Loneliness vs. Solitude

In the question and answer session after my talk at the RGS someone asked if I ever got lonely on my trip. Not having a good answer prepared, and not thinking very fast on my feet with the pressure of having 100 people staring at me, I rambled a bit saying yes but that it was a good type of loneliness that I didn’t mind.
What I meant to say is that there is a difference between loneliness and solitude, where both are the physical state of being alone, but loneliness is a negative mental state of wanting to be in the company of other people, while solitude is a positive mental state of being content and comfortable despite (or perhaps because of) being alone.

On my trip I was very rarely lonely – I tend to be much more of a solitude person.

This article sums up very eloquently my thoughts and experiences.

RGS Talk

So last night I gave my micro-lecture at the RGS, along with 5 other young geographers. It was a really nice evening, learning about different people’s interests and experiences in different parts of the world.
I think my talk went ok, there was only one point where I remembered wrong which slide was next, but everyone laughed at all the right times!

Thanks again to everyone came along.

I’m giving a talk at the RGS!

It’s been a while since I blogged anything. Anyway, now I’ve got something very exciting to talk about.
At the end of last year I applied to be one of the speakers at the Royal Geographical Society’s Young Members’ Micro Lectures. I auditioned a couple of weeks ago, and have been accepted!

My talk will be titled ‘Around the World to Istanbul: A Travelogue of Errors’. It’s on Tuesday 9 March, and tickets are £10, or £7 for members, and that includes 5 other very interesting talks as well, not just me!

Apparently tickets are going fast, so if anyone wants to go, buy one quick!

To B or not to B(rompton)

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I got back and have read about other cyclists setting off on their adventures.
I went on a Brompton, it’s part of the branding of the site and the tag-line. It was a fantastic ride, and very reliable apart from an issue with tyres. But there were niggling problems. Braking was tricky with rims overheating. Carrying luggage was a pain with the trailer. If there was a way to improve the brakes (I think the only way would be disc brakes) and carry all my luggage on the bike so I didn’t have the trailer, I’d have no hesitation about setting off next time on the Brompton.

But.

But I’ve seen other fully loaded touring bikes, and they look so much easier. No brake issues, no luggage difficulties. And it’s left me wondering about my choice of bike for the next trip. Decisions.

But it will probably be at least two years until next time I set off, so it’s not a decision I have to make any time soon.