Editor’s Note: Mark Jason explains his motivation for riding a bicycle around the world and gives some advice for living life to the fullest.
I think all my friends and family were a bit surprised when I announced I had handed in my notice. I’d always talked about leaving for big adventures but I think everyone was under the impression I was all talk and no mettle. It’s very easy to live your life, get yourself into a rut and stay in that rut. I didn’t even see it as a rut for a long time. I thought I was saving up for the life people strive for. House, family, kids, etc., but when being truthful to myself I realized it’s just not what I want right now. Whilst I’m young, free, and single I can go out into the world and experience as much as possible.
For my working life, I’ve always dipped in and out of adventurous exploits. I’ve cycled through a lot of Europe. I’ve climbed mountains and ran alpine races but life just wasn’t turning out how I wanted. I found myself feeling unfulfilled. I often pined for a different way of life but led that life through adventure books, magazines, and documentaries.
I’ve always been a firm believer in saying yes to as much as possible. There are always opportunities out there to surprise yourself. I believe anyone can do anything without training or even planning. I’ve always managed it in the past. Obviously, it’s much more fun when you’re fit and well but there’s a lot to be said for taking part and winging it. ** My friend thinks this is dangerous advice. I know my own body. This philosophy works well for me but may not for others.
All these elements pushed me to find myself here today ready to embark on a solo cycle around the world. I’ve come to realize that it is far more important in life to be happy and poor than rich and unfulfilled. Although what I am doing has been done countless times over and I will be sharing my journey as I go it will still be an utterly unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience to me.
It was a big decision to leave everything behind and follow my dreams. I’ve given up a lot but I truly believe that what I will gain will be so much more than what I’m leaving behind. For those of you out there who want more from life, my advice is to go out and seek it. Opportunity doesn’t just present itself. You have to go out and do it for yourself. Start off small. Try as much as possible. Turn off the TV and get outside.
You can follow Marc’s world bicycle tour on his website aimlesswanderer.net. Update: This site appears to be offline now.