“It always seems impossible until it’s done” ~ Nelson Mandela, Freedom Fighter/Politician
There comes a time when we must make decisions in our lives. Crossroads present themselves in a sea of uncertainty. Sometimes decisions are quick and without thought. Others linger for weeks and plague mental patterns day and night. If we value change or growth, these moments come with some frequency. These decisions mould us, shape our present reality and the roads which bring us to the next junction. We are never the same person twice. The goals which we once had years, months and even weeks back, may seem like frivolous bothers in the present. They look like minor deviations from the whirlwind of our daily lives. However, everything culminates during daily micro-decisions to bring us to new avenues of opportunity.
Letting worry take over and cloud your modern reality is a needless distraction to the bigger picture. I’m sure we would find it hard to look back and remember with fondness on our most recent worries. It is much easier and positive to look back on moments of nostalgia, even if they weren’t that great at the time. On a bicycle journey, there is a surplus of time to think. I’ve put in a great deal of time contemplating and arrived at a few conclusions. They are apparent in my present state. If you want something bad enough, you’ll chase after it, I know I have. The end is not reached with the rabbit, but only leads to another series of holes. Enjoy the hunt.
“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that’s the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.” ~ Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
It was an early morning entrance to Botswana. Another country with new sets of rules and geography. For the first time in months it was flat. I entered from the Plum Tree border station and rode on fumes to Francistown. Relaxing in the shade I made a forward plan towards South Africa. With the wide shoulder and a relatively uninteresting section of road ahead, I decided to make my break. Putting in my longest day in Africa of 176 kilometres from Francistown to Palapye I arrived after dark. Setting up my tent on some crusty ground, I cooked some tasteless pasta and it was lights out. The next day, it was up early again as I skidded off towards the South African border. There was no service stations until I reached the border over a hundred kilometres away. Drinking orange Fanta out of coolers from the side of the road, I spent my last bit of money on a fly covered bun with warm cream inside.
If you are wondering, why all the hurry? It was because I was running behind schedule for an important meeting on the horizon. My girlfriend and family were coming to visit. They were due to arrive in Johannesburg in just a matter of days. Every moment counted to get me there on time. I returned the bottle of Fanta and slugged my way to the border. Crossing into South Africa felt like I was returning to civilization. There were functioning stores in each town with a wide selection foods and affordable delights. South Africa is the most developed country, given most respects, in Africa. I quickly felt at home and the welcoming nature of the people. I saw the first McDonalds since Egypt and to say I didn’t order up the ubiquitous ‘Big Mac’ meal would be a lie. Sometimes on trips like this, that little bit of familiarity can go a long way to make you feel at ease. When everything is always new and unknown, those little pieces of the known go a long way.
Rolling into Lephalale, I was searching for a local campsite when a man almost backed his truck into me. After he saw me and we chatted a moment, he asked where I was headed. I explained my plan of action and he invited me to stay in one of his guesthouses for free. It ended up being my own apartment with hot water, kitchen and laundry. Cycling dreams are made of this magic. My new friend, Victor, introduced me to the welcoming nature of South African people. After I was rested up he invited me for a breakfast before I was off riding again. We had an instant connection and some inspiring chats. The local newspaper showed up and an impromptu interview took place. They sent me sailing with a happy first impression and a bag full of food. That night I slept on the soft green grass of the local golf course amid warthogs and skittish little monkeys.
“Travel is more than a seeing of sights. It is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” ~ Miriam Beard, Author
On route to Johannesburg a friend I had met in South Korea named Dene, had arranged for family members of her husbands to host me. They picked me up and took me off to their farm. Jaco and Jessie gave me the first taste of true South African ‘Braai’. You can read more on the process and style HERE. It is basically barbecue, but treated with a sport like seriousness. They even have a ‘Braai Day’, which I will get into on a following post. In any case, my first experience was a beautiful appreciation for food, as I slowly began to put on weight. One of the most amazing things they did for me while I stayed with them was returning my shoes, that were nearly headed for the garbage bin, looking brand new. At this point I only had one day to make it to the airport in time to meet my girlfriend. Jessie offered to take me most of the way into Johannesburg. I left feeling like I was part of the family and a warm energy bubbled inside. I made it to the airport with 20 minutes to spare. Cutting it close to say the least. I rubbed my burley face wishing I had time to shave.
