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freedom

One of the reasons some people appreciate, find fulfilment in, bike touring is that pushing beyond life’s comfort zone, past our cotton wool existence of everyday routines and must dos. Views, exertion and accomplishment are all very well, to me stretching my understanding of life is a major aspect of my travels.

Australia and its lesser travelled roads seem to offer a unique possibility of experience and that is this: freedom from distraction.

(Also freedom from everyday hassles: you speak the language, you can camp just about anywhere, there’s enormous freedom, and, perhaps surprisingly, it’s as safe travelling as anywhere in the world, on firm roads, mostly, in good weather, often.)

When you travel by bicycle on, say, the road from Exmouth to Meekathara, 860km without a town, a shop, even a house within sight of the road, not much in the way of mobile or internet coverage, the trip can become a two week full-on meditation on life.

For a while you can forget responsibilities and obligations. Expectations don’t mean much out there. Frustrations: not much sympathy.

There’s the opportunity of concentrating on timeless human characteristics: physical effort, the rhythm of breathing, the pattern of the day, the sun across that big sky, etc.

The basic possibility is this: free from distraction you can confront the person that you are and dream about who you would like to be, how you would like to live the rest of your life.

And, maybe just as importantly, you can learn to appreciate the world as it is, unmediated.