All this week I’ve been thinking about riding around the world . Well, not literally all the way around the world, but in different parts of the world. I guess I should say it that way because even though I want to explore many places, there are places that I will not go.
It started last week while I was on break from work, and went to the website ADVrider.com. If you are an armchair adventurer, that is the place for you to go. If you are a rider and want to get inspired by others’ adventures, it is still the place for you to go so you can plan your own!
Last Saturday, I went to a presentation done by a man who has ridden motorcycles all over the world; he has even ridden a scooter in Vietnam. Listening to his stories about his adventures, and his advice, got me very excited to be out in the world having my own adventures.
After that, my riding partner, Hal, and I talked about how we could modify a Suzuki DRZ400 so it could be low enough for me to ride. This piqued my interest more than anything because it would solve a lot of problems, not to mention really open up the whole world to me.
I had also thought about getting a new BMW to replace my 2006 F650GS. The new version is the F700GS, but I think it is even bigger than what I have now, and less maneuverable on top of that. Plus, on a lowly teacher’s salary, it is financially out of reach. I also thought about why there are never any used bikes like mine for sale: most people who have them want to keep them.
So, a cheaper DRZ, lowered, might be a capable alternative. The idea of fulfilling my dreams of adventure is the most exciting one to me at the moment. It helps take away the drudgery of the workplace, and the fact that I am just existing within the confines of my life, and not living the life that I wanted. I feel like time is running out for me, and I have a lot left to do.
Sunday, while out on a day ride on the road motorcycles, we stopped at a gas station in Payson. There was a young man there, playing guitar, and people were putting money in his guitar case. Hal came back out to the bikes after he’d been in the convenience store and told me about the young musician.
“Who?” I asked.
“Oh just some kid, probably a hippie-gypsy, traveling and doing what we wish we were able to do.” Hal was smiling wistfully.
I have a soft spot for musicians, professional or not, so I went up to the convenience store, too. Anyway, I wanted to meet him and give him a little bit of money for his efforts. He was crouched down over the guitar case, picking up money that people had dropped into it. Everything from his dreadlocks down to his sandals, his 60s clothes, the little dog on a leash attached to the guitar case, made him seem a true adventurer. He looked up and said, “thank you, sister!” and smiled when I put the money in his case. “You’re welcome,” I answered softly, wanting to say more. I wanted to talk to him, to absorb some of his freedom. If he only knew how lucky he is, I thought.
When I reached the end of spring break this year, something changed inside me. I thought, I am more of a rider now than I am anything else. My dream is to sell everything and go on the road. Before, this was just a pleasant thing to think about, an island of sanity while having (one of many) frustrating days at work. But now it’s forming a real plan in my mind. It’s taking shape, it’s not just some formless wish that is far off in the distance.
Will I get tired of it? Maybe. But it’s worth trying.
What caused this? I wondered. Maybe it’s because of going 22 years past my inner timeline of moving on and causing change. 10 years is about my limit for most things. Maybe it is having to live in the same place for 20 years. I am not much of a long-termer with almost everything. I can’t do the repetitious, day after day thing that many people seem to be happy with. I can’t be content with that. I don’t want to feel like I am standing still.
It’s unfortunate that I am no longer young and free like the kid in the parking lot playing his guitar. But I am one of those people who believe, maybe erroneously, that there is still time. It can still happen.
So, we’ll see what this summer is like. For some reason, I think it might be a defining “moment.” It will either be an epiphany and I will achieve the freedom I ache for, or I will be resigned to five more long years of drudgery at work before I can retire.
As my riding partner said the other day, “I think we are all at the point of just being tired and not having the energy to believe in the same old horseshit that we were told to believe in when we first started working.” Nothing has worked out the way it should have, and we are sick of the reality. That’s the truth, and at this point, I am sure there are many others out there like us who are ready for a change for the better.
I hope it can happen before it’s too late.