Seeing a familiar person on a trip such as this can do more than you know. I didn’t need to introduce myself or be that guy on the bike. I was simply able to be me. With my family and girlfriend, Eliza, it was just like old times, only we were in South Africa. After a day of rest we went out on safari. Something I had only done by the seat of my bike all through Africa. Now I was the person that rolled past people in the big vehicle as hundreds of white kneed tourists had done to me throughout Africa. Only this safari was more than about just seeing herds of zebras and spotting lions. All down Africa I had thought about it carefully. On the top of a mountain just after sunrise I asked the love of my life to marry me. Slipping the ring onto her smooth trembling finger I felt all the world coming together. Looking up to see the tears in her eyes what I saw was my soulmate. The woman I would spend the rest of my days with. I am not sure what I said as the morning sun swallowed us up on that rocky outcrop. Nothing else mattered in that moment. Without the careful planning and help of my parents I couldn’t have pulled off the proposal. I am so glad we were able to share in it together.
“You must regard this deviation from plan as part of the adventure that you sought when you decided to embark on it in the first place…Absence of certainty is its essence. People…who choose to shun the mundane must not only expect, but also enjoy and profit from surprises.” ~ Adam Yamey, Aliwal
After a few days of wonderful wildlife, relaxation and full stomachs, a tearful goodbye was on the horizon as I prepared to get back on the bike. I knew saying goodbye to my parents would be tough, but seeing my new fiancée off was going to be even more difficult. I wanted to quit. I said that I had come far enough. That the end of Africa was achievement enough. I had accomplished more than I ever thought possible. I should pack it all in and call it a day, when I reached the southern edge of Africa in Cape Town. Eliza said that there was no way I was quitting. As hard as that may have been for her to say, it wasn’t what I wanted hear, but what I needed. She could have been selfish and let me take the easy way out. I could have quit right there at the airport and boarded a plane anywhere else. But I returned to my bike knowing I wouldn’t see her until I reached the finish line back in Canada, thousands of kilometres away.
Knowing everything I already do about life on the road, it would have been the easy way out. Returning to a life of comfort with vegetables in the crisper and 600 TV channels, would be ideal for a time. But, that route would have haunted me in years to come. Like a puzzle missing the final piece, I would only see that hole. The rest of the picture would be forgotten. Eliza could see this. As much as she may have wanted me to quit, she supported my dream without a doubt. This is what every man wants. To feel the support and understanding of his mindless plight. To be there for him when the future he presents is a bit hazy. She looked into my eyes and beyond the shadowy thunder that is my mind, she saw something more. On first day I ever met Eliza, I told her that I would ride a bicycle (which I didn’t even own at the time) around the world. She never thought I was joking and she stuck by me through all of those distant nights. If I were to quit now, it would be breaking the very first promise ever I made to her. Now, that is something I could never live with.
*The rest of the South Africa story will continue in the next post along with adventures through ruggedly beautiful Lesotho and eventually to the stunning coast of the Garden Route towards the end of Africa in Cape Town.
**Please continue to help support funding for the new schoolhouse in Esinoni, Kenya. We are less than $1,600 away from reaching our goal. Which is so amazing! Thank you for the surprise early donations from some of our supporting schools back in Eastern Ontario. You guys rock! CLICK HERE TO DONATE.
***To follow along with daily photo updates from my phone through the South American section of the journey link to my Instagram by CLICKING HERE.
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” ~ Tim Cahill, Travel Writer
We live in a beautiful world. In our daily experience we are only seeing a piece of the magic it has to offer. It is but a slice of the pie. If one were to travel forever it would only be to soak in the faintest image of daily life. Seasons and times change. Places degrade in their authenticity and never seem as wonderful as they once were. We are but players in the ever-changing reality that is our planet. The world is a magical place because of that very fact. Things are only the way they are once and we are only ourselves in that moment. Years later we are different people with alternative preferences, ideals and goals. We change in the way we see others, our world and most importantly ourselves. Looking back on those nostalgic moments it is important not to forget how the present space only happens once and we are only going to have that chance right then. We have this one moment. Don’t waste it.
