A good friend of mine asked me to share what motivated me to quit my job and begin this journey.
It’s tough to begin with a simple answer to such a complex question, the answer is not so black and white, much as life and it’s complexities, in all its beauty and difficulties, is not either.
We’ll start with:
1. Riding my bike has always been such a peaceful endeavor. Much like people enjoy running, hitting the gym, or playing sports, you can only reach a certain level of satisfaction when you know you’ve pushed your body to just beyond its able limit. If you hold yourself back, those endorphins released aren’t quite as perfect as those released when you are really pushing yourself to that “sweet zone”: an effort you can sustain for hours and hours without it feeling too easy or too difficult. Furthermore, much better put than myself, in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the author describes the close proximity you are to the elements and the surroundings when traveling via cycle rather than behind the windshield of a car.
2. The outdoors (funny to call it that since really it should be called home -as that is our natural environment- and our comfortable homes should be called -the indoors-) provide you with a sense of release, of wonder and excitement, and a refreshed mental state from the hustle and bustle of city life, the idea of Forest Bathing comes to mind. The confines of the interior and the separation we have from our essential every day needs: food for fuel and water for drinking comes back to life when we force ourselves to be outside, to brave the elements and carry your essentials on your back.
3. Traveling is not so much about a destination or experience to seek, but rather a state of mind, when you commute to work, you may put yourself in the worlds of other artists- musicians or authors, or maybe you take a different route home every now and then- the long way, or you walk home. Travel can be done in both physical and mental form, but just as your exertion level in athletics determines your endorphin levels, there may come a point when your brain wants more, it seeks a more challenging route home.
4. About the whole quitting work thing- we’ll leave this for another entry.
How else would you share amazing experiences eating delicious donuts with new friends and hosts and finding the awesome 50 mile Virginia Capital Trail from Richmond to Williamsburg if you weren’t doing all of the above?!
P.S. Some people who put in words better than myself about what I try to describe.