Cycling again!

Yes. I’ll be doing a lot more of this soon. I say soon. I mean from June. But that’s fairly soon I think comparatively speaking – I’m not quite sure where last year went..!

I’m doing the long route (103 miles) of the¬†London Cycle Sportive¬†in June. It’ll be close to a year since I did my first ever event which was the 25 mile version of the same ride. I remember being incredibly nervous and not sure what I was letting myself in for as I had only really started cycling (or doing any form of exercise at all) 6 months prior. It was an amazing feeling to end in the Herne Hill Velodrome and it gave me confidence that I could do some sort of physical competition, having never been good at any exercise before.

I’ve also entered into the ballot for the¬†London-Surrey 100¬†at the end of June which I really want to do! I think I hear fairly soon as to whether I have a place. If not, I might try and get a charity one but I’m not sure how much I would be able to fundraise, as I did a fair amount last year.

I did my first long ride in 3 months yesterday – can’t believe I left it that long. You can only make so many excuses so often e.g. the weather was bad/the holiday period etc. I still did 60 miles and did Box Hill again and I really enjoyed the challenge and the long climbs. I definitely need to have more goals to keep me on the straight and narrow! It really helps having something to work towards, and I do need to lose a bit more weight – I’ve been stuffing my face full of rubbish and I know it ūüė¶ bad times.

60 miles

A new road bike (yikes, more money!) is definitely required. I’m still on my chunky hybrid, and even though I’m getting good speeds and distances, I know I could do a lot better. Hello credit card?

Deposit down!

Deposit down!

Just like it says on the tin. I’ve finally committed myself (and my credit card. Thank you John Lewis) to this year away. For a mere ¬£400(!), I’ve paid the deposit on my MultiFlex pass which is all the long haul flights, as well as two tours. The MultiFlex pass allows me to be flexible with dates; even when travelling, as long as notice is given.

My route still keeps on changing however…Gahhh!! I keep on hearing things such as¬†“Ooo you should go to X! It’s totes amazeballs!!” and “X is definitely worth a look”. So many places to add to the ongoing list! I have to accept that I can’t do everything in the world in a year, so I might have to be a bit brutal with a cut down.

One tour is the Peruvian one which I mentioned in¬†my last post¬†and it includes everything I want to do. Hopefully some friends will come and join me doing it as the Inca Trail is on some of their ‘To-do’ lists.

I also decided to go for the Burma (or Myanmar) on a Shoestring trip purely because it will be easier to get around and it might be a bit safer. The¬†itinerary¬†looks interesting, as I don’t know much about the country,¬†and a few of the options sound appealing – especially the cycling¬†¬†ones! It’ll give me a chance to get back on the bike.

The third tour (the one in India) is not currently available to book for 2018. I know it’s a little in advance, but Feb 2018 is when I was planning on going to India. The¬†itinerary¬†sounds great and 20 days is a decent amount of time too.

I’ve got an spanner¬†in the works though – not long ago, a good friend of mine FINALLY set a date for her wedding after a long engagement. Guess what. It’s the month after I leave the bloody country! Not sure whether to come back for the wedding which could cost me a bit more money (I think about ¬£750 as a separate trip) and a week or so in time (to accommodate for jet lag) or to delay my year away until the start of June. I can be flexible with dates from the agency point of view, and I’m sure work would not mind if I delayed by a few months – it’s not like i’m not giving them enough notice..?

April worked out so well as a good month to leave – for Tax reasons, and work appraisals are all done by then, so I don’t think I would have to worry too much about work too much. I’m not really sure what to do yet. It would be a shame to miss the wedding, but I’m sure I’ll miss a lot more exciting happenings when I’m away. I’ll have to have a good think about it!

To be contd…..

It’s all becoming real!

It’s all becoming real!

Work have officially given me the year off with the perk of having a job to come back to! It’ll be great to have a year off shift work, having worked shifts for 6 years. I’m sure it’ll do my health some good, but might be hard to get back into the swing of nights when I come back! I can’t fathom going to bed at night every single night. Isn’t that bad?

I’m about to put down a deposit with¬†STA¬†for the trip – it’s only ¬£50 and that’ll guarantee the whole thing! I’ve made a decision about some of the¬†organised trips that I’ll do. I think in some parts of the world, it’s safer to be involved with something organised, rather than be completely on your own. To do the Inca Trail, you have to organise it about 6 months in advance anyway. Hoping to tie it in with going to the Amazon and Lake Titicaca, as well as Cuzco and the Nazca lines. It’s a three week tour and actually costs a bit but it’ll be worth it. I might even get some sort of discount…..! **crosses fingers**. The tour is called¬†Absolute Peru¬†but seems to be quite a bit of money! But I guess it’s worth doing if it’s got everything in it that I want to do. It will be the first place I travel to, so maybe some organisation will give me an initial peace of mind?

Another one that looks quite good and reasonably priced is called¬†India on a Shoestring.¬†It lasts 20 days and goes to everywhere I want to go. It even throws in a camel safari and sleeping in the desert! I rode a camel in Egypt years ago and was terrified but hope that it’ll be different this time! Jodphur looks an amazing place to go. I read this¬†blog post¬†about a day in Jodphur¬†by¬†Alice Audley¬†which gave me a great insight.

I’m still yet to decide on what I want to do in Burma – I was advised to go on a tour, but they seem to be a little on the pricey side? I’ll have to keep on thinking and looking!¬†I’m also looking into getting involved with¬†ThaIntro¬†– it looks like a lot of fun and a good way of meeting new people.

Money is obviously a big factor Рapparently, you can survive on £18k for a year away (this includes everything!) which is such a reasonable amount. I still need to do a lot more saving. Thank God for overtime!

I cannot believe that it I can say that it is next year that I go away. Considering how quickly last year sped by, I know that I have not got long to go!

travelling

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things – Henry Miller