I awoke on the Tanzanian side of the border and my tire had gone flat in the night. On the downhill towards Malawi I had repaired two spokes the day before. I now had two more broken spokes and a flat tire to take the wind out of my sails right from the beginning. However, I wasn’t going to let it dampen my spirits, for I had a new country to attend to, Malawi.
“I went to sleep dreaming of Malawi, and all the things made possible when your dreams are powered by your heart.” ~ William Kamkwamba, Malawi Author
I quickly found a shop on the Tanzania side, spent the last of my money by fixing the spokes and bought an extra tube. My tubes were starting to look like the dreadful patchwork I was once used to. By mid-morning, I was off on my own in Malawi. The terrain was flat for the first time in months and I sped along quickly. After a few miles I caught up to a group of retired Germans and their Rastafarian guide. They were cycling from Kilimanjaro to Victoria Falls. I chatted as we rolled to the first town. During our search to find a cheap guesthouse we were separated when I went to the bank to get some Malawi Kwachas and find some food for dinner. I curled up under my mosquito net with the power cut for most of the evening.
The following morning I started very early, due to the time change between Malawi and Tanzania. I made good ground and camped near the beach of the beautiful Lake Malawi. It is one of the largest lakes in the world and home to the most diverse selection of freshwater species. Beautiful, peaceful and pure. I eventually climbed up into the mountains, where the temperature was significantly cooler, especially in the morning. I camped out at a hostel in Mzuzu for the night. The next morning I was off after a ridiculous incident involving myself, the owner of the hostel and a toaster. Needless to say I ended up eating my stale bread on the side of the road.
All was soon forgotten with a long downhill that took me through the morning all the way to Nhkata Bay. I took a long overdue day off and relaxed by the water. Days off when you’ve been going for many in a row are usually not that relaxing, but filled with annoying little chores like ever dirty clothes, getting plenty to eat and catching up on a long list of e-mails. I do set aside time to enjoy myself a bit, take a few pictures and in this case float around in the complementary kayak the hostel had to offer. Beautiful waters and a clear sky.
After a rest I shoved off early and put in a very long day through a wavy landscape and strengthening headwind. In Malawi, there was always a wind from the south. Sometimes faint and others soul crushing. I pulled in late to a campsite near the lake to spot a familiar tandem cycle. It would seem I had met up with my old friends David and Steve once again. They had taken a train through a section of Tanzania, but I had caught them here. We were headed the same direction and rode together through a very windy road the following day. We had ‘eggy bread’ (French toast) for breakfast and it kept us going most of the day. At one point we all had a stock of very chewy maize to chomp on as we pushed along. I felt like a local as I grinded through the tough barbecued corn while riding. Finding a cheap guesthouse we collapsed for the night. Still hungry after dinner, Steve and I went out exploring for a bit of fried chips. While searching we found barbecued mice with the fur still intact, tails and teeth. I settled on some spicy chips at a different stand.
“Gold is a debt we can repay, but kindness not till our dying day.” ~ Malawian Proverb
Eventually, I would say goodbye to my friends from England after a final dinner at their wonderful friends house Emmanuel in Malawi. The father and son rode from Mombasa, Kenya to a small town near Lilongwe on tandem. I was proud to share the last day of their journey with them. We are all players and actors in the stories we take home with us. For the people we tell about our journeys they are only names and photos. For us on the road they are our brothers, the people we camped next to, battled winds with and shared a bit of food. This is what we will remember.
The next morning Emmanuel offered a lift to the capital and it was hard to refuse considering a full day uphill ahead. In Lilongwe I quickly procured a Mozambique transit visa and was off climbing up again towards the Mozambique border of Dedza. It was a full day as I rolled into a hilltop campsite. I camped out back of a guesthouse that was way too nice for me. I walked inside to charge my annoying and always dead gadgets. While I waited I listened to the next table joke about Hyenas in the area. Funny stuff for them sleeping safe in their beds. That night I had a terrible dream about Hyenas outside my tent. When I woke to pack my tent in the morning my bike had clumps of fur all caught in the chain and bolts. Was I dreaming? Was it just some stray dogs? Or were there really Hyenas outside my tent? I’ll never know.
