2017 was a wild year. Getting ready for our rally in 2017, making the trip, finalizing the 2018 route, and shaking off a LOT of cobwebs. It was incredible, but the feelings I continually recall over the past year were panic and impatience.
The day before we started riding this year, we negotiated our bike rates with the travel agency – an event that really jarred me. The woman we dealt with was a Chinese Napoleon – making demands, running in and out of vendors (literally), raising her voice whenever she could – and after a 14-hour flight, was a lot for me to handle. Mid-way through the 4-hour ordeal ended, I was at my limit for social interaction, and patience – in fact, I was at the verge of an anxiety attack.
Before riding home, I took a moment in the bathroom: “Deep breath in, hold it, exhale. Deep breath in, hold it, exhale. Don’t forget to breathe”
See, riding through China on a bike, isn’t just an amazing, life-changing way to see a foreign country (and boy is it). It’s mostly out of necessity. It makes you breath. It allows you to take a moment away from all of the chaos going on around you and realize that you’re here for the fun of it, and not because you’re trying to snag a Xanax prescription.
Keeping that perspective in China is important. Hell, keeping that perspective in life is important. When you’re in the thick of it, wondering how you got here, or questioning your decisions, don’t forget to breathe.