Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Georgia
Bikes: Cervelo Soloist, Giant TCR Advanced, Co-Motion Americano Co-Pilot
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IMHO, it can only begin once the physical/logistical challenges have been put to rest and the body and mind begin to relax.
So, once our organization is second nature, the bicycle and other gear are functioning as expected and as needed for the given demands, the input vs. the output of one's nutritional demands are in harmony....then the mind and body can relax and begin to soak up the environment in which you have placed yourself. In other words, when our focus is on ourselves and our tools, nothing else matters and we might as well be in a tunnel.
Once we are able to focus outward, the experience can be described as "intense", "full" and one which is met with a fully accepting and enthusiastic mind set when the senses are delivered experiences (stimulants to all of our senses including fear) that are new and at a level of physical challenge and risk that is not always obvious as to it's ultimate outcome. Risk....that's a biggie I'm afraid.
When I reflect on my transam tour I think about the sights, the physical challenges and the people in equal measure....so I'd have to add here that a willingness to open up to people (strangers) is a big part of the touring experience. Introverts (like me) will struggle here. But involvement with people of differing backgrounds is a big part of this. For some this is very risky but often the rewards are huge. There's that "risk" thing again.
Its a real kumbaya kind of thing.