Monthly Archives: April 2014
“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience” ~ Francis Bacon
Sometimes thoughts are just better conveyed this way. We live in a fantastic world. One where anything truly is possible, if we ourselves, humankind, do not get in the way. In each other’s way.
I’m Sorry to Say
How could we tell each other apart?
If every person, was born without a heart?
Could we, by the color of your hair, your skin?
Even so, we’d still commit the exact same sins.
Is it the heart which separates our souls?
It lies in the stupefaction of our goals.
But there was once a dream, which quickly became a hallucination,
While schools of ghosts pass silently, as figments of our imagination.
A destabilized system of capitalistic neglect,
Artificial mines are planted on our streets, with no regrets.
And how do we mend the gardens of pain we have sown?
Well we won’t and don’t, because segregation is the crop we’ve grown.
Does this fruit taste of our supposed enemies?
Or are we opportunely impassive, of the carefully leveled inequalities?
Oh, but it has become acceptable, of course we’ll tolerate,
While affluent gargoyles crowd the doors of heavens gate.
Yet, we all rise and look to the same sun
We’ve done this, since our time has begun.
Sharing the liquid life force of our earth
The same water cycling through each person since their birth.
While the very irrigation that flows in your veins
Was once apart of the organism you chastised with no pains.
This subconscious classification has put up invisible blockades,
In a world based upon the convenience of unbalanced trades.
We’ve mitigated a world built upon the pain of those deemed weak,
When these are the people who have become developmentally meek.
And as we look to the borders of each country as the sun goes down,
Bright metal flashes in the moonlight, while guns point all around.
Defending ourselves from what you may wonder?
But the trepidation of unfamiliar tribes in their slumber.
Even when the world appears to spin so peacefully, silently from so far away
You need not look long to see that this has never been the way,
I’m sorry to say…
One of the biggest problems is our consistent fear of us, our fellow human. Hatred for customs, people and places we have never laid eyes on. Only when we accept all people and their needs can we move forward. Both personally and as a world. All people want the same thing at the base of themselves. But sometimes when we go out into the world we lose sight of this truth, as our potentialities and goals are influenced on a daily basis. Don’t forget who you are and what is important to you. The world is a good place that is full of kind people. I’ve seen kindness I cannot describe. We are all after the same thing, so why not make things a little easier on everyone. Lend a hand. Be a friend. See the good.
What would you do if you had a second life? A strange question to ask, but an interesting one. The rules are, you are still you. You have no different qualities or characteristics. It is still the same old you. However, in this second life, you are able to choose exactly what you want to do with yourself. Maybe you would pursue an alternate career. Travel more. Eat healthier. Exercise more. Say yes more. Live in a different city or country. Look for a new relationship. Or just loaf around for a while. It is not a fantasy life. You can’t just choose to be a millionaire or famous. It is a realistic life. You have to work for what you get.
Maybe you are super happy with where you are right now in your life. But there are always areas we would like to improve or change. Professionally, personally and socially. No one is perfect. This kind of thinking exercise is designed to make you realize some of the aspects of your real life that may need changing. Some even that are easily changeable. Write down some of your true goals or fantasies to make them feel more tangible. When you look at them ask yourself if these ideas are possible. If you think they are not possible, ask yourself again, what is holding you back? What these ideas and goals represent are lost hopes. Maybe they are regrets of the past or still hopes of the present. Thinking hard to yourself, would going after these things make you happier than you are in the present? Would it change your life for the better?
The second life is about taking those chances you may be too insecure about at the moment. Doing something great. The leap you were always longing for, but never took the chance. Taking that chance on a job, adventure or person you otherwise would not have. Maybe once you arrive in your second life it is not as great as you fantasized it would be. But how do you know if you never try. The rest is up to you.
As I prepare to ‘Cycle Around the World’ I sometimes have the ‘Second Life’ moments and thoughts. When things are going very well in my life at work, with my relationships or friends, it is difficult to imagine walking away from everything I have worked for and achieved over the last two years. The ride is something I know I have to do, but it is not always something that seems like the best thing when I am comfortably enjoying myself in the present life. To achieve my true goals and aspirations I know it must involve change, struggle and self-doubt. All great things in life involve that first step. Sometimes you can’t describe a feeling. The bike ride around the world is my ‘Second Life’, my next life. Where it will lead me, I do not know. But I’m saying yes to it. No regrets. Making my ‘Second Life’ a reality. What’s yours?
