On November 24, 2012

I’ve had many questions involving my trip. Some of the questions I know the answers to, but most of them I don’t. The top three that I can’t seem to have a conversation without are below. Warning: preachy and no proofreading. Take with a grain of salt.

“Are you crazy?” I never thought I was. Most of the time people ask me if they are crazy, so this is a bit of a role reversal for me. My response to them is my response to others asking me that same question: “Everybody is crazy in their own way.” Humans are difficult to understand and no two people think exactly alike. Many times we come to the same conclusions through varying means. I guess most people don’t see my conclusion/goal/point. Which brings me to the next question,

“Why?” Sometimes when I don’t feel like answering I just respond, “why not?” Sometimes I answer with rhetorical logistical rationalizations which people readily take as reasons. Such as, “when will I have this much time off again?” It makes sense. There really won’t be another time quite like what I have now. I’m graduated, haven’t worked a full time job yet, and am young. I’m also naïve, reckless (to a point, my planning and safety limits this), free, and have virtually no major responsibilities. But that doesn’t answer why I’m doing this and not backpacking through Europe or doing something a little more “normal.” The truth is I can’t answer this question fully or accurately because I’m unsure of the answer. I do know that I want an adventure. I also want to find something. Not necessarily “find myself” like a spiritual pilgrimage, but I want to find perspective and a new way of thinking. It’s hard to describe, but that’s the best I can do.

“Why on a bike?” Again, I usually respond with “it’s cheap!” or “I’ll see so much more!” The latter I’m definitely looking forward to, but isn’t quite why. I’m going by bike because I haven’t done it before and I don’t know if I can do it. I want to get into a rhythm of traveling. This means I’ll need to slow down the trip and change the focus from destinations to the time between. I want my trip to be an extension of my life – I don’t want to feel like it’s a vacation. I want to bike, camp, cook, and be outside most of the time. I don’t want to sightsee, take tours, bus from one city to another, or sleep in a bed every night. I’ll go back to take vacations to the places I’d like to spend more time in (or I might make time during this trip for the really special places). I want to see the landscape slowly change from my hard work. This trip will be different and traveling via bike enables that.

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