As the Grand Adventures series progresses, I’mm receiving more and more emails from people requesting practical advice on planning their trips.
I have two problems with this.
I find giving practical advice (“this sprocket is better than that one; this glove weighs 10g less than that one”) very boring. I’mm not really a ‘practical advice’ sort of person.
Practical advice is, for most people, camouflaging the real issue. What you really, really need to make an adventure happen is not practical advice. What you need is a bit of cash, a start date tattooed into your calendar, and the balls to get out there and do it.
Therefore I was delighted to read some genuinely helpful practical advice for planning an overseas cycle tour. I asked Tom if I could share it here.
If the busyness of modern life is stopping you from getting out there on your first overseas bicycle adventure, try following these steps:
- Find the next available window in your calendar. Multiply the number of full days it contains by 50. Guard this window with your life.
- Choose a nearby country — somewhere new — and book a plane/bus/train to a major city there. (If booking flights, check that your airline is bike-friendly.)
- Take your answer from 1, find another city roughly that many kilometres away, and book a return plane/bus/train home. (Use Google Maps to estimate cycling distances.)
- Get a cardboard box from your nearest bike shop and pack your bike into it like this. Pack your panniers, tent and rollmat into one of these, and take your bar-bag as a carry-on (if flying).
- Arrive overseas and unpack your bike. Meander towards your destination at a leisurely pace. Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep when you’re tired. Do entirely as you feel.
- Repeat step 4, having successfully completed your first overseas cycle tour.
My new book, Grand Adventures, is out now.
It’s designed to help you dream big, plan quick, then go explore.
The book contains interviews and expertise from around 100 adventurers, plus masses of great photos to get you excited.
I would be extremely grateful if you bought a copy here today!
Thank you so much!