I guess I’ve been quiet. Well I’m still alive. I whizzed through Sweden as planned and enjoyed the east of the country a bit more as you start to get hills and more impressive views. However I definitely liked Finland more. Much more lumpy but more wide open vistas because of this. Also as a country it looked more ‘lived in’ and wild which appeals to the ‘reverse snob’ in me.
I stayed with a warmshowers host in Vantaa which is I guess part of the ‘greater Helsinki’ area. This gave me an opportunity to do some much needed washing and actually take a day off the bike. Finland is still expensive but uses the Euro so you can more easily gauge just how expensive! Having been speeding through countryside most of the time but also having visited two capital cities I definitely appreciate a good sunset over urban architecture. I don’t think I can live in a city anymore which to be honest is something I think I already knew before I left on my bike last year.
I’ve been having a few thoughts that amount to ‘what the fuck am I doing’? It has crossed my mind this is some type of mid-life crisis. Instead of buying a ferrari or entering an iron man in some vain attempt to feel young again I’m just riding. However the way I see it a mid-life crisis is about the shock of realising you are halfway to the age at which most people die and so as a reaction trying to regain some lost youth. It is a product of the anxiety of dying. My drivers are similar but definitely different. I am acutely aware I could die at any moment and fairly comfortable with this, acknowledging my finite existence. So my touring is more about living life whilst you have it and the opportunity is there. I am growing older yes but I don’t desire youth just an opportunity to exist as fully as possible now.
Living in the now is hard though and a definite skill. There is a balance between planning and forward thinking where necessary and just going with the flow. I’m writing this on the boat to Tallinn. I have a certain level of anxiety as I have nowhere to stay in the city but a need to pause there. My rear wheel desperately needs some tlc and I could really do with some paper maps. In addition my next warmshowers stay in Riga isn’t until next Thursday so I am in no rush.
So with no warmshowers responses for Tallinn I have the options of hostels which should be affordable or riding out of town to camp. My anxiety of course is that on a Friday and Saturday night all hostels will be booked and have nowhere to store my bike. I could have planned and tried to book somewhere but I’ve found it quite hard to work out which hostels are bike friendly. Equally I may have to ride so far out of town to wildcamp that it doesn’t become logical to then ride back again. So it’s managing anxiety and chancing my arm. I mean realistically, it’ll be fine but there is always that worry at the back of your mind you have to suppress.