As far as I can remember back, I was always a bit of a wanderer. When I was 13 years old, my friend and I would take our mountain bikes for joy rides outside of my neighborhood. Sometimes we would be far from the home zone, that it could have have worried my mom, if she knew. After I turned 18 and had graduated hight school, I moved out of my folks house to live in Southern California. There, I made a lot of money, spent a lot of money, and I never learned how to surf. I followed some of the friends I made in So Cal to San Francisco. In the city, I made more friends, many, whom were from around the world. I made promises to them, that I would know their home country, one day.
I constantly dreamed of adventure in foreign lands and faces. I imagined wandering desert villages in Central Asia east, being surrounded by blue oceans on a boat in the Pacific, and gazing over frozen Arctic landscapes. I continued to keep chasing mysterious dreams some unknown places, that I may never know.
As much as I loved SF I wanted to get out of the city and see the rest of the world. Instead I was a worn out cog in the machine. Working to pay the rent, working to.. until I was laid off (the owner ran off with the company money) So with out a job and I had gloomy prospects of America heading for disaster (after Yes we can died out). I wasn’t ready to take out loans for an undeclared purpose in life. I needed a break, and purpose. My friend Marshall needed a break too, So we set off for a tour across America, to Detroit Michigan to “Save the City”. Yea, we were nuts and had a great time.
For the first time, I experienced life in a way that I never had until I embarked on that trip. I was free and I felt alive. The cycling made me feel better in my body. I felt better in my mind too. I built confidence, because people were interested in us, and what we were doing, sometimes cheering us on and others criticized. Yes, this was my life, an adventure across the states to go save a economically devastated city. I was living a story. And living an adventurous story, made life worth living.
After 9 states and 2500 miles later, we arrive to Detroit. In Detroit I had no job, (it’s a city for that). Instead, I had time. I volunteered at a children’s summer art center, and pulled weeds in the community gardens. I participated in almost every community event in Detroit, as being an urban altruist gains acceptances in the D-town community. I was discovering, that Detroit was not such a bad place after all. I keep seeking conciseness perfection. I became more radical in my beliefs as a vegan, permaculture, mediation, blah blah blah.. Basically, I was lost in my own smugness of worldly do-gooder. Why was I doing all this? how did it get to be this bad… that I believed I was saving the world, by digging in Trader Joes garbage dumps to snag the well preserved waste on Christmas Eve, as a benefit to myself and to share with my poor friends on Christmas Day?
Ok, It was not bad… just weird based on societal standards.
I still had my dreams of living overseas. I got a job in Detroit (shocked?). So for months I saved saved saved and made more trips to the dumpster.. so that I had enough to travel and by the summer of 2011, I announced that I would go on another bike tour, across the Americas, southbound to Usuhaia.
I told my folks that I would cycle toward Argentina, and that meant cycling across Mexico, despite all the media attention. “Well, thats just short of crazy.” said my father and after a few accusations of I was going to die.. After the life flashed before my eyes before my death sentence, I began to wonder… where was I going with all of this?…
I rationalized by going purely by cycling, I wouldn’t be cheating (A true purist!) and proved where the good folks where in barbaric, dangerous Mexico. I was irritated over the racism and ignorance that arose in intense debates and I was going to challenge those assumptions. What came down to it, was that many were fearful about what they did not know and were telling me how I should make my decision. After looking back at my tour across America, and making my wonderful friends in Detroit, and knowing that I am a crazy daring freespirit, I knew that I was ready to go.
I began my tour in November 2011 from Tempe Arizona. My dream, still is, to complete this daring and crazy goal to explore the other-Americas, with a bike, because like dumpster diving, it’s a free, it’s adventure, and there are hidden surprises yet to discover.