by Amy Tunstall
What if I told you it was as easy as getting started. Would you believe me? That everything starts off as an idea and it’s up to us to turn it into a reality? But, that’s just it, Getting Started because those “What Ifs” will take you down before you even get started. “What if” everything goes wrong,”What if” I don’t make my goal, “What if” people don’t like what I’m doing? We always focus on what will go wrong and not enough will go right.
I always use this analogy between “Adventuring” and “Everyday Life”. No matter where you are in the world or what you are doing, bad things are going to happen, Risk exists everywhere. But truthfully, I’d rather risk my life doing something I love, rather than risk my life doing something I hate. My mindset hasn’t always been this way, I think that’s the great thing with growing older. How we have the ability to shift our mindset, for me this shift happened with one plane ticket, and a three month adventure cycling across the second largest country.
Before this trip, I hadn’t even ridden a bike more then 30 km. I didn’t fully realize the power of the human body on both a physical and mental level. Is it too cliché to say we as people can truly can do what ever we put our minds to? The beautiful thing about the human mind is that we have the ability to create. For me, I found my ability to create sitting on a bike for 10 hours a day. That calm which came with cycling allowed me to finally meet my true self, someone who I would have to learn to love.
For the first time in my life I wasn’t listening to everyone else’s ideas, I was focusing on me. I call it beneficial selfishness, something we all need once in a while. Confidence grew as the miles passed me by, a whole new world had been opened up. A new way of living, formulated off the idea of simplicity. Broken down into our basic needs as a human. Listening to ourselves, knowing when we were hungry, tired, or just needed a break.
Cycling also taught me how to let go of hate, that the world wasn’t out to get me. This was just something I had made up, an idea that I overwhelmed myself with for the longest time. Anger and Jealousy did me no good, instead I hated spending the day with this other me- looking at her- she was someone I didn’t want to be. I could use my energy in other ways, more productive ways, I shaped myself into a person who I’d want to hang out with and truthfully it was a whole lots easier to be the real me.
Sometimes we need an opportunity to slow down and look at ourselves; reassess who we are, our goals and the priorities we’ve set for ourselves. Whether you want to or not, a grand trip will teach you these things. Make you take a look at yourself, sometimes for the first time in your life.
Amy Tunstall is an inspiring adventurer who just finished thirty days of hiking the Bruce Trail When she’s not bike touring, hiking or putting out wildfires, Amy is connecting and inspiring people at Aimoutside. Lewis, Clark and Mark (especially Mark) would like to thank Amy for taking some time off from her adventures to write and share with everyone.