‘It is not danger that I love. I know what I love. It is life’ – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Adventure. That is what I love. I love the thrill of it. The total freeing feeling. The endless nights and long mornings. Seeing the sun rise and set. To not know what will happen next and the fatiguing struggle that it entails. But why go on an adventure? And why does it even matter anymore? Most mountains have been scaled, rivers have been rowed and fields been crossed. So why still bother? Here’s why:
1. To Explore:
The world has been crossed thousands of times over by ancient explorers, past and present. It is possible to fly to the other side of the world in a matter of hours. We have been to the poles. We’ve felt the chill of the empty ocean depths and the thin air of the tallest peaks. We’ve build roads where roads don’t belong and live in extremely difficult environments. We’ve spread near and far. Amazing discoveries, cultural development and scientific exploration.
We are now more connected than ever before. In essence, anything you want to know about the world can been found through a simple Google search. If you want to see a picture of an ethnic tribe from South America, it is but a few clicks away. How healthy are sweet potatoes? Where is Kyrgyzstan? What does it mean if my leg gets numb on the bus?
Most things we want to know can be actualized in a matter of seconds. But what they are all lacking are the experiences behind them. We didn’t have to do anything to get an answer. This makes us lazy and dependent. The point of adventure is to experience for yourself. What we lack more than ever now are true life experiences. However, it is more available to us than ever before. Exploring and adventure doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you have worked the last hundred months for or Cycle Around the World. You can explore in your own country or city. The idea of exploration is breaking from the norm. Going outside your regular comfort zone. Taking that long way home and learning something new. Feel the thrill and explore that unknown road.
2. To Feel Free:
Adventure is freeing. By going out on an adventure you are committing to uncertainty. Once you get over the initial hump of committing to the journey, the rest is mostly mental. It is about how you feel at the end of the day. Why what your doing matters. Most of all, why it matters to you.
We tie ourselves down with responsibilities, contracts and obligations until there is nothing left of us. Trying to please everyone, except ourselves. Not to sound selfish, but you come first. You can’t make others around you happy, unless you are happy with yourself. Any type of adventure, new project or goal allows you to work on your own self improvement. When we learn a new skill or try something for the first time, there is that moment where we feel a great sense of pride. That warm feeling inside. A feeling that only we can create. I felt that feeling when I said yes to driving a motorbike around Mongolia.
When heading out on an extended adventure or trip you feel like anything is possible. As if there is nothing that can stand in your way. We can weigh all the ‘What-If’s’ for weeks on end, but when it comes down to it, just go. Get out there and experience that freedom. You will regret not having gone and even more when your older. We are our stories.
3. To Educate:
Firsthand experience is becoming a valuable commodity. Adventure is and always will be something very few people do themselves. It is a unique opportunity. By going on big and small adventures you become an expert of your field. The ability to educate about something you are passionate about is an amazing feeling. To give back and feel the rewards. To make discoveries for yourself, through your own means.
Education through adventure can take many forms. It can be talking about the people of South Sudan and Visa Protocol to cultural differences and socio-economic disparity. It is up to you what you take from your adventure. When I begin my great adventure, I will be promoting the beauty of our amazing world, the importance of cultural awareness and the opportunities available. I will be riding to raise awareness for Free the Children’s Adopt-a-Village program with the hopes of building school houses along the way. Already at almost $1000 dollars we are on our way. Thank you again to those who have made generous donations to my cause so early on. Link to My Charity.
4. To Challenge Yourself
Things that are difficult feel good. Sometimes not right at that moment, but later on the feeling of nostalgia is amazing. You can look back on the hard times and know that you persevered. Adventure is supposed to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Over time you develop skills you never knew existed. New problem solving and resilience skills. You become flexible and recover easily from sudden change. Your turtle shell thickens over time.
It forces you to have a hard look inside. People stumble through life and have trouble connecting with their feelings. Some things we think make us happy are in fact making us miserable. The idea of keeping up with the Jones’ is one of the main causes of stress in our world. We are bombarded with ads each day, the pressures of our social circles and notions of acceptance. It is up to the individual to sift through these issues and pull out ‘Your Pieces of Happiness’. If certain acts are making you crazy, change it. If certain people in your life are having a negative effect on your happiness, do something about it.
This plays into the 80/20 rule. The idea that 80% of the things you do in life make up 20% of your happiness. That number should be flipped. Adventure allow you to get in direct touch with how you feel on a daily basis. It brings you down to your barebones. You are more truthful to yourself and are totally dependent on your mental capacity to get through the tough times. We simply don’t challenge ourselves enough anymore. If life is simply easy, then it will get stale. Challenge makes it interesting. I would rather be uncomfortable and happy.
5. To Enjoy
At the base of things people go on adventures because they love them. Enjoyment has to be at the heart of it. We are only as good as we let ourselves be. It is time we got out there and start doing what we want to get out of life. There is lots of time for mistakes, but not enough time to not make any. I know this piece is full of paradoxes, but here is one more:
‘The only thing constant in life is change’ – Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Change is what makes life interesting. With great adventures, change is constant. It makes us better. It makes the road worthwhile. To some people adventure may be a dying art, but for me it is the fire of life. And that is why it still matters.