Gratitude

By Jane | October 2, 2013

When you set out to do something big, you often think “I am going to do this”, “I am going to accomplish that”. But nothing big is achieved by one person alone. Every effort is an effort of “we”.

Sure, Stephen and I rode 6,447 km in Europe, but WE – every reader of this blog, every member of our families, every friend, every person we met on the road – all rode the distance together.

Today, we’re taking a little time out to say:

Thank you!!!

Thank you to everyone who has taken a moment to read about our travels. Thanks to everyone who has commented, emailed, Tweeted, and Liked. These daily affirmations give us the strength to keep writing and keep pedalling.

Thanks to every studio owner who hosted one of Stephen’s yoga classes, and every student who came out to practice, allowing him to keep doing what he loves as we travel.

To those of you who used to be strangers and now are friends, through the generous act of opening your homes and your hearts to the two of us, we owe a special debt.

To Friends On The Road

In Italy one night, when we still had no idea what we were doing, the B&B we were going to stay in was full, and there was no wild camping to be had. We had the good luck to meet Bruce and Jan who not only let us camp in their yard, but took us out to meet their local gang of expats and eat the best local pizza.

Then there were our gracious hosts Barbi and David in Budapest, who knew only that Stephen was an old friend of Barbi’s cousin. Yet they took us in and gave us space for five whole nights (and we could have stayed longer). Thanks also to Atilla for making the introduction.

Just casually hanging out on the sofa with Barbi and David.

Just casually hanging out on the sofa with Barbi and David.

In Poland, we spent a few weeks resting and hanging out with Elizabeth and Malcolm, who very generously paid for our accommodation the entire time. Thanks you two!

The famille Ewashkiw.

The famille Ewashkiw.

A little farther north, but still in Poland, we once again found ourselves at a loose end. The two hotels in the tiny town of Kolno were both full because of a local agriculture fair, and the woods were far too infested with mosquitos to contemplate camping. Enter Jerzy, who stopped us on the street and took us back to his bar, where he provided us a warm and safe place to lay our heads.

Stephen and Jerzy.

Stephen and Jerzy.

At the end of our quick ride across the Baltics, fellow cycle tourist Tiit welcomed us into his comfy home. We were only two in a long line of cycle tourists he puts up (with) each summer.

In Helsinki, Yacine and Jaakko, another pair of formerly complete strangers, offered up their lives and their living room for our benefit. We had a great time with them, talking yoga, eating their delicious cooking, and we even hosted a dinner party at their house!

Jaakko, Yacine, Jane, and Stephen, post-yoga, Helsinki.

Jaakko, Yacine, Jane, and Stephen, post-yoga, Helsinki.

We free-camped our way across Finland, and by the time we got to Stockholm, we were in desperate need of a shower. Enter Helena, who set us up in her gorgeous and well equipped yoga studio, YogaShakti, where we had our own room, and access to a shower, laundry, and kitchenette. Amazing!

On the other side of Sweden, we stayed with fellow cyclists Staffan and Maria, who had cycled Canada a few years ago. They knew just what we needed: a hot shower, a delicious vegan meal followed by vegan ice cream, and a comfy place to sleep.

Staffan and Maria. Thanks so much for hosting us, you two!

Staffan and Maria. Thanks so much for hosting us, you two!

Just a few days south, we stayed for the first time with old friends, rather than new. Our good friends Sara and Markus made us welcome, showed us around town, and fed us well. Special thanks to their son Ted who gave up his room for us!

Ted, in his natural state, running.

Ted, in his natural state, running.

Finally, there is Berlin, where Jesse has outdone himself with generosity, giving up his room to us for a whole month! Thanks Jesse! We owe you.

Jesse at Berlin Konzerthaus.

Jesse at Berlin Konzerthaus.

And The Folks Back Home

Diane and Tom, my parents, have lent us their support from the first time I mentioned we might bike across the world. They are the blog’s biggest fans. Here’s hoping our paths will cross in Southeast Asia this winter.

And last, but not in the least least, Danny and Dianne, our two friends in Los Angeles who have been our silent partners the last six months. They are our conduit to our life back in LA, receiving our mail for us, taking care of some online sales we didn’t get a chance to complete, and sending us packages whenever we’ve needed them.

You two are amazing!

You all are. Heartfelt gratitude and love from both of us.  

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Diane

    Diane Reply October 4, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Jane that was a lovely post and I am amazed at all the friends that you two have made. Hopefully one day you can invite them all back. And of course you made me cry.
    Love, Diane

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