I’m pleased to report that there has been no major incidents this week…at least nothing new! I’m still without a credit card that works and emergency cash has been very difficult to access. You wouldn’t think this would be so hard in the world’s richest, most advanced country would you?! New card is supposed to arrive today so fingers crossed.
On Sunday, I braved the rain and grey and took the ferry from Manhattan to Paulus Ferry, NJ and was greeted by another stunning view with Empire State Building taking centre stage.
It’s been lovely riding through New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mainly flat and the cycling infrastructure has been impressive. Miles of off road cycling routes through lush green parkland, forest or beside the highway. Great to see the powers that be investing in cycling.
I am on holiday, but I’m also using this time for professional development. Does the stuff that we bang on about actually work? It’s easier to do it at home, but how about when you are out of your comfort zone? Is it possible to choose your attitude? Can you really control the chimp (voice on head) to get more of what you want? And what about impact on your mood on others and vice versa. When it all kicked off a couple of weeks ago with the loss of my documents, I felt myself being taken over by the irrational, fearful chimp. It was as though I was on autopilot and I imagine that was part of the fight, flight or freeze response. I think I could have been a little more rational in the aftermath and made better choices, but I am grateful that I have the awareness to reflect and change, instead of saying ‘well, that’s just how I am. I can’t change.’ What has been really apparent, as it was last year, that when I choose to be my best self, I feel a lot better, and that tends to influence the people I am with to be better too. A great example of this happened last week. I needed to send my passport application back to the UK ASAP but UPS wanted $111 to send it express delivery. There was no way I could afford that so resigned myself to using snail mail which was bound to take weeks. I stumbled across a post office in rural Pennsylvania so I parked my bike up and went I see how long it would take.
As I walked in I could hear ‘life during wartime’ by Talking Heads on the radio. One of My favourite tracks. Instantly changes my mood when I hear that song. Have you got tunes like that? Turns out it was a favourite of the Postie’s too. Had a fab conversation about music and life which really improved my day and hopefully his. Sent passport docs for $2. Got there in 3 days!
Separated at birth!
I forgot how hilly Maryland is, probably becAuse I didn’t ride a bike in college! And why do the hills always come in the afternoon when you are tired! So as you can imagine, I was really chuffed to arrive at Jeff and Marybeth’s and meet their 4 kids for the first time. They were waiting outside to give me a fab welcome! We went to Towson State University together in the early 90’s and although we don’t get together much anymore due to geography, it felt like old times. The full reunion took place on Friday night. Great to see everyone. My time at Towson was one of the the highlights of my life and these friends will stay with me forever!
Fab to spend time with the kids too. Taught them how to make water bombs yesterday, Sue, so we spent all afternoon making them and enjoyed a big water fight in the garden that afternoon!
I leave Towson tomorrow after 5 days off the bike. Looking forward to the last part of the journey. 460 miles to Moorsville, NC, to stay with Debby and her family and celebrate her 50th!
I have the credit card in hand. Fingers crossed it works!
Words & pictures – Kevin House