The following is a guest post by Sean Maher, a 21 year-old from Cornwall in the UK, who recently graduated from university and is using the poor state of the economy as the catalyst for adventure, world travel, and personal development.
Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous author of Sherlock Holmes, once said, ‘When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go for a spin down the road, without thought of anything but the ride you are taking.’
He had a point. There is nothing like the carefree feeling of mounting your bike and going for a quick spin. However, his words are especially poignant in the current economic climate as bicycle touring is a cheap alternative to more expensive holiday options and can even be a fantastic choice of gap year.
Instead of sitting at home and moping about the current economic climate, I have decided to take a year off to develop my skills and create positive opportunities for myself. My plan is to depart from my home in the UK in November and slowly make my way to Cape Town, South Africa – a journey of over 12,000 miles inspired by the state of the economic climate.
As a recent college graduate I have found it incredibly difficult to find work. In fact, I have found it almost impossible. But instead of letting the job market ruin my year, I have planned the trip of a lifetime which will not only be a fantastic adventure, but will leave me with something to reach for and learn from.
I haven’t even left on my adventure yet and I have already learned a lot. I have had to plan the trip, find sponsors, talk to people in the press and write articles about my adventurous undertaking. As a result, I have a more confident phone demeanor and am a much better writer. My organizational skill shave also improved and I’ve even managed to find the time to train.
What I’ve learned thus far is that all of the attributes necessary to plan a trip away relate, in one way or another, to the real world. More than anything, I’ve realized that it is much better, as a recent graduate, to occupy your time constructively in this economic climate than to waste it. Employers hate to see gaps in a CV, so a bike tour is the perfect way to fill them.
The recession doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom and my trip is a perfect example of how the current economic climate can be used as a catalyst for something life-changing.
However, it is also important to take stock of the situation in the rest of the world. The UK and South Africa are, on the whole, wealthy countries and we often forget to think about those less fortunate than ourselves. I hope, by travelling through Africa (the world’s poorest continent) and writing about it, that I can remind a few people of just how lucky they really are.
To learn more about Sean and his adventure, please visit his website at www.ridingouttherecession.co.uk