Beauty is all around us. But we are often oblivious to it and it’s only when we stop and look for if that it becomes apparent.
The world is a beautiful place so you really should make an effort to go and see it. Stop procrastinating and do it. Yes I know its not easy with family and work and commitments. It’s never a perfect time but now is a hell of a lot more perfect than a few years down the road. As societies begin to collapse and the walls go up literally and figuratively in response to the floods of refugees international travel is going to become increasingly challenging.
There’s also going to be far less to see. Nature is disappearing at a frightening rate as we devour it to feed our insatiable appetite for more stuff. We are now in the midst of the sixth great extinction event with nearly 200 species being lost every day. Soon enough the rainforests will be degraded pasture, the coral reefs ghostly shells and the seas a lifeless soup of plastic.
Go and see it while you still can because beauty makes the spirits soar. The sun dipping like a splendid jewel into the fiery ocean. The cacophony of birds and insects among the cool depths of giant rainforest trees. Cresting the summit of a mountain to have the exhilarating vista spreading out in front. That speaks to my soul more deeply than any God or human creation.
Although to be fair human creations can be pretty special too. An ancient history filled town with little alleys to get lost in. A castle perched upon a strategic crag. A romantic fishing village nestled in a rocky Mediterranean bay. Discovering these brings great pleasure and memories that can last a lifetime. Neither of which can be found in the shopping mall or in front of the t.v.
And for me the best way to appreciate beauty is by bicycle. Slow enough to take it all in and stop for a picture or tea our beer with the dudes that has just invited you to join them. But fast enough to go a reasonable distance. So that’s how I’m going to be spending the next few years exploring as much of it as possible.
But there’s lots of different beauties out there. Go out and find them or perhaps even better make your own. That’s probably the most satisfying of all.
I made a video about our journey across northern Thailand. But the internet in Myanmar is too slow to upload it so you are going to have to wait to watch it
The road between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is beautiful. One of the most beautiful roads I have cycled. But as is so often the case you have to work hard for that beauty. 5000m of climbing over 240 km kind of hard. But luckily we found some new friends to help us grind out…
Don’t stay on Don Det the old German cyclist warned us just before the Laos border. He looked us up and down and told us it was the party island, clearly thinking that we weren’t party people.
No words needed
One of my goals is to see as much of the world as possible before it is too late. So to that end we’ve just set off on a six month tour of South East Asia by bicycle. Here’s how the first few days went.