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  • Writer's pictureBenji Pollock

Are you crazy??

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

If you’ve spoken to me in depth within the past year, you’ve probably heard me ramble on about this trip, and you’ve likely questioned why in the world I would do such a wild thing. I’ve heard things like “isn't it too dangerous?” “isn't that too far?” “start your professional career or you’ll fall behind,” “how will you eat?” "where will you get water?" "what if you get a flat?" “don’t do it,” “you’re crazy.” When I hear of people doing out-there things, I’m often more comforted by them not being able to really put their motive into words. Crazy doesn’t have logical motives. Crazy lives in the realm of emotion, gut feelings, and deep seated urges. If you’re not being pushed by strong emotion, overcoming challenges on the way to your big goal will be significantly more difficult.

I truly can’t imagine myself doing anything else with the next year and a bit. For 2 years I’ve been planning this trip - not just because I wanted to do it, but because I felt like I needed to. Not because I had a list in my head of why I wanted to do it, but because I didn’t have a list of anything else I would rather do. With that being said, although I can’t truly explain a single overarching reason pushing me to do this trip more than “I need to,” below is an attempt at logically explaining why I think this is the best thing I can be doing with this chapter of my life (in no particular order).

1. I can’t think of another time I’ll have such an easy opportunity to do something like this. I’ve just graduated University, I’ve worked 60 hour weeks to save enough for this trip, I’m not tied to a job, I don’t have a significant other, I don’t have pets, I’m not tied to a lease, I don’t have car payments to make (though my bike set me back), and I’m still naive enough not to let logic or fear interfere with my dreams.

2. Both my older and younger siblings are on international adventures for the next few years. They say to take off Band-Aids with one swift pull. I guess this is the Band-Aid yank equivalent of making my parents empty-nesters.

3. I want to see the world. There is no better way to travel than by bike.

  • Transportation costs are the lowest per mile that I can think of. The only fuel you need to buy is food - and lots of it - but who doesn’t love eating while traveling??

  • You have a constant 360 degree view of your surroundings - no car frame blocking your view of that damn beautiful [insert your favorite nature view here].

  • You’re breathing in the air of your surroundings. You smell the crisp mountain air, the sweet smell of the forest around you, the salty oceans, the shit of pastures, the exhaust of the cars passing you (and hopefully not honking at you or flipping you off angrily - PLEASE drivers!! Cyclists have a right to the road too. Share it with compassion). You get to LIVE and BREATHE your surroundings. Constantly.

  • You’re traveling fast enough to actually get around, but you’re traveling slowly enough that you have to stop in the small, forgotten places that you’d otherwise skip over in a heartbeat in a car going 70 mph by the exit on the highway on the way to your next big city destination in your fancy, fast, powerful, climate controlled, greenhouse gas emitting, closed off car.

  • You meet people. There’s someone biking by you? Someone at the rest stop? Someone at the campsite? Someone stopped at a red light? Welp - sorry guys and gals, but there’s no car to hide inside of. I guess you gotta say hi!

4. I want to meet people. Through Couchsurfing and Warmshowers, stops for food, at campsites, riding, bars, etc.

5. I want to visit people. I’m planning my route to stop in places with family and friends so I can see them (and maybe crash on their couch and use their shower).

6. I want to learn another language. Spanish is consistently spoken for a 14 country streak on my route. It’s not like trying to bike across Europe or Asia or Africa where different languages are spoken in each country and there is less consistency, availability and opportunity for practicing single languages.

7. I LOVE the mountains - I’m following them almost all the way down. I also love the ocean, and when I’m not following mountains, I’ll be following the coast.

8. I want to challenge myself physically and emotionally. I’ve spent the past 18 years in school challenging myself mentally, and want to take some time to work on getting closer to the best version of myself physically and emotionally.

9. I want some time to myself - just me and my surroundings. Just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you’re lonely. If you can’t be by yourself for long, how will you live with yourself for the rest of your life? ***BUT I’d LOVE for people to join me on the trip. Hit me up if you’re interested in doing any section with me!

Hopefully this post answers some of your questions. Maybe it made me seem a bit more normal… probably not. Always feel free to reach out to me with questions, music recommendations, book recommendations, podcast recommendations, places to visit, things to do, places to stay - you can use the “contact me” section on the home page of the website to find out how to contact me through email, Facebook, or Instagram. Stay tuned for more posts about where I’m going, who I meet, what’s happening inside my head, how I’m growing, and more.

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