The following morning I turned a curve and dropped down into Mozambique. As I caught the downhill I’d been dreaming for days I had time to reflect on Malawi. Rolling on I thought about the peculiar and endearing moments I was witness to amid the bouts of solidarity. Daily dinners on my own with the same old pasta I’ve been making since Sudan. The peaceful nature of Malawian people. A bicycle nation. The general poverty and heartbreak of the developing world. Begging of children on the side of the road, but in a sort of playful manner as opposed to Ethiopia. A nice conversation with a man at a local stand. Litchi soda. Kachumbani salad or ‘relish’ (see receipe HERE). And of course, bicycle taxis.
Who could forget the bicycle taxis? Malawi is among the top ten poorest countries in the world. Due to the recently withdrawal of foreign aid from western countries, because of governmental corruption, it has sunk even lower. 42% of their yearly budget came from foreign aid. Mind-boggling when you think about it and the subsequent implications for an already struggling people. This of course hurts the poorest of the poor much more than those who already lined their pockets. Which returns me to the bicycle taxi. When people cannot afford cars or motorbikes to get around, the bicycle taxi is the next best thing. Nothing as fancy as the Indian rickshaw, but simply a bike with an extra seat on the back. Some are decorated nicely and others are a simple work horse. They wait in queues in small towns for passengers to climb aboard. On one occasion, I recall following one of these taxis with a women and her baby on the back. The baby starred at me for miles strapped to the mother. All I could see was his face with his body stuffed into a bright cloth. He starred at me and I starred right back. It was mesmerizing.
“Don’t think there are no crocodiles just because the water’s calm.” ~ Malawian Proverb
From the border my bike rolled on with Malawi at my back. Across another imaginary line into a new world. I felt the same old feeling of those first strides into new territory and the excitement that goes with it. The feeling of starting a new job, seeing an old friend again, Christmas morning and a long weekend. The knowledge that anything is possible. The canvas is blank and we are the painter. Savoring these first moments is one of my favorite parts of the ride. I’m fortunate, I know, to have this opportunity. This piece in time where it is just me, my bike, 4 bags and a tent. The open mountains beckoned me forward and the wind gave me a welcome burst to let me know it was still there. I pushed onwards not knowing where I’d lay my head that night, then cracked a smile knowing it would be just fine.
*Thank you to all the recent donations to my charity with Free the Children. Because of your contributions we are now less than $2,000 away from meeting our goal for the schoolhouse in Esinoni, Kenya. I would like to specifically thank my friend Linda for her amazing and most recent contribution, it all blows me away. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.
**This week on Thursday is WeDay Toronto. A grand gathering of youth using their power and voices to help other youth. To learn more about WeDay CLICK HERE.
***The stories I share, the people I mention and pictures I post are only just slices of a bigger idea. When I write down my thoughts it is a constant struggle to choose the moments. There are endless pages in my notebook of kind people and amazing sights. I hope I’m able to share it all one day. Pictures that go on for days and memories to last a lifetime. Piece-by-piece. Thanks for following!
An 8 minute read
After a week long ride from Istanbul, I rest in the ancient city of Thessaloniki, Greece. It is cool outside. A light drizzle in the sky. Water runs down cobblestone alleys all the way to the sea. A buzz of excitement in my head. A vibrant city with a grand history. I crossed the gateway from Asia to Europe via Istanbul. I leave the open road to do what it will. The next leg will continue to be challenging. It will test my perseverance as mountain climbs, chilling cold and empty roads shine the way. I have an intended route as I weave across Eastern Europe and then down into Africa via Sicily. But, if history has taught me anything, all planning will be nothing more than smoke and memories in a few days. Nothing is constant. The road is as static and unpredictable as our weather. An update from Europe will follow. I now reflect on my final days in India. To the open road and nameless questions ahead.
I flew to Istanbul from Delhi. It seemed like the most logical place given my original plans. Had I been able to continue my unbroken route around the world, I would have already been there by now. Problems with Iranian Visas and an impending Kazak winter, shot me down to India for a whirlwind loop tour spanning 3800km from Chennai to Delhi. Reflecting back on those days, I can safely say that they were my hardest and some of the most rewarding so far. The crushing hum of the traffic was relentless and the sights were like no other.
