I love to challenge myself. In the USA I cycled down the East Coast, across the South, and down the West Coast, 10,300km. I cycled over high passes, through hot, very hot, deserts, and across very hot wet swampy areas. And just for fun, I decided to try and get a photograph of Licence Plates from all 50 states. On the penultimate day of cycling in the USA, I photographed number 50, Hawaii, woohoo.
So now , I've only got 140km of cycling to accomplish, before I can truly lay this current challenge to rest. Cycling from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs will complete my circuit of the Globe. I'm pretty excited about that, about being home, about seeing my family, reconnecting with friends, and the challenge of readjusting to what is regarded as "normal" life. But I will still need challenges, and adventures, but what will they be?
I suggested to Juliet that my next challenge should involve doing something that she enjoyed. Perhaps I should learn to surf. I reasoned that I probably need to spend three months over on the Gold Coast, learning in warm water, to be good enough to share the surfing experience with her. This suggestion did not go down too well. Guess I'm not spending three months on the Gold Coast.
I do want to convert my cycling fitness to a more rounded fitness. The couple of times I've tried running in the last couple of years have resulted in some very sore muscle groups. So that's going to be a challenge. One which will start very, very slowly. Anyone want to join me?
I do want to continue cycling. As I write, buddy Mike is rebuilding my Surly Karate Monkey so as I can mountainbike as soon as I get home. Yeha. And there are a few places I would love to cycle tour, but not alone. Who wants to join me in NW India, Northern Vietnam, China and Northern Thailand, riding The Divide, Patagonia, on the Old Ghost Road?
Hiking NZ is running a Hiking trip into the mountains of Peru next year. That sounds fun. Sounds like a challenge. Anyone interested?
But what about work I hear you ask? I'm really excited about the prospect of returning to guiding and teaching first aid. I bring home with me new ideas for events in Hanmer Springs, ideas for a new business (or two, or three), new ideas of ways to be involved with, and challenge the Hanmer Springs community. Yep, I reckon I will be pretty busy, and sufficiently challenged work wise. Hopefully I might even make enough money to be able to eat.
I'm really looking forward to spending time with Juliet, my children and grandchildren, and my friends. I'm expecting many many visitors, from all over the world, and want to repay the hospitality and kindness they shared with me as I cycled through their life. Oh yes. And maybe, just maybe, if I can find someone to help and advise me..... a book. Now that really is a daunting challenge. It makes cycling through San Diego, catching trains with bikes, riding the LA Metro, and shuttle buses, then cycling through LA traffic to find our hotel, pale into insignificance. But I've only got 140km to cycle, and I will have cycled 49,700km, around the world, through 41 countries and 19 states. I'm pretty chuffed with that, and it sets me up to be able to scoff at writing a book. How hard can that be?