Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future

This time last year, on 21 December 2009, I was busy making my way from Thabazimbi in the North West province to a little town called 'Rooiberg'.
Thinking back now, it surprises me that I remember it so vividly. I can remember exactly what I felt, the surroundings, what the road looked like, the weather...every detail.

As I left from Thabazimbi aka 'Thaba' (as the locals call it), I stopped off about 10 km out of town at the turn off to Rooiberg for something to drink and a smoke. Yes...a smoke. I'm sure a lot of people were baffled at the fact that I cycled between 80 and 100 kilometers everyday and smoking whilst doing so.

Yes, not the healthiest or most exemplary of habits, but we all have our vices.
I'm not in the business of saving the world...just Africa. ;-)

As I stood there next to the road, watching cars, bakkies, buses and trucks drive by...an eagle swooped down to pick up some road kill conveniently lying in the middle of the road. A lizard that had fallen victim to human beings' engine driven comfortable modes of transport.

I was excited to have an eagle in arm's reach, yet nervous for the poor thing trying to time it just right, as to not share the lizard's fate.

It was a long day, but I felt so happy. Just Luna (My bike) and I, sharing the open road, surrounded by nature's beauty in all it's splendor.
That night I stayed at a rather 'upmarket' lodge called 'Tilodi Lodge'...filled with tourists. I stayed in a 'luxury tent'...which was fabulous!

I remember the feelings I had. Feelings of contentment, joy, achievement and peace.
And with the splendid sunset, surrounded by nature and all the beautiful animals...how could I but not feel this way.

That was one year ago today. Time flies!!

As my followers know, I was planning on setting off in February 2011 on my journey to becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the entire African continent on a bicycle.

The last year has been focussed on discovery and learning.
Discovering the true drive behind my passions and dreams. And learning more about myself.
When I got back home from my trip around South Africa...I had decided to cancel the trip around Africa. In all honesty, that decision was made to appease my nearest and dearest who felt I needed to 'settle down' and not chase after lofty dreams.

But, as I would discover, one cannot deny that which lies deep within your being.

It was in July 2010, whilst sick in bed (or rather on Hanret's couch) watching the Tour de France that it hit me.
Cycling around Africa is what I want to do, it is my dream...seemingly impossible to others or not...I have to do what I have to do. I could not allow others' fears to keep me from living my dream any longer. I had a choice, and I made it. I chose to GO FOR IT!

From July up until now, I have spent my time planning the trip, seeking sponsors, typing up proposals, doing presentations, sending out press releases, doing interviews for radio, magazines, newspapers, planning and setting up fund raisers (with a lot of help from my awesome friends), envisioning, planning, researching...trying to make it work.

I had a fundraiser in Cape Town at the beginning of November.
I truly believed that this would give me the boost I needed towards fulfilling my dream. The event had other plans though.
It did not pan out as I had planned at all. I felt disappointed and frustrated. I allowed my disappointment to affect my performance. I wasn't on the bike as much as I should've been, I disappointed my friends, supporters...disappointed myself.

On returning home to Johannesburg or 'Jozi', I had to face some criticism (understandably) and I had to sit myself down and ask some difficult questions.

In the last month I've been on a journey of discovering what it is that drives me, what it is I aim to achieve with this expedition and what is important to me?

It has been an amazing experience of growth, learning and discovering.
And although I have discovered so much about the why, where, what, how and who...this is only the beginning.
Three years after initially having taken that leap towards pursuing my dream...I now only get into the core of it all.

A lot has changed, and there's a lot of planning going on. The festive season will not be a quiet, relaxing time of year for me in any way, shape or form.

* I will not be leaving in February 2011
* I will cycle around Africa, launching in the near future
* I am not giving up on my dream
* Planning is in progress
* There is a plan

* I don't know exactly when I will be leaving
* I don't have it all figured out to a T yet. Maybe I never will.

On this journey of discovery I have come to realize, amongst a whole lot of other things, that there are 2 things that have never changed since I started working on fulfilling my dream in 2007.

1. Music was always going to be a part of this journey
2. I always envisioned ending the journey with a concert

So that serves as a hint to what I have in the pipeline. :)

I wish you all a very merry Christmas filled with love, laughter, joy and peace with your loved ones!

Looking forward to the new year!!!

Facebook Group
Needs List

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You cannot let go of this dream. Keep at it - it WILL come together! ~ Die Haas