I’ve been sick here. I’ve been sick since China.
That was dysentery. I laid in a hospital and got better. In Vietnam an infection burst my eardrum. I stayed in bed for eight days and got better. I don’t know what happened in Laos. I just didn’t get better.
Nothing stayed inside. I’d eat dinner and shit my guts out the next morning. I suspected bad food. Alcohol, sweets, fried meat, MSG, dairy – I cut them all out eventually. Then I couldn’t even keep down plain rice and water. I dropped too much weight. Bloated, aching and dizzy. Always dizzy.
But I biked.
Medical care in Laos barely exists. I was on my own. It took me two months to diagnose myself. Not bad for an Arts major.
I had a stomach parasite. The pills to kill it cost 60 cents. I was cured a day later.
Good riddance in a way. But that bug taught me something – something I was afraid to admit.
Bike half dead and you’ll find there’s nowhere left to go. This trip doesn’t need my all anymore. I’ve outgrown the challenge.
Kilometers were never the point. I cycled for two years because I wanted to find my limit. I broke myself again and again, I cried and bled and screamed at the sky and I’m still not there. That’s fine. All I know is that I can’t get any closer on a bike.
I’m coming home, but not yet. A few short months separate me from New Zealand. I’m going with nothing to prove. I know exactly who I am now. I’ll pedal only because I love it and because I have a chance to do something special. That was the spirit in which this trip began, and that’s how it should end.
This mountain needed a peak. Only a fool would climb forever.