1st day arrived in Boston

Well, what a long day. We started nice and early UK time 5 am ready to go to the airport with a very kind lift from mikes dad, thank you, John. Really dreading that bit as we knew that the bikes were too heavy and We would get stung financially.

Mike’s was 32.5kgs and my bike was 27kgs however it wasn’t as bad as we were dreading small worry mikes being 0.5kgs over max allowed but staff very friendly and let it go we both had to pay £65 each extra.

Happily arrived in Boston with no problems customs was easy straight through and the nice man asked us how long did we need, we said about 4 months so he gave us 6! I guess we don’t look that fit!

We had posted a box from the UK to a contact here in Boston ( should have been the easy option). That was a nightmare in itself, we had to pay £150 to send via DHL it was big and weighed 17kgs. We also had to print out content labels, but by this time the printer was now in storage. Mad panic Susie our next door neighbour to the rescue.

It arrived in Boston In time. However, it incurred import duties. We weren’t aware of a separate form that we needed to fill in. We should have filled in a temporary import form. Another fee of $98 oh joy. Elinor our Boston contact very kindly paid this for us taking our word that we would pay back on arrival.

We also had brought a new tent and ground sheet so needed to go to the shop for that. So two things to pick up on day one.

Taxi straight to our previously booked hotel. We leave both bikes in the boxes in the hotel reception. It’s to early to check in it’s now 11am Boston time.

We decide to go to the tent shop over to the other side of Boston. Taxi driver number 2. What a character, really loved his city and was proud to fill our heads with its history. He wanted to know where we were going after picking up the tent ,we explained that we we had to pick up a box from another site. This coincidentally was near to where he was going so offered to just charge us the one way and drop us off there. All well and good but we hadn’t made contact with Elinor who’s got the box. So now we’re left on a complete strangers doorstep in a place we don’t know. Not a problem apart from we haven’t sorted our phones out yet so no way of contacting them, their not answering the door. What to do!

It’s now 2pm she’s probably at work, we wonder around the neighbourhood looking for somewhere with free WiFi and find a small Mexican cafe. Order omelette each but no WiFi. The waiter was lovely and shared his data so kind. We sent a email but she didn’t answer not knowing what else to do the waiter let us use the cafe phone to ring her, no joy. We hung around a bit killing time but with No idea what time she would finish work we decided not to outstay our welcome in the cafe and started wondering around the streets.

Luckily we find a gorgeous looking Spanish bakery that smelled as good as it looked. All goods were freshly baked on the premises in a small family run business. We would of loved to taste everything but we were full from the omelette which was served with spicy diced fried potatoes and fresh fruit all on the same plate with a side of toast and jam! Maybe that’s normal around here but a bit strange to us. The bakery was to good not to go in though so we went in to chat about all the lovely food and cheekily ask the girl if she could call a taxi for us.

Taxi number 3. 4pm we can check into the hotel lovely room with a view over Boston harbour and airport.

Now all we have to do is get that box !

We’ve been on the go all day it may only be 4pm here but it’s 9pm at home but we need that box today because it’s got all the tools we need to put the bikes together. Please Elinor get in touch!

5:30 Elinor emails us to say she’s home, can we please come now, yes. Taxi number 4 ordered no problem. We wait and wait a hour later we ring the taxi number and ask if it was still coming. No problem it’s 5 minutes away so we wait and wait 45 minutes later ring again yes it’s on it’s way it’s stuck in traffic. We wait it’s now 8:30pm it turns up but there’s a problem we ordered a round trip literally just to pick up box turn around and come straight back. He can’t do that as it’s only him working two members of staff have gone home sick and he has a regular 9pm booking the other side of town.

He was a larger than life Italian America just like we see on uk tv and came to the solution that we go with him and gave us a tour of Boston by cab talking nonstop but at least we got the box and a tour and he brought us cokes from a Mac Donald’s drive thru. We finally get back to our hotel 10 pm so that’s now on the go 22hours time for bed the bikes will have to wait to tomorrow. Night.

Day 2 relaxing and bike building.

House clearance

Well in just 7 days time the real adventure begins. It’s been hard work and emotional business but we are on the final count down. Over the last week we have borrowed a transit van. Packed up our entire life’s possessions and placed them in a 20ft shipping container for storage. Our daughter bless her dumped on to my parents with her life in black bags sorry babe. And had to rehome the much loved family cat!

It should be worth it I can’t even start to imagine what my life is going to be like for the next few years, we have been dreaming of doing this for years and now we are finally making it happen.

The next 7 days will be spent cleaning and doing out standing DIY ready for lodgers to hopefully enjoy this house as much as we have.

Visa’s Complete

How many times do you have to queue up to get a Visa to travel across America?

So, as you should be aware, we have decided on the first leg of our journey we will be visiting America!

