May 8, 2016
It’s hard to believe that Canada has faded from view. Time is moving quickly and once again we’re reunited with our bikes. After nearly four weeks at sea and time spent with dear friends new and old, we’re moving once again.
When we sit for too long, inertia works to keep us still and it’s pull is strong. Suddenly the daily ritual of packing, getting ready, fueling the bikes and finding our way seems harder than it did. But it quickly returns to simply doing what we do. Slowly our bags are becoming less full while our hearts become more-so. We’re becoming more experienced and more confident to leave the known behind and to venture into those parts of the world where it all becomes new.
In Canada this sense of displacement can only exist to a point. It’s only going to get so different and that’s been fine with us. The seventy-plus days spent travelling across our homeland have been some of the best in our lives. We’ve seen places like La Gaspé that have taken our breath away, and places like the Terry Fox Memorial that reveal to us what is possible when our hearts and minds unite in a singular vision. We’ve seen history recalled in landscapes and architecture, even when the events that have created such a wonderful country haven’t always reflected it’s currently welcoming persuasion.
And now we’re in Europe heading south towards the Mediterranean. The UK with it’s familiarity still offers challenges in the form of paperwork, left-lane driving and endless roundabouts but it’s still easily navigable. And now France adds to the collage with a language we can somewhat communicate in. At first every interaction is laboured – a mix of smiles, flubbed sentences and wild gestures. But, after a couple of weeks, much less so. Perhaps the beauty of travel is its removal of the fear to try and the very tangible growth we see from letting that fear go.
They say that travelling changes us forever, and I believe that. It also changes us on a very simple, less lofty level; travel simply presents us with moments in which can choose to participate, or not, and the more foreign the land, the more obvious our choices around that simple idea become. France is far from truly foreign for us, but with countries on the horizon that will feel completely different from home, it’s comforting to know that an essential part of our experience is in our hands – in our willingness to yield to our surroundings and circumstance. Good or bad, we always have choices.