About Mike and Jodie...

Sitting on a crowded local bus, crossing the island of Flores in Indonesia. I peered out the window, past the chickens that sat in the lap of the person beside me, to see a pretty little village nestled in a jungle valley. This is what I had come to see; but the buswas not designated to stop here and on we went. At the end of the day I felt exhausted, yet I had done nothing but sit on that hot, rusty rattler of a bus.

I wanted to see the world, but I could not do it like this - on public transport.


This would also cure the problem of feeling lethargic at the end of the day.

That`s how I would do it. I would ride my bike around the world!!! I just hoped I would enjoy the cycle touring.

At the age of 30, I have become the wandering black sheep of my family of 6; Mum(Carmel), Dad(John), Paul, Lisa and Clare. My occupation as an Outdoor Instructor has been very beneficial to my travels and finding work overseas to support this journey.

I have seen many great places, buildings, parks and events; but it is the people on this journey that stay in my heart and mind. The kindness that is shown from a stranger, the laughter from trying to communicate with no common language, the giving with no motive of gain, just the desire to share.

This journey has introduced me to many lessons. Some I have learnt and grown a lot from, some I am still working on.

We all have a journey ahead of us.

It`s not how long or hard it is, where it gets you or who will take notice of you.
It is the way you approach each step
It is your step
Your choice
Take or give what you want
The success of the journey is while you are in it, not at the end.

Inspired by talking with friends, I enquired about Cross-Country Ski Instructor positions in California. Needing a break from my demanding job as an Outdoor Education Manager and Instructor, I was soon off to spend a season in the Sierra Nevads near Lake Tahoe. Much to the "horror" of my family - parents Adele and Neil and sister Sheryn, I had also decided to pursue my dream of travelling and work as a teacher in the UK after the ski season finished. This would be the longest I had ever `been away`.

Whilst working at Royal Gorge Ski Resort, I met a young (and very handsome!) Australian man. On the ski slopes one day, I jokingly answered "sure, I`ll cycle around Europe with you - sounds better than teaching!"

They were just words for a while...

I had previous dreams that I would enjoy cycling in Provence and Tuscany whilst based in England and had been excited by watching slides of a gilrfriend cycling in Peru, but they were fleeting thoughts pushed to the back of my mind.

As the snow kept snowing and we kept skiing, our friendship developed and my words became more realistic. Why not??? teaching was becoming less appealing. The decision was made. I would ride my bike around Europe with Michael for 6 months. Definitely my longest journey ever and a "full on" introduction to cycle touring!!

I have experienced russian gas rainjackets (read: sweatbox!), laughs with many new friends and enjoyed growing with Michael. I have ridden through fantastic old cities, seen beautiful mountains, waterfalls and buildings. Cycled through floods, never-ending rain,gorgeous sunshine and zig-zag passes. Through 17 countries with almost as many languages. "Dziekuje, merci beu coup, danke shun, takk takk, aciu, gracias...." Thankyou to all the wonderful people I have met. Their generousity and kindness was overwhelming. It is the people that I will cherish. They will always be remembered in my heart.

I love travelling by bicycle. The freedom of cycling, the different places I can go. Meeting people in many countries, learning about the culture of the people, from the people - it is all an incredibly exciting part of my journey. Ahead, there will be enormous challenges and times of hardship along with the happy moments. I am sure there will be times when I will wish I was home in front of the fire with a hot chocolate and a good book. But all these experiences will contribute to my growth as a person and I will constantly draw from my learnings along the way. That is why I cycle.

As my university lecturer used to say.............."all character building stuff!!"

I am currently following my dream to ride around the world.......What will be next?????

What is your dream???????

Email Jodie: jodiet_au@yahoo.com.au
Email Mike: michaelnaismith@yahoo.com.au