Sorry if I missed this ... ?John, are you riding around the USA? Buying another bike? ... or
? If you need help finding a bike let me know. I'm in the SF Bay Area. Lots of good deals come and go here.
You've expressed great thoughts and inspiration for us all ... and ALL have responded with great ideas on travel, life.
I broke away from the Rat Race in my early 20's after dropping out of UCLA Film School. Just wasn't for me ... at that time. Hit the road, mostly off the bike, but sometimes ON the bike. I did pretty much what John is doing now. Work in USA, save money, go travel.
Started a businesses, volunteered along my 16 country, 7 year run. (1973 to 1979) 2 of those years were spent in the Antarctic. I did a few back a forths, but spent most of those 7 years in Latin America or Antarctica.
Traveling, I grew bored hanging out at the usual Gringo-tenango party's along the Gringo Trial, so did a few different things to keep up interest.
In Guatemala, (lived for about 2 years) I sponsored businesses and provided seed money to indigenous kids selling Soda and candy on the street. Also imported tons of arteseneo goods. You have to start somewhere!
My landlord was a Senator. The Senator was one of only two indigenous people in the Guatemalan Congresso ... in a country that is 85% Indigenous! He was killed during the 80's by para military death squads under Pres. Rios Mont.
In El Salvador I volunteered teaching English. Local teacher had terrible English pronunciation ... so worked mostly on that. I saw the coming US sponsored war ... but could not say a word. Sure enough, their dirty war started and thousands were murdered ... all with US sponsorship.
Skipping ahead years, made contacts in Argentina, snagged a job at USARP working in Antarctica. That job led to 3 more back and forth trips to S. America and earning some serious money. (for me) 19 months in Antarctic.
Keeping busy and having work really helps make travel more rewarding. Riding a bike all day, everyday ... and doing nothing but taking pics ... believe it or not, gets boring.
John has illustrated "The Way" perfectly ... using his many skills to help out and earn a few bucks along the way. Balancing his time between work and bumming around ... and in doing so, so artfully, has become the very best ambassador in the world for our country. In the case of the USA, ... we really need help in that regard.