During my ride through India I experienced dreadfully dark days and extreme exhilaration. Some of these highs and lows were often in the same afternoon. I saw amazing architecture and landscapes. Temples, Mosques, beautiful beaches, mountains, marshes, forests and complex ancient cities. Beautiful flowers. Wildlife living in its purity and amongst humanity. From cows and monkeys to rare birds, elephants and camels. I ate like a king for next to nothing. Tasting a wide dichotomy of foods from South to North. The food changed with the road. Regional dishes are my favourite. Vegetarian dishes that would blow your mind. Experienced the best physical fitness of my life. I camped all over. Was welcomed into local homes and shared many meals. I slept on roofs and in backyards, at truck stops and in villages. I met too many kind people to count. We shared stories and laughs. I never really felt alone, because I never was. There is always something happening. I met up with my parents as they took a leap outside their comfort zone and paid an eye-opening visit. Experienced intense pride when seeing the site of the next school in Verdara. The energy that India emits is addictive. You never know what is around the next corner.
I also saw the struggles of an ever expanding India. True heart-wrenching poverty. Some days it was all I seemed to see. The real look of urban migration. Dusty villages with dying crops. Children begging in the streets for their parents or for themselves. The garbage cannot accurately be described. I dodged traffic all day sometimes. I got hit once by a man with an onion cart. Oncoming cars, trucks and bikes going the wrong way were relentless. Selfish passes that continually endangered my life and chased me off the road were the norm. Close calls that I really don’t even like to think back on. Horns of all kinds blaring at all times. Honking for honking sake. Never have I seen so much roadkill. A dog eating a cow sticks out especially. Getting food poisoning and feeling doomed in a dirty home clinic looking up at a dripping IV. Repetitive questioning and curiosity were both a blessing and a curse. I am stronger for it all.
It was more than a whirlwind. Each day I woke up ready for the challenge. I could never tell you were I would be at the end of each day. I quit guessing myself. Am I glad I came and tackled the Indian Sub-Continent? Absolutely. I learned a great deal about myself. My boundaries and my limits. How far I can push myself and when I need to stop. I took beautiful photos and experienced a world I really knew little about. I now truly appreciate an oasis of quiet. India even offered a few tranquil getaways along the way. I saw the Taj Mahal, ancient forts and intricate temples. They were all amazing. But, it was never about the sights. Cycle touring is not about the destination, but what lies in-between. Those sights are just placeholders on a map. The smiles and struggles along the way are what is important. That is what I will remember.
***Have a look at the work being done by Free the Children in our current fundraising community project of Verdara, India. The road to the second school. To see an overview of my experiences in the village CLICK HERE.
To help the community of Verdara CLICK HERE TO DONATE.
“The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit.” ~ Joseph Wood Krutch, Writer/Naturalist
Kyrgyzstan. A place I have quickly grown to love. A place of it’s own. With more mountain peaks than people, it is a spectacle. Trapped and freed by the landscape that defines it. The dichotomous influences of an old Soviet state and nomadic culture are rolled into one with Chinese and Islamic tendencies. It works in many ways. The call to prayer can be heard in the towns. Unmarked ‘stores’ abound selling nothing but cheap vodka and sweets. The food is hearty. Cheese, sausage and bread are plentiful. The fruit and vegetables fresh and full of taste.
But, at the heart of this lies the fading spirit of the nomad. This is what the country was founded upon. The older generations saw hard times under the Soviet regime and with independence came a new list of struggles. It is a tough, rewarding and peaceful life. The flock and the herds are bound to the livelihood of the people. A proud group that love their land and know it well. They are strong on the exterior, but extremely friendly underneath. They welcome you in for ‘chai’ at any meeting and often ask you to spend the night in their home. The simple offerings mean more than just fresh bread, noodles, mutton and tea. Islamic teachings mixed with nomadic kindness is a vibrant combination. Pride and hospitality. It is the way of their world.
As I entered Kyrgyzstan, I was more than excited. I had made it through China and entered my second country. After two years living in China and having cycled across one of the largest countries in the world, it was time for something different. I was immediately met with new challenges. After crossing the border I cycled for two days without hardly seeing a soul. The bumpy road all to myself. I had chosen to cross at the Torugart pass, at 3,750 metres, for reasons that ranged from rumoured beauty, it being relatively uncrossed by bicycle and it is much quieter than the other border. Less busy was an understatement. It was empty aside from a few nomads still tending their herds and some lumbering trucks.
