In 2011 I took a trip that definitively changed my life — I rode a bicycle with 3 other friends from London to Greece (through Turkey).
Before that I had considered myself a traveler but I really didn’t know what traveling was. I brought a tent, and I heard we were going to be “free camping”, but I had no idea what that meant. On the first night my friend Nick, who was leading the trip, pulled us over to the side of the road and said “alright, we’re camping here”.
Here?!? I thought. He can’t be serious.
After a few minutes of trying to negotiate for a “nicer” spot to camp, I started to un-pack my tent.
“No tents, we don’t want anyone to see us.” Nick said.
I’m pretty sure up to that point I had never camped without a tent, and I was starting to realize that I was in for an experience.
Over the course of the next few months we slept under bridges, on park benches, in used car lots, pretty much anywhere we could find that someone wouldn’t kick us out. I went from city slicker to rugged traveler.
I grew a beard, stopped wearing underwear and stopped wearing deodorant. That trip taught me the value of living simply, and how maximizing comfort isn’t always the way to live the most exciting life.
So it’s time to hit the road again.
I recently arrived in Seattle, after taking the train 40 hours from San Diego. I love trains, and it was easier than flying because I didn’t need to break down my bike. Tomorrow I’ll take another train to Vancouver, where I’ll start my 2000 mile trip back to San Diego.
I’ll be free camping, I’ll be sleeping in awkward places and of course — continuing to grow out the beard.
I’ll also be taking a two month sabbatical from Boodaism and a two month break from all social media. I’m used to always synthesizing my life and creating content, so it will be nice to take some time off.
I’d like to leave you with a quote, which appeared on my Vuori shorts (the clothing brand I love).
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out til sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
~ John Muir
See you in October.