It’s easy to get caught up in life and obsess over the things you don’t have, the experiences you’ve been unable to make or the relationships you’ve been unable to forge. While thinking about what you DON’T have may be easy… it’s important that you sit back every once and a while and appreciate the things you DO HAVE to be thankful for.
Riding a bicycle around the world has taught me a lot about thankfulness… and it’s made me realize that even when I’m all alone, on the other side of the world, with nothing but my bicycle, my camping equipment, a few articles of clothing and a pocket full of food, I still have a whole world of things to be thankful for.
- I’m thankful for my bicycle, which acts as my vehicle, my gym membership and my entertainment on a daily basis.
- I’m thankful for my clothing, which keeps me dry and keep me warm.
- I’m thankful for my tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat, which together acts as my home out on the road and, at night, shields me from darkness and bad weather.
- I’m thankful to have access to clean drinking water, because I’ve experienced parts of the world where clean water is so hard to find, and I know how difficult that makes it to simply life a normal life.
- I’m thankful for what little food I have, for my next meal gives me something to look forward to… and I know that the food I carry now will give me the energy I need to get me to my watering hole/food stop/supermarket.
- I’m thankful for the people I meet on my travels, because they make me feel less alone and give me things to think about as I ride.
- I’m thankful for the fact that I get to have such a unique experience and see the world in a way that very few people will ever get to.
- I’m thankful for my health and the fact that I’m in good enough shape to ride my bicycle long distances and push my body in difficult ways.
- I’m thankful for the weather – good, bad or ugly – because the weather is a constant reminder to enjoy the good moments and see beauty in difficult times.
- I’m thankful for the hills and mountains, because they challenge me on the climbs and bring me joy on the ride down.
- I’m thankful for technology, because even though I’m far from home, I can easily text, email, message or even call/video chat with my friends and family back home.
- I’m thankful to be out in the fresh air, knowing that I could be, like so many others, stuck in an office somewhere, staring at a computer screen for days on end.
- And I’m thankful for all of these experiences, because I know that my life is short and I won’t be able to do this forever.
Long-distance cycling reminds you to be thankful for the little things, because those seemingly small things are usually THE MOST IMPORTANT things.
Don’t forget the little things you have to be thankful for. Those little things aren’t so little when you don’t have them any more. So, please: next time you go out on a long bike ride, take some time to sit back and think about all the things you have in your life to be thankful for!
Need a daily reminder to be thankful? Consider downloading the “Presently” app. It’s a totally free app that reminds you every day to take a few moments and write down the things you’re thankful for.
I’ve been using the Presently app for nearly a year now and it has helped me a lot to not only boost my mood and remind me to be thankful for all that I have, but it also serves as a sort of journal, because it allows me to look back on the entire year and quickly skim through all the things I said I was thankful/grateful for.
While we’re talking about THANKFULNESS, let me take a moment to THANK YOU for your support of my work here at Bicycle Touring Pro. Because without you, I wouldn’t be able to write the hundreds of articles I have written, produce the dozens of podcast episodes I’ve produced, or shoot and edit the hundreds of videos I have published on the Bicycle Touring Pro YouTube channel.
Your support means the world to me and it is a big part of what keeps me going!
I also want to thank the individuals who have made monetary donations to Bicycle Touring Pro this year. There’s really only a few handfuls of you, but I want to thank you all for your support. Whether you donated $10 or $100 or more, I can’t tell you how much your support means to me… and the contributions you have made have gone a long way toward keeping the Bicycle Touring Pro website up and running.
This has been a tough year, but like with bicycle touring, the tough times teach you to be thankful for what you have.
So, thank you… thank you… thank you. There’s so much to be thankful for… and I am thankful for YOU!