I spent a week with three friends along the coasts in the South-West of France. It was summer this year. We rode our bikes from Royan to Bayonne. Around 400km.
Mornings and late afternoons on the road. Middays at the beach. We would rent an Airbnb for the night.
It was just us, the bikes, and the road. Small bags to carry the bare minimum: clothes, rations. The burning sun. The forest of the Landes of Gascony. The strong Atlantic waves.
But also the sweat. The burning legs. The aching buttocks. The pain is agonizing. But the pain goes away after a few days. Your body adapts.
I took a notebook with me to brainstorm new product ideas. I didn't feel like writing about the experience at the time. Sometimes it's better to wait for the heat of the moment to fade away. You gain new insights.
I don't think you can ever find a greater freedom than the one you find on the road. Kerouac says it so well: Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road. You just have to find food and a shelter for the night. Nothing else matters. No phone. No laptop. Just the day to seize. A liberating feeling.
I will do it again. Slower. For a longer period of time. Maybe somewhere else. Maybe with someone else. Sleeping in a tent, with the stars for me to watch.
Thoreau was right. Simplify, simplify.