sure when I started that I was about to have the time of my life. To begin with such high expectations and then far exceed them is quite something.
I was a little worried that after this trip I may just return to my normal life dissatisfied, wanting to continue riding forever and exploring new places. What I actually feel now having spent 2 and half months away from my real life is a renewed appreciation and enthusiasm for all the wonderful things that await me back in England.
I should perhaps also mention the importance of this blog. It's not always been easy to find the time to write an account of each day's events but I have tried hard to document every day. When everything was changing all the time and I was experiencing so many new things I would find it hard to remember what had happened the day before. For this reason it was important to me to get it all written down somewhere. To my surprise many people found it interesting to keep up with my adventures and provide messages of support. This was a constant source of motivation for me whenever things became difficult. It was almost like I had an invisible support team just behind me. If you're reading this, thank you.
Here are some statistics about my trip you may find interesting:
Total miles ridden: 2,277
Highest elevation: 2,000 feet
Days when it rained: 3
Nights when it rained: 3
Bike problems: broken rear wheel rim
Campgrounds stayed at: 50 (or thereabouts)
Border crossings: 4
Flip-flops lost or broken: 2
Beard growth: 16mm