Life lessons learnt from Steph
It has to be an extraordinary happenstance to get to meet an extraordinary person. How often would one get to meet someone who has left her home to circumnavigate the globe solo on her bike? I had that special chance when I met Steph Jeavons last Sunday when she arrived in Mumbai as a part of Indian leg of her international ride. Steph set off from Ace Cafe in London on 23rd March 2014 on her Honda CRF 250 to ride through at least 42 countries and touching at least 6 continents. She hopes to take 18 months to accomplish this mean feat. What makes this crazy mission crazier is her tight budget of £ 10,000 allowing her just £5 per day for food.
Interacting with Steph personally and listening to her talk at the Motorcycle Travelers Meet 2014 triggered a flurry of thoughts in my mind. Apart from being awed at the scale of her momentous mission, I also realized that there were some real life lessons that I could derive from her ride. Here are the top 4:
A mission metamorphoses your life
Having a mission or a dream transforms your life. It doesn’t matter how big or small your mission is. The single-minded quest to achieve this mission galvanizes you beyond all measure. Steph sold most of her valuable possessions to finance her formidable and seemingly larger than life-long dream of riding the globe. When she returns to England, her only wealth would be what she has on her bike. This zest and determination to achieve her dream has not just endeared her to many but also served as an inspiration. Have a dream, chase it, achieve it and it not only changes you but also becomes your identity.
Courage doesn’t mean absence of fear but still continuing
Fear is a choice; danger is real. Courage is persisting with what you have decided to do nevertheless. Steph knew her journey was fraught with myriad hazards- both of the predictable and the unpredictable kind. A few weeks into her ride, she unexpectedly had swollen eyes and had to get operated upon. Having sore eyes on a bike ride of this nature did scare Steph. However, apart from setting her schedule by ten days, the operation didn’t really dent her morale. And this incidence was just one of the numerous unnerving incidences that happened to her on her journey. This determination to continue when you are scared defines courage.
People support you when you set off to do something extraordinary
Steph received a very warm welcome at many places. While riding through Iran, many people at cafes and shops refused money from her for their services as a good will gesture. They were awed that a woman has set off on a solo world ride. During her ride, several people volunteered with a night accommodation considering her need to cut on costs. Try to accomplish something extraordinary and people will always appreciate and support you
Travel is an ultimate human experience
Travel is one of the finest human experiences one can savour. It leads you to many impromptu events, interesting people and the sheer diversity of our universe. This experience is humbling and a supremely learning one. Steph has embarked on not just a bike ride across the world but a journey of life and she holds not just my awe but also my respect.
You can read more on her travels on: