11 Reasons To Plan A Long Distance Cycling Tour
If, by chance, you are one of the many folks who still need to be convinced that there is no better way to spend your limited time on this planet than heading out on a long distance cycling tour or if you are just wondering if cycling long distances is really a good idea, I am pleased to provide 11 excellent reasons to get going.
1. Recharge Your Juices
Today’s careers are very demanding. You have probably been working non-stop, under intense pressure, for god knows how long. You are likely feeling tired, unmotivated, burned out. You may have developed writer’s block and your creative energy has dissipated to a crawl. Maybe you are even beginning to question the meaning of it all. Time for a break – a long break! And long distance cycling is the best way to do it.
2. Enjoy A Digital Detox
We all know it! As I recently wrote on Digital Detox Day, we are spending too much time looking at our phones, reading irrelevant information and trying to figure out if any of it is real. All day, non-stop, you are forced to look at advertisements that are enticing you to buy things that will tend to make you even more miserable. Do you think you need a detox? I think we all do – on a regular basis. But how do you break your addiction? Simple really – take a long distance cycling tour. After two weeks of cycling, eating, resting, and being stimulated by what you see and hear right in front of you, will not need your digital drug anymore.
3. Rediscover Your Faith In Humanity
We are all exposed to the seemingly endless news of wars, murders, famines, financial crimes, political maneuvers and other malevolent acts. Modern media thrives on exaggeration in order to be able to sell you their product, their content. Positive acts of cooperation, ethnic cohabitations, help and support to others, even to strangers actually far outweigh the current negative stories highlighted by the media. The reason you do not hear much about these good things in the world is that the media has no interest to sell this particular product to you (well, maybe a baby kitten story every now and then). If you get on a bike and cycle all over the world, you will find out that, overall, humans, no matter where they live, what they do and to which deity they pray, are pretty good folks.
4. Live Longer
You have probably heard it many times over – exercise, lots of movement, stimulation, good nutrition and a community of people around you will prolong your life. Long distance cycling provides all of the above and more.
5. Realize What Is Really Important In Your Life
We all have goals, ambitions, priorities – what we would like to do in our lives. Modern lives are complicated, however, with a lot of things pulling and pushing us from different directions. There is nothing like spending few months on a bike to make you realize what really are the most important things to you and where your should your focus be.
6. Open Up Your Life Possibilities
There are times when we feel that the walls are closing on us and we see no way out. What if we see other people being resourceful and old things being done in a different way? Well, then our neglected neurons light up and new ideas and possibilities seems to emerge.
7. Eliminate Your Fear Of ‘Others’
We may all suffer a bit of xenophobia – fear of others. After all, we originate from small groups of hunter/gatherers who lived trying to survive in a hostile environment. Do you know how you get rid of this feeling? Simply get on a bike, wait until you get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and see what happens. Yes, you had better believe it. Strangers will stop to ask you if you need help and go out of their way to assist, even if you have no common language. It is one of those little miracles that has more than likely happened to every long distance cyclist.
8. Enrich Your Taste Buds
We all need food to keep on going. The better the food, the better our quality of life. But as the Israelites found out in their forty years of wandering in the desert, even though ‘mana’ from heaven provided for all of their nutritional needs, the masses were not happy. They wanted something new, something different, something tastier and more interesting looking. So it is with most of us who no longer have to spend most of our daily hours growing our food. Long distance cycling exposes you to a myriad of fresh local foods, cooked in local traditions, with plenty of spices you may never have heard of. Long after you have come home, you will be remembering the taste and the aroma of foods you have eaten on your cycling journey.
9. Re-awaken The Childhood ‘Wonder Of Things’ In You
Wonder is all around us – just look at the children around you. They find it everywhere. As we get older, unfortunately, we tend to get jaded by the same things over and over again. When you get on a bike and see new things around every corner and during every moment of your waking hours, you will begin to experience the same wonder you had when you were young and everything was new and exciting – it was all new to you.
10. Improve Your Social Life
Long distance cycling creates an atmosphere where is it easy to meet people in your cycling group as well as locals from all over the world. I know dozens of riders who met on a trip and become lasting friends. I also know many couples who met on cycling trips. An added benefit for your old friends is that you will now have become more interesting and have many new stories to tell. You will become more popular.
11. Change Your Life For The Better
The ultimate reason why you should make every effort possible to take a long cycling trip is that your life will change for better, no matter where you stand at the moment on the Scale of Happiness. This point you should really not take from me. Just speak to any long distance cyclists and ask them a simple question. Are you a happier now than before you went on a long cycling trip?