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18/04/24 It has started…

Tonight I’ve officially subscribed for the Tour d’Afrique 2019. It was as simple as just filling in an e-form with some basic personal data. Name. First name. Date of birth. E-mail. Phone number. Not much more. The response of TDA to this e-form was standardized and said that I will be contacted by someone from TDA’s office as soon as possible.

This was quite an anti climax considering some of the tensity prior to this moment. The tour has been on my mind for quite some time now, even before I rode my bike to Rome. Then it just seemed like something impossible to do. Now it is actually becoming reality.

I decided to do the 2019 tour during my two week trip through northern Vietnam. I’ve been away from home now for a litle less than six months and by the end of 2018 that will be a little over a year. Already from the start of my expatriation I knew that I wanted to end my “tour to Vietnam” by making a long trip: either cycling back home from Vietnam or doing the Tour d’Afrique.

During my trip through northern Vietnam I didn’t feel sure whether I would be able to cope with six months of sollitude in strange far away countries. The advantage of the TDA is that it consists of a group of riders, making it a bit easier than beeing on the road all alone (or maybe not but at least it feels like this). So thats what predominated my decission.

The next step was to make my plans known to my employer. I did that a couple of weeks ago during my anual performance meeting and they took it quite well. However they did have some concerns regarding some slumbering projects that might or might not start up again. So we agreed that we would all think about it a bit more and then make a final decision.

Last week I was back in the Netherlands for some personal stuff and before I returned to Vietnam I visited my department heads again. I told them that I had thought it through again, and that I had decided to continue with my plans. For me it is important to do these thing while I’m able to do them and it really feels like this is the right moment. I will finish a project and than leave. When I come back, I can pick up the next project. And of course there is always the chance that something that slumbers wakes up. But it might also stay dorment for a long time.

So it has started. This short period of tensity will be followed by eight months of eager anticipation and preparation, followed by four months of the real deal… can’t wait 🙂

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