Hurry, hurry! Rush! C’mon, we need to move!
But… do we? Do you?
If ever there was a ridiculous concept, it’s rush hour: millions of people going far slower than normal, precisely because they’re all in such a hurry! Most of us don’t have much a realistic choice for never getting caught up in rush hour, but we don’t have to make its mentality our default.
It’s the journey
Far too many people rush to get somewhere, to some destination, to some point in their lives. Those who discovered the big secret knows that the destination doesn’t matter that much. Instead, it’s ALL about the journey!
This is what makes round-the-world bike rides so good: from the outset, the aim is to arrive back where you set off from. This is also why I prefer to design circular routes (even if completing the circle relies on taking the train).
Change your mindset
There are two things you should do when you plan an adventure:
1) Slow down. Instead of racing the clock all the time, and seeing almost nothing along the way in your rush to cover a greater distance, slow down. Cover less distance, but see, and crucially, experience more along the way. Stop often, even f only to drink in the view.
2) Meander. Get out of the mindset of trying to get the journey over as soon as possible, and instead make it more winding. Visit the interesting places along the way. Avoid the tourist traps, and travel on the lanes most people never take.
After all, the journey is the adventure!
Escape the rat-race
Even if you win the rat-race, you’ll still be a rat. That’s not something to aspire to! Break free. Refuse to participate, and slow right down! Yes, that even includes your commute to work!
Instead of fighting rush-hour traffic as you drive to work, or trying to get a seat on the bus or train, leave earlier. Walk, cycle, or for that matter, roller-skate to work. For a number of years, I used to regularly encounter a guy who’d roller-skate in the opposite direction. He always, always has a big grin on his face. You never saw anyone enjoying their commute more. That could be you!
Start by doing a slow commute one day per month, then one day every two weeks. Gradually, increase the frequency, till it becomes a habit.
When you select a holiday, don’t focus on the destination. Instead, see if you can make the journey the adventure. For example, get a train to London, then the Eurostar to Paris. From there, get a train elsewhere, or cycle back to Dover, via a deliberately circuitous route.
Once you figured out the basic idea of your adventure (e.g. the Eurostar to Paris, and cycling back to get a ferry) look at anywhere interesting in the general area. Remember, that’s something interesting to YOU. Divide these into must-visit places, and nice-to-visit places.
Mark down all these places as Points Of Interest on a RideWithGPS map, making it clear which are must-visit and which are nice-to-visit. Next, use those Points Of Interest to form your meandering route, bearing in mind the available time you will have. You will probably find you may need to discard some nice-to-visit places.
Again, avoid racing the clock, and visit fewer places, instead of rushing to fit more in, When you’re done, you will have the makings of a great, leisurely adventure.
Where will you go?