Monthly Archives: March 2014
A little story in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day:
In a little village long ago there was a man. He was a lonely man. A greedy and selfish man. This man only cared for money and himself. He worked hard and thought nothing of others. This man had a big house and lots of treasures. The man enjoyed eating the most expensive foods and entertaining the other richest people in town. He showered himself in gifts constantly. Around the town most people crossed the street when he was approaching. Never would they look him in the eyes. He was known for his temper and hated the kindness of others. Deep down the man was miserable, but he didn’t know how to change. Too stuck in his ways, he had decided long ago only look out for his own well-being. His goal was to be the richest man in the town.
One day, while he was out telling his groundskeepers how to tend his gardens, he heard a strange noise. Bothered by the rustling in the bushes he went to have a closer look. When he walked over to inspect he found a strange green man skipping along merrily. Immediately the man recognized the tune and look of the creature. A Leprechaun. He knew that if the stories were true, Leprechaun’s were required to grant you three wishes if they were caught. Sensing that the Leprechaun hadn’t heard him he jumped into action. Grabbing his burlap sack he swiftly snatched up the little Leprechaun in one swoop.
After a short struggle the Leprechaun tired in the heavy bag. The man held on strongly, knowing the power he held in his hands if he used it wisely. During the struggle his many workers had gathered around to inspect the situation. Some told the man that leprechauns were not to be trusted and to let the creature free. But he ignored their cries and shooed them all away in a rage.
When he finally spoke to the Leprechaun, he began by demanding that his three wishes be granted immediately. In his haste he forgot that Leprechaun’s were people too and hurt the Leprechaun’s fragile feelings. The man was used to getting what he wanted and dealt with all people in a horrible fashion. The Leprechaun was saddened having been captured by such a terrible man and quickly thought of a plan to teach the greedy old man a lesson. At once it started to rain and the man ran inside with the Leprechaun tucked away in the sack.
The man continued demanding his three wishes until the Leprechaun finally agreed. He said his first wish was to be the richest man in all of the town. The Leprechaun laughed, then asked him if he wanted to be the richest man in all the world? The man thought quickly and realized that this was a much better wish. He told the Leprechaun that this would be his first wish. Looking over the horizon the Leprechaun pointed to an emerging rainbow. He told the old man that it was in fact his rainbow and at the end of it was his pot of gold. In it was enough gold to make the man the richest person in the whole world. The man was amazed.
He told the Leprechaun to go fetch the riches and bring them back to him at once. The Leprechaun explained that the pot of gold was far to heavy for him to carry and the old man would have to go with him. Having shooed away all of his workers the man agreed to go along. He tied a rope to the Leprechaun and they quickly moved off towards the end of the rainbow. After hours of traveling, the rainbow came no closer. The man became angry and tired with the Leprechaun. They had traveled through fields and forests, over rivers and people’s land. He asked to take a rest. The Leprechaun seeing the man’s weakness took his opportunity. He told the man it wasn’t far from here but he knew a good place to pick some delicious strawberries. The man agreed that a snack would be what he needed to make it over the last leg of the journey. He agreed to let the Leprechaun go, as he was too tired to follow at this point.
After a time the man became irritated how long the Leprechaun was taking to return. Finding it was getting darker, his anger was turning to fear. He did not know the way home. The rainbow had disappeared and there was no sign of the Leprechaun. The man was outraged, having realized he had been cheated. But he knew he had to try finding the way back. Traveling for hours the dusk turned the forest into a very scary place for the man. He did not know where he was and appeared to be going in circles.
For the next two days the man wandered here and there until he finally found his way back home. When he arrived dirty and tired, he found his front door left open. When he entered he found small muddy footprints zig-zagging all over his nice floors. He quickly looked about the house and found that everything was gone. There was nothing left. All of his trinkets and treasures gone. His hidden stacks of money he had not trusted the bank with and the gold he had tucked away. Everything was gone. The man slumped down into a corner of his dark, cold and empty house. Sobbing quietly, he realized what he should have wished for.
In some ways we are all chasing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Like those goals that seem to float further and further away like mirages as we try crawling closer. There are parts of the man in all of us. It is so easy to get sidetracked by superficial material goals and desires. Forget the little speed bumps and all of the obstacles in the way.
Follow the rainbow towards that pot of gold. Do it along the path of personal growth and well-being. It is important to have goals. It is how we develop ourselves and become better people. Set them high and you will achieve great things. Goals of happiness. Show dedication strength and will-power. Achieve your goals one step at a time, set a target and follow through. The best things in life are usually free. What’s inside your pot of gold?
