I think those who know what an expedition like this involves in terms of planning, fully expect me to give up, and as time goes on I can understand why! The scope of what is involved with a project like this is quite overwhelming, and to be honest, its success is going to rest on the valuable support that I receive from individuals and organisations to make it happen.
Of course the most overwhelming aspect is time. Linear time is just so constricting, and I am having to use all my understanding about it to overcome this. Yes, I dip into frustration, as somehow the desire to have overcome all obstacles in one moment gets greater focus, but remembering that actually it is in that moment that I must be most focused on simply feeling good, because that is when all the obstacles are overcome. Confused? well spiritual practice can have that effect!
Budgeting has also been a challenge as I look to cut back the budget as much as possible as well as decide on a more realistic timescale for the journey. I had pulled together a budget over the Christmas period, it was rushed, but good to get an idea of what was going to be involved. I was hoping as I started to follow the route in more detail, that I would be able to bring the costs down a bit. This is turning into a swings and roundabouts exercise, as I am finding that I can cut costs in one area, but discover costs in another. I have followed the route so far to Mozambique with this method, and thus far have managed to save only a couple of thousand – which might sound like a lot, but in light of the project as a whole, my target was more in the park of ten thousand! I have yet to cover the other countries, however, I suspect I am heading towards a similar result.
The focus of the budget has been the journey itself. The other option is that I start culling equipment that I feel is important, but can actually do without. For example, a solar panel and battery to ensure we always have contingency power. I have been offered paniers to borrow for the bike with will knock off some more (Thank you http://www.trailquestadventure.com/) . Secondhand general camping kit has also been offered – which whilst not hugely expensive – will help out a lot (again thank youhttp://www.trailquestadventure.com/) . The bike itself is another area to save £££, ideally a new bike with side car that I’ve had time to run in, however, It may be possible to find a second hand bike that might just make the journey. The risks of this are clear, however, it may be one of the best ways to reduce the cost.
Ha! it is a struggle going from best case to worst, and probably a bigger struggle than the trip its self. Well worth it though, as at the end of the day it is the trip that is most important and I’m prepared to make it happen by taking the steps necessary.