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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Meeting the Adventurers

As I start talking to more and more people about my impending adventures, I’ve begun meeting and noticing adventurers.  Some are old acquaintances or friends whose lives have taken them in more rugged directions.  Some are folks I meet along the way in my preparations who are eager to share thoughts, ideas and feelings about their own adventures.  I am eager to learn so that I may prepare – brace? – for my uncertain future.  There are lots of tidbits of logistical information we share – where to go (go east, young man), how to travel (hitchhiking), where to stay (hostels, couchsurfing).

I met a woman on Saturday who had ventured to many places.  She had gone by bicycle shipped on airplane.  She had found herself and changed through the course of her travels.  The conversation started from the wheres, whats, whens and hows – where are you going, what will you be doing, when will you leave, how will you do this – and we eventually ended up at the whys.  Why are you doing this?

“I don’t know” was my answer.

From there, I let my words lead ahead of my thoughts.  Sentences strung themselves together, weaving meaning as they left my mouth.   I realized that one of the whys of the trip will be to discover (rediscover?) what it means to have a why – purpose, meaning or satisfaction beyond grinding through life’s distractions and earning the means by which to purchase and effect more distractions.

Our conversation was brief.  I was on my way out – I spoke to her with my winter gear on.  I rode off into the snowy Minnesotan night.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in people, reflections

 

Countdown

By this time in two months, I should be retrieving my bicycle from the train from Minneapolis to Chicago and hanging out with Chris while we wait for Elizabeth to join us for dinner, before we board the 8pm City of New Orleans train.  Glorious.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in planning, reflections

 

I’m leaving it all behind

Admirable, brave, envious – these are the adjectives people use when I tell them about my plans.

I’m quitting my job and traveling around the world.

When are you leaving?

April 17.

The hard date sinks in.  It’s real, solid, hard.  The uncertainty opens up and swallows me after that.

Are you taking a leave of absence?  Sabbatical?

No.

Do you have a job lined up aftewards?

It will be a long, open-ended trip, so, no.

Why are you doing it?

Where are you going?

I have a brother/sister/cousin/friend/son/mother who traveled across Europe/Asia/America.

Oh really.

Am I admirable for doing this?  Or foolish?  Stupid?  Cowardly?

Am I running toward something, or running away?

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in planning, reflections

 

Here we go

February 11, 2011

VIA REGISTERED MAIL

Property Manager
Address

Dear Manager:

This letter serves as notice that [ ] and I will be vacating [property], as of April 15. We will send you our forwarding address as it gets closer to that date.

As you know, we have not executed a lease extension, so we believe we only need to give you one month’s notice to vacate. However, as a courtesy, we are giving you two months’ notice.

It’s been a pleasure living at the [property]. Best wishes for the future.

Sincerely,

Me

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in planning

 

Where am I headed?

Maybe it’s because my desk job lifestyle had become so mundane, but I still yearned for a poetically grand route as the first leg of my long journey.
In searching for such a route, and as the winter approached, I read a post on mplsbikelove by someone who wanted to do one, some or all of four tour ideas: 1) New Orleans to Minneapolis, 2) Germany to France, 3) RAGBRAI, including the ride to Sioux City and riding back from Dubuque, 4) Minneapolis to New York City.

I met up with the poster, Chris, and we talked at some length about planning the trip. We settled on the New Orleans to Minneapolis ride – to me, it had the poetic appeal of riding the Mississippi River from its southernmost city to its northernmost city, following spring in its wake.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in bicycle, nola

 

A Reasonable Redux

A year and a half ago, Ben and I started A Reasonable Pace on tumblr to track our progress toward starting a Pacific coast bicycle tour extending the full north-south length of the U.S., from the Canadian border down to the Mexican border. We never realized our plan, and, instead, continued on with our lives.

I purchased gear, including a 2008 Raleigh Sojourn touring bicycle, as well as Axiom panniers and various camping equipment. I went on weekend tours around the Twin Cities area with friends and I participated in some bigger rides like the MS150 from Proctor down to the Twin Cities and the Minnesota Ironman ride. Ben and I abandoned our tumblr blog over time, as our priorities shifted. We talk regularly and see each other from time to time, but we won’t be touring together.

I’m ready to try again.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in blog stuff