I have to admit, the one thing that I did not want to happen, did. I procrastinated until the last second to make sure I had everything packed and ready.
For a trip 5 months in planning, this is not how I wanted to go about it, but I mainly had all of my gear, only just needed to figure out how to pack everything up. With everything laid out, then stuffed in the bike box, I was up at dawn saying a hard goodbye to my wonderful mother and of course my best friend, Guinness the chocolate Lab.
Keagan picked me with the same nervous grin I had on, and even though both of us were worried about that one minor thing we could have forgot, we just kept on smiling. We have been so stoked for this day to come for the past few months that it crept up on us and stirred up every mixed feeling about what could happen. Whether we are nervous, scared, or excited, both of us couldn't wait to see what was going to happen, because we haven't the slightest idea.
That is the beauty of the trip though, being able to take off on an adventure that has so much room for anything to happen. Personally these things do make me uneasy, and give me some anxiety about not having a place to stay , or know what is waiting for me around the corner. I knew I would be facing this, and that pinned me down to ground so much that pushing that anxiety and fear off of me made me feel ready to accomplish anything.
After 32 hours of traveling, the only thing that went wrong was the fact that when we went to go to the bathroom at the layover in Toronto, there was no more TP left in the stall. Everything I knew could happen to put a damper on the trip, didn't, and we sailed smoothly across the Atlantic and into Lisbon. The flights were on-time, our bikes went through the voyage completely unscathed (mainly thanks to the boys at Laguna Beach Cyclery who packed them up), they were waiting for us as soon as we trudged through the never-ending customs line, and we set them up within an hour at baggage claim.
Just staring at our bikes fully-loaded, about to begin this adventure, we both looked at each other with uncontrollable grins from cheek-to-cheek and rolled through the last checkpoint, though hundreds of glaring stares wondering what the hell we were doing.
For a second, I didn't care, until I saw the highway of screaming honking cars weaving in and out of the lanes like nothing mattered. Keagan knew this, calmed me down, and just said, 'hey, it's all good." This didn't calm me down, but as soon as I jumped on that bike and let the weight shift from left to right as I pedaled, every worry was left behind imprinted in the foreign pavement below my spokes. I was here, and I am starting an epic adventure.
After a perilous first ride, just a few miles through the city of Lisbon, and enough to get our blood flowing the sweat pouring, we made it drenched in sweat to our apartment for the next few days. We are stoked, tired, and ready to embark on the next leg pf the trip 40 miles up the coast, but first, a good sleep and a surf are needed to replenish our systems.