You know what they say about packing your bags and preparing for the trip: start it early enough and do it with patience and precision. Me, I did neither.
For the last few weeks I’ve been working like crazy, editing the last videos coming out in summer while I’m away. There was so much stuff to do that I even had to put off my departure for a couple of days.
As I didn’t have time to worry, I was all calm and happily unaware of any upcoming problems. That is, until last saturday, when my littlesister had her graduationparty. When I sat at the table with all my relatives around me asking questions, and trying to make sure I’ve already taken care of this and that, I could feel the cold sweat starting to drip down my back. The sudden realisation hit me that I was a few days away from leaving, and still had absolutely no idea of what I was doing. During the weekend I found out that in Sweden you cannot take a whole bike on a train, and that my morning train from Helsinki to Turku didn’t allow bikes either. My friend from Copenhagen whom I planned to stay with wouldn’t be there. Panic creeped up on me as I was watching a movie with my closest friends. I had to leave before the movie ended and I tried my best to hold my emotions in. As soon as I sat in my car I bursted into tears and uglycried my way home.
So as you can guess, I am shitscared. I don’t really know why, as I have travelled alone before, and in much more difficult countries, but there’s something different in this one. The physical performance will be challenging, but it’s the mental one that’s got me on the edge: I will be alone with myself and my thoughts a LOT. That to me, is very intimidating. Being alone and being lonely is one of my worst fears, so I guess I’m walking right into a dragon’s den.
Yesterday evening I had my friends visit me and help me pack my bags. We went through all the stuff I need, ate cake, took loads of pictures, and hugged long for goodbyes. My mom agreed to take me to Turku, and the guys from Pelago’s dealer Gamla Stans Cykel will help me to take the bike apart and put into a box for the trainride. I have charged every backupbattery, emptied all the memorycards, and slept too little. I am certain there’s something I took with me that I don’t need, and something else I completely forgot about. But I have my bike, tent, passport, wallet and a whole lotta willpower. I think I’ll do just fine.
Silja is riding Pelago Saimaa equipped with our Commuter Front and Rear racks. The racks accommodate Brooks Norfolk and Suffolk pannier bags where she keeps her stuff.
This is Silja’s first proper long journey on a bike that will go for over 2500 km. Follow her on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for updates. Until next time.