For the length of time we are visiting, we require a 10-year tourist visa, sounds like overkill but we go for it.

2 hours of filling out forms on the iPad and a thousand and one questions later, along with the £260 mandatory fee we have been provided with a date to go to the embassy in London.

A Southampton to London train during Peak time for the two of us comes to a whopping £120 smackers. Scrap that!

Instead, we found a cheap hotel to go straight from work the evening before. Travel lodge booked, 2 single train tickets all in £90 much better, and we can enjoy ourselves while we are there. When will they fix our trains in this country?

The day of reckoning comes, its a Tuesday morning after a sleepless night. Hopes and Dreams depending on paperwork printed off and clutched passports like our lives depending on it.

Queue 1, pre-security outside. Preliminary checks on Passports and Paperwork. Told to sit still outside ready for queue 2.

Half an hour later we are ushered into airport-style security desks, throwing all of our stuff into dull grey plastic containers and through the metal detectors.

For most people this is not a problem, that is unless you have left a knife attached to your keys. Mrs security guard was apparently not impressed. Is this it, are our dreams over?

Thankfully not, mercy is upheld, and the blade is placed into the bins outside.

Queue 3. Once again outside, but between two buildings for yet further security checks where passports and paperwork are once again scrutinised.

We are given a number and directed to the 1st floor of this imposing building. This time we are provided with a ticket and led to take the lift to the 1st floor.

Eventually, we come to a room where there are hundreds of us waiting our turn we take a seat and wait for our number to appear on the display points. The Atmosphere is dull, we can only imagine its what the DMV is like. After what feels like an eternity, but was probably only ten minutes, we are called to window number seven.

Quick internal pep talks and many Deep breaths, we say to ourselves that we can do this. Introducing a lovely chap from Texas who admired our plans, although casually suggesting we should actually just hire a convertible as it would be much easier, we found out he loves to cycle as well.

Fingerprints collected and time to queue up once again for the next window, we get called to window number 14. This lady goes through many questions on what we are doing, and clearly believes we are mad. But takes our fingerprints one more time finally stating that she has approved our visas and they will be sent to us!

Happy days! When we leave the embassy, we retrieve Mike’s knife out of the bin to the amusement of a police officer with a huge gun. We need a drink!

About Us

Hello! We are Mike and Nikkey Jewell, Welcome to our adventure!

We are leaving the rat race to embark on an Epic World Cycling Tour.

Planning to start in the United States of America, Boston, Massachusetts to be exact. Working our way up to Chicago to follow the old Route 66. After which we will Jet Set across the world to Perth, Australia hoping to make it to Sydney via the Nullarbor plane consisting of 1200 km of nothing. We will include just a slight detour to Tasmania. While also combatting New Zealand right after.

As if we couldn’t get enough, we have started adding in our plans on the vast continent of Asia! We must be clinically insane.

Our Journey home starts in Istanbul through Europe while attempting to capture as many sights as we possibly can.

You are probably wondering why we want to take on this journey of epic proportions, the truth is it has been on our minds for the last 3 years, now the kids are old enough to kick them out, its time to have an adventure.

5 years ago we picked our cycles back up after a long time of them unfit, overweight and completely out of shape while watching Wiggins and Froome win the Tour de France and Olympics, we both thought that looks easy. So the purchase of two mountain bikes was the way to start. Just one mile down the road and we had to get off and walk. Bike goes back in the garage, till the following week to try again.

We push further each week, a target of 500 miles in year one, plus many charity rides we were reaching up to 50 miles a week.

We have completed the London to Brighton ”challenge” now 6 times!

Our first real tour was a short break in northern France testing our new bikes and camping gear. Loads to learn, for instance, we took far to much stuff! Discovering this before we even reached the boat out of the UK.

We survived. But driven for more. Southampton to Boudreaux 800 miles all down the west coast of France, camping all the way, how hard could we challenge ourselves?

You would think of thought by now we would be over it, but while reading a popular Cycling UK magazine, we discovered an Advertisement for Sri Lanka, a fully supported 3 week tour and we could not resist, this would be our First time flying with bikes a lesson in its self.

We fell in love with Sri Lanka so much we nearly purchased a home right away, a drawback though is we discovered that group riding is not for us.

Ultimately, we have to do this ourselves, at our own pace, stop, eat, sleep when and where we want to.

Mike comes up with the next crazy idea, Lands End – John O’Groats. 1000 Miles, 3 weeks. Cornwall First. We loved this trip so much one day we will do it again.

Next year, back in Scotland complete washout, rain, rain and more rain.

Time to go bigger, so here we are today writing this piece introducing you to our blog planning videos, tracking and more.

With only three months away until we set sail. With a to-do list larger than life, will we succeed? Follow us to find out.