What do I have my mind on as I ride all day?
Surely I must be thinking about something during my new 9-5 shift.
I do love the open road; moving at my own steam, in control of stcking to a plan whilst still immersed in an adventure. Touring provides me with space and time to sift through memories of life. It's like all that happens during the working year occurs at such a pace that I don't really get time to take stock or digest it. I wouldn't say that riding clears the mind but it certainly provides some breathing room to think back and to gather thoughts and build feelings.
The last few weeks have been spent cycling from the Caspian sea to the high mountain ranges of northeastern Anatolia. A journey through four countries as they are commonly known today.
However, Turkey doesn't recognize Armenia, Georgia has disputed and autonomous regions with Russia, and Azerbaijan doesn't let you in if you've been to Armenia due to another disagreement about the country Nagorno Karabach.
So four countries haven'treally been four for long.
However, each of those that I have experienced has been distinct. Soviet influence, persian culture, Christianity and Islamic (in no particular order).
These dichotomies of religion, occupation, politics and history have all been pushing and pulling at this region for millennia.
From ancient Vardia's cliff face cave monasteries, derelict soviet copper work towns through to the deadly border battles today.
Despite all this- present day humanity itself provides the greatest insight of how things were and will be. The people I have met, the inquisitive nature of discussions I have had, perhaps in part due to my chosen method of arriving into their world.
It is pertinent in today's climate to remember that we are all just a little part of history, we are the same in this respect. Empires come and go, borders move or disappear, but people carry on looking after their herds and caring for their families.
With all this change around us- why must there be hatred and fear of others? The world is always evolving, let's put things into perspective.