On my first night I camped with a family of nomads. They welcomed me in for noodles, bread and tea. We watched their daughter draw pictures and I gazed around at the makings of their home. When I woke in the morning, the world had been transformed into a winter wonderland of snow and freezing cold. Winter had arrived much earlier than I hoped. The family again had me in for a breakfast of bread and tea as I warmed myself by their stove. They helped me pack up my tent and sent me on my way. Descending down the mountain passes the snow faded and the weather improved. Later that day I saw the family drive by in a car, waving with all of their possessions (house included) hitched to the back of the groaning car. Can you imagine having an unexpected guest drop in the day before moving? You would never even know they had planned to head back to their village that day, with all the calm in the house.
Everything in a yurt has to be easily transportable. In the west, we take our possessions for granted. They are numerous in our homes and take up the majority of our lives, as we acquire more and throw out in repetitive cycles of monotony. But, that is our culture and this is theirs. A table for eating, stove and pots for cooking, blankets, collapsable beds and a few family pictures or momentos. Some of the more modern nomads have solar panels for running a dvd player, hot plate or crackling radio. On one night I was privileged enough to be welcomed to sleep in a families yurt after being told I was not allowed to pitch my tent. They wouldn’t hear of it. We ate dinner then all watched ‘Machete’ from the floor of their home in our beds as the family with three young boys went to sleep. The boys well versed in English profanity by the time the movie was over. It was their movie, not mine.
In Kyrgyzstan every once in a while I have to remind myself to just stop. Stop to have a look around. To take it all in. Whenever I do, there is an ominous quiet. If I listen hard I can hear the caw of an eagle, the trot of a horse or the sputter of an old Russian Lada in the distance. Unlike China the people passing by in cars honk their horns to say, ‘Hello, good luck!’ instead of ‘I’m driving here!’ A thumbs up out a window is often the norm. With the terrible roads and steering wheels on the left in some cars and the right in others, driving can be a terrifying experience for an intrepid cyclist.
The following days were inundated with great downpours and pockets of sunshine. Grey heavy clouds pregnant with rain hanging on the horizon. I got soaked each day as I slugged my way to Bishkek. At night I would make half-hearted attempts to dry my clothes. One day my shoes were so filled with water that the owner of the guesthouse suggested I dry my shoes beside a hotplate. I ended up burning a hole in my shoe and thanked the man the next day as I rode along while water dripped in through the hole.
After a soggy few days the clouds lifted and I was greeted with a nice sunny entrance to Bishkek. I had made it. The bustling city emerges right out of the countryside. I rode through the welcome sunshine and stopped to eat some local fare. I had been invited to stay at a Canadian and Bulgarian couples house for a few days. My host Angie was fantastic and amazingly accommodating as I rolled in with my wounded bike and smelly clothes in tow. Just another fantastic act of kindness from the road. It is from here I take a short intermission. I will be flying home to Canada be the best man at a friends wedding, before returning back to Bishkek and continuing my ride. It will be an honoured and exciting moment that I cannot miss. No matter how selfish my bike ride seems at times, I have not lost sight of reality. My Family, friends and girlfriend Eliza, will always be number one. I couldn’t do it without them all. To the people that mean the most to me, there is nowhere else I would rather be. It will be an amazing celebration as I reflect wholeheartedly on my ride so far and the road to come. I cannot wait!
“People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.” ~ Philip Coelho, The Alchemist
As I break for home I would like to say this: No matter where you are in your life, there is always hope. Through my travels I have seen such great inspiration and joy from those who seem the most hopeless. We all have the opportunity to give our life meaning, if not for anyone else other than ourselves. I read recently, that the idea of needing a ‘Life Purpose’ is a completely new concept in our world. This can be a stressful and liberating commodity as we are bombarded with messages and information about how we should live out our days. It can be a daunting task as we move further into our comfort zones and away from the hard choices that call themselves our dreams. Life can take us in a spaghetti bowl of lines. It is up to us to figure out which strands of life we connect with the most. To follow the lines that make ourselves and those around us feel the happiest. Life has no one set purpose, but is made up of a multitude of layers. The freedom of this reality is ours for taking. It is never too late. As terrifying as it may seem. Follow those dreams.
***To all of my sponsors with the Free the Children charity: We can expect picture updates from the new school in Guang Ming to be coming out next week. I have been patiently awaiting these, along with the rest of my sponsors. Very excited about this.***