**On a side note, thank you so much to all of my supporters since I announced my ride around the world. I have been amazed with all of the positive feedback and genuine curiosity. Thank you also to those that have donated so early on. We have already raised an amazing $700. We are now that much closer towards reaching the goal of giving young children the gift of education. $10,000 dollars builds a new school. You are all awesome! I will keep everyone updated with more details on which village we will be helping in China with Free the Children at the beginning of my ride. More information to follow in the coming weeks. Until next time!
On July 7th I will leave on the adventure of a lifetime. A journey of grand proportions. One of personal designation and infatuation with our spinning world. To share and experience the road less travelled. One of the glorious unknown.
The journey starts in Sanya at the southern most point of China. Leaving behind the place that has been my home for the last two years. I will quietly pedal away by bicycle. Everything I need strapped to the sides of my bike. Crossing to mainland China from the Island of Hainan, I will break northwest across the wonderful beauty of China towards Chengdu. From there, crossing the vast mountains and desert that pave the way of the old Silk road towards Kashgar. China into Kyrgyzstan, from there traversing the hills of the Northern Middle East. Names of places from ancient tales like Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. From Turkey heading south into the African continent. The history of Egypt, and down through the treasures of Eastern Africa to Cape Town. Across the Atlantic by boat to Argentina, and winding up through South America, into Central America, then across the United States back to my little hometown of Rideau Ferry, Canada. Home for a well deserved drink on the deck. Over 50 countries. Simple on paper, right? It will take as long as it needs to. Routes will change and so will I. That is the short and sweet of it all.
My Route: Give or take a few countries and kilometres.
This is not a journey I can complete on my own. I will need the support of everyone to keep me moving forward. Towards the ultimate goal. Friends along the way, new and old. I will need encouragement when things get tough, on those hard days when the world seems at odds with me. To share in your support.
“What are these barriers that keep people from reaching anywhere near their real potential? The answer to that can be found in another question and that’s this: Which is the most universal human characteristic: fear, or laziness?” ~ Louis Mackey
But why go? The big question. Why even bother with it? There is no simple answer and sometimes I still struggle with it. But I know it is the right thing to do. I am doing it because it has been calling me for the last two years. Because it is something I need to experience. My time is limited and the time is now. For that great adventure. For the struggle. For all of those who can’t and those who want to but dare not. For charity. For happiness. For the exercise. For the food. For the thrill. To test my true potential. To see the large and small places of the world. To take pictures. To make vivid memories. To see distant cultures and vibrant scenes that lay unknown. To raise awareness. To meet people. To learn languages. To ask questions. To laugh till my sides hurt. To know the true feeling of loneliness, fear and doubt. To go a little crazy. To make mistakes. To read books. To better myself. But most of all to experience a piece of what this world has to offer on my own terms, by my own rules. To reach out and grab it. To be me.
To the open road.
For all of these reasons I go out into what will be the adventure of my lifetime. Looking back when I’m old I will know I tried doing something that was at the core of my heart. Something bigger than myself. For that daily test and grind. To know I lived my life the way I wanted it, not by some prescribed notion. I believe that true happiness requires struggle. This is my struggle.
“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: It is something moulded.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exuperly
I will also be riding in support of the ‘Free the Children’ foundation. A Canadian based domestic and international charity. As I find my way around the globe I will be working to raise money to give the less fortunate a means to survive. A means to thrive. With the Adopt-A-Village program, Free the Children works in impoverished areas of Asia, Africa and South America to give struggling villages the tools to live sustainably with the goal of providing education, health care, clean drinking water, alternative income and agricultural security. Things we take for granted. The most basic necessities.
I hope to visit some of the villages along the way in Rural China, Kenya, Ecuador and Nicaragua in order to help in any way I can. So my supporters can see the impact of their donations. To lend a hand and hear their story. My goal is to put the money raised towards building school houses and outfitting schools for the locations I visit. It is $10,000.00 to build a school with Free the Children’s Year of Education initiative. Let’s start there. Together let’s make dreams of a better future a reality. Thank you in advance to all of my supporters for their donations that will give people the means to live sustainable and full lives!
*In order to donate look to the charity section of my page for more information. Every little bit helps!
So, there it is. For two years I have been quietly planning and working towards this journey. It is just on the horizon and I can’t wait. Around the world by bicycle. Cycling Home from Sanya. Watch this page for updates as I prepare to leave in the coming months. Thanks for reading!