The days have flown by during this greatest adventure of my life so far. There have been lessons learned and trials still to come but I wanted to take a moment and briefly reflect on some of the experiences. Many of these things will be elaborated on later but I hope the little taste can show a hint of what has most touched my life.
First off, I want to answer the common question “how are you?”. In sort, I couldn’t be happier. My finances are running low (as always), my body is sore (as always), and I see so much beauty in the world that I can’t stop smiling (as always). The miles and sun and wind and rain have certainly worn away my body and equipment but that was never my biggest concern. I no longer doubt my ability to finish this journey. I never really felt that I didn’t have the physical ability, but I was unsure if I had the mental and spiritual stamina to do it. I’m not saying I was/am in great shape but when you get to choose whether a race is a sprint, a marathon, or a walk it is hard not to have the physical strength to go on. My concerns were always my internal fortitude to strike out solo without giving up. I may have seem confident before leaving but doubt crept in from time to time. As I get so close to the goal my confidence grows and I’ve found myself transitioning back to the “real world”. I am looking forward to catching up with things like Laci Green, Halcyon, and Dan Savage but my real focus is taking what I’ve seen and putting it into practice when I get home.
The most important takeaway for me is that people are good. From Maryland to Arizona the vast majority of the people I encountered were generous and loving to their family, friends, and strangers (namely, me). This is the opposite of what the media shows on tv or what I heard during most my time in DC. Lots of people have a feeling that the way things are politically are on track to a revolutionary change but a danger to the state is not the same as a danger to society. Communities look after those in need, people are good, and things are going to be okay.
I also found great importance in taking moments to just enjoy the sites and sounds of the world. All stress and worry is mental and can be controlled. For me that means taking a breath and looking around for the beauty that is everywhere. It was hard at first but now comes rather naturally but like any skill it must be practiced or it will atrophy. Daily I stop my ride when I see something I want to photograph, an interesting site, or maybe just some cool shade that looks inviting. These moments provide a necessary mental reboot from the stress of life and allow me to be inspired. Inspiration truly is everywhere if I just open my mind up to the possibilities it is difficult to contain the joy around me.
It has been an incredible journey so far and I feel incredibly blessed to have had so much support from my friends (old and new). I look forward to each day ahead and can’t wait to see what will happen. Thank you everyone who has shared this with me so far and it really honors me that so many people have read my daily blog and it thrills me when I hear that my words have touched you in some positive way.
Peace and love,