READ: When I was a kid I had a button that read, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first!” It’s true sometimes that good things come to those who wait. However, do you know anyone who postponed his or her joy until “someday/maybe” turned into “never-ever?” What, in your life, is a burning desire that has been relegated to the back-burner but might just burn you up if you don’t attend to it?
I came to realize that for me, it’s that motorcycle trip from Alaska to Argentina that I mentioned a couple of months ago. I had this epiphany during a five-year vision and goals-setting session with my business coach, Cody. The Pan American trip was a goal for 2024, but it suddenly hit me that that was too distant. Life can happen quick. Today, I’m healthy, single, without kids and have a very portable career. In five years, that might not be the case.
This week I’ve begun reading Jedidiah Jenkins’ fabulous new book, To Shake the Sleeping Self. In his lucid, funny and insightful prose, he tells his own tale of adventure and self-discovery while bicycling from Oregon to Patagonia. He announced his intent to make that trip three years before he set out to help ensure that he would follow through. I’m doing the same thing right now.
I’m going to ride a motorcycle from Anchorage to Ushuaia before I’m 42. It’s not the safe choice. It’s not the smart choice. And yet, I know it’s the right choice for me. I figure it’ll take about a year and some change to prepare, so I’ve penciled in July 4, 2020 as my departure date (yep, that’s Independence Day in the Year of Perfect Vision!).
I anticipate that I’ll be on the road for about nine months but, for those of you who are my dear clients, fear not! I’ll structure the trip with a few weeks of travel followed by a few weeks of rest and recording in established ports of call along the route. Plus, just think of all the great stories I’ll have for you each Sunday while I’m out there! I do hope you’ll all join me on this epic journey (perhaps even literally…I’m open to traveling with another experienced rider or two).
And, to those of you who may have understandable doubts arising right now, Jedidiah so aptly responded in an essay he wrote shortly before setting out:
“You may think I am prolonging adolescence and avoiding responsibility. Well, I can simply say that I am not impressed by grownups or their society. But I will also say that I disagree with you. The choice to pursue a dream, at the destruction of my comfort, with the loss of safety and certainty, all for the purpose of doing something that inspires others to a fuller life of wonder and creativity and quality, to me that is a burden of responsibility worth carrying. To me, that is growing up.”
WATCH: As much as I adore my BMWs, they’re complicated machines and can be difficult and/or very expensive to service on the road. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman circumnavigated the globe on a pair of GS 1200s in The Long Way Round, but they had deep pockets and a support team. I don’t! Thus, I’ll be riding a much simpler and lighter-weight machine. Most likely, it’ll be the tried-and-true Kawasaki KLR 650 like this one William Gloege piloted on his Pan American ride.
LISTEN: I’ve gotta say, “Tomorrow on The Runway” by The Innocence Mission is a pretty perfect soundtrack for preparing to launch out on a grand tour! One of my favorite Nashville artists, Bea Troxel, recently turned me on to this group via her newsletter and I’ve so enjoyed digging through their back catalogue. Thanks, Bea!
“Oh I want to fly, fly forward into the light
Be alive, to come alive
On the leaf-bright Friday drive
Sudden horses at the red light
Turn around, see clearer ways to go now”
Make this week magnificent!