I'm writing this, sitting in a clinic waiting for my last round of vaccinations, before I get on the bike tomorrow, to ride south to the tip of Argentina and back, or as close to it as I can get. No minutely organized and scheduled plans with places to stay and organized logistics; just a very good reason to go, a need to sort myself out again and a rapidly developing addiction to my helmet. So far only the yellow fever inoculation yesterday has made me really regret letting a doctor anywhere near me with those needles of infectious liquid.
It's still surreal to me that the idea for this specific trip appeared under two months ago thanks to a pair of riders at the Horizons Unlimited West meet.
I was originally leaving earlier, but I didn't want to ruin my parent’s vacation by telling them before they left in September. Now that they are back and I've told them they have been amazingly supportive, a result I'm thankful for at the same time as I'm surprised by it. I expected a much different result, and I do feel bad about the worrying I'm sure they'll do. So, a lot of things have had to come together at just the right time to get me to this point - good and bad I'm thankful for all of them now.
All my life I've expected to travel, and so far I've always managed to keep from facing up to the idea with a limitless supply of reasons, always just putting it off a little longer. I've spent many years back-packing, but always short trips. When I graduated from high school, I never suspected that I might still be here almost 5 years later, never having left British Columbia and still feeling out of place. I stepped into the “real world” early, by starting to work at 14 as a wood-turner. Once I graduated, it seemed natural to stay there, working far more than full time, always telling myself it was just a means to getting on the road, with the feeling I didn't quite belong wherever I was. Whether I never fit in anywhere because my leaving was just around the corner, or whether the need to go came from the poor fit, I don't think I'll ever know. This resulted in many failed projects, from sinking my money into building up a Jeep to travel in, to preparing for backpacking in Europe while never quite getting out the door. When I first moved to the big city to work, my mother gave me a copy of Jupiter's travels; Ted Simon's amazing journey on a motorbike around the world. This lead my dad to joke that this trip was her fault. That book led me into reading more and more online blogs and trip reports, but I probably would have ended up on the road this way eventually one way or another. After the work excuse wore a bit thin, as I still didn't have any money to show for it, and wasn't any closer to traveling I started going back to school, with everyone telling me once I finished that then I could really close the door and go. Happy with another excuse to avoid actually having to do anything I once again buried the travel idea under a long list of things to do first, still never ready to stay put. Throughout all of this time I read many travelogues, but the only ones that ever really got to me were those on the sea or on a motorbike. Not that I didn't enjoy the amazing ingenuity people show in finding bizarre ways to travel, but the draw just wasn't there for me like with the stories of bikes and boats. I can't afford a sailboat, and motorbikes don't sink so the choice in the end was pretty easy.
JGBrown screwed with this post 02-17-2011 at 11:36 AM