19 Feb Why Worry?
Over the last week or so, I’ve received a lot of emails from people wanting to know more about the trip, which is great and I always reply to every one of them myself. However, it seems there is an underlying theme to the majority of them, one that’s totally understandable, though still a little frustrating for me. What? Its a sense of worry and pre-judgement.
Now, I know it seems somewhat strange to get frustrated just because someone wants to express their concern and I understand they are only doing so because they care, but I still find myself explaining the same things each time. Maybe an example of an email from a good friend of mine would explain my frustration a bit more clearly. I won’t use names, just an extract of a single sentence from their email that sums up my frustration pretty well.
‘What are you going to do about the bears in Canada when you’re wild camping?’
Firstly, that’s a very reasonable question and the answer will need some pre-planning and preparation. But when I replied that I haven’t thought much about it yet, the reply I got back from them ran along the lines of: ‘Well, you’re not taking this very seriously, are you?’ And there lies my frustration.
I am just one person. I don’t have a team around me and I also have a limited amount of time before I leave. Planning a trip of this length, complexity, and difficulty in its entirety from start to finish and researching all the answers to the myriad of questions before I start would require a whole team of people. Ideally, it would be great to have others sort visas, research border crossings and entry requirements, create a safe route through each country, advise on safety and someone to sort sponsorship, but I don’t.
So instead, I have to spend my remaining time leading up to the trip concentrating on the most important aspects to make sure the trip starts in the best possible way. Right now, that’s talking to sponsors, getting out on the bike and training, perfecting the kit I’m taking, researching the first month or so of the trip, and talking to the media.
I see no point right now in worrying about the bears in Canada for one simple reason: Canada is over three years away and I have a whole host of other concerns, problems, and obstacles, not to mention around 30,000km before I get anywhere near a Canadian bear. I’ll worry about them and how I’ll tackle the wild camping thing a month or so before I arrive. I’ve spent every day since the start of the year looking at one aspect or another of the trip and gaining basic knowledge. I’ll learn the in-depth information as and when I know I’m going to need it.
So I find myself replying time and time again that it’s not a lack of planning or me underestimating the dangers; it’s more a case of focusing on the important things right now. If I sat here worrying about every little possible danger, obstacle, or potential problem I may encounter, I’d never make it to the starting line; it would all be too scary. Far better to take things day by day and be armed with just the knowledge I need for the next week. I already know the basic important aspects, like entry requirements and border crossing points for all of the countries, vaccinations etc. and I’m prepared for these, but as for researching the bears, well, they can wait.
Worrying about problems years down the road isn’t going to get me very far at all. So thanks for your concern and keep the emails coming, as there may some things I haven’t thought of yet that could help me down the road.