Here I am, days out from the biggest adventure I have ever set out on and yet I feel relatively calm, my thoughts are hectic at moments but in general I find myself sitting here pondering on the roads set out in front of me. The national parks I will explore and the corners on the winding roads I will lean deep into on my dream motorbike. Often I find myself wondering how this all happened at all. What little decisions I made that set off a chain of events that led my to be in this position at all, and that makes me smile down inside. It brightens my day and it makes the inner child content.
I guess when I reflect on life, knowing that this trip is dangerous and that life is forever changing and dynamic, I look at those around me and I'm intrigued to know whether everyone else feels the same about their personal decisions and how each minor choice they make is a direct reflection of where they now stand. I dont think that people take enough responsibility for those things, they underestimate the power of choice. I guess I have been able to witness in my travels what the opposite effect is. Being able to explore some of the 'poorer' countries and live side by side (often literally) has taught me how the choices we experience are so different to a majority of the world. Theres close to 7 billion humans on this earth right (dont quote me on that) and I would think that only at best estimate 1 billion live close to first world conditions. Therefore, there are 6 billion out there who live entirely different lives to us, they have different social systems, they have rules and laws and customs entirely alien to us. So its no wonder to me that their decisions are not aligned with our own and for that reason we cannot understand it.
I think about these things when I'm alone in my helmet, riding the back country and lighting the fire in the evening I cook my dinner and watch the flames dancing on the rocks and I ponder. I dont believe there is many people out there that I know of who spend so much time alone, and I actually do believe that it has taught me a sense of self realisation and understanding that often we don't want to know. I look around at the relationships, both romantic and plutonic that I have forged the last few years traveling and exploring the world and I see something in common in all these countries. People create distractions for themselves. It is human nature to make up these things to keep them preoccupied and to make them interested or interesting to other people around them. I think if we were to spend more time by ourselves - I dont mean a week long vacay to Mexico at a catered resort. I mean actually alone, without social interaction. Even if only for a couple of days, to wander into the wild, to go somewhere new and challenge yourself. These are the moments I have grasped and the things that I have become addicted to and fabricated my new life around. There isnt anything I wouldnt try (within reason). I dont live in fear of the unknown, I embrace it and I challenge others to do the same. Lately I've heard the word inspirational many times directed at my efforts, and the reality is that I actually forget what I'm doing isnt normal. I dont even sit and think about it, I just want to keep pushing myself and creating new opportunities doing the things I love. Fortunately I am lucky to have done it long enough to get noticed. But it never motivated me, it never made my decision to continue riding.
I think that people should challenge themselves, I think that people reading this want that and for those who are out there really pushing themselves and taking risks I can respect that. Life isn't going to come and take you for a ride, you have to grab it by the balls, tell it what you want and take it for yourself. It will take sacrifices, it will be tough, and you will lose 'friends'. But this is all part of the experience of life. I implore people to go out and do something you really love the people who are actually important to your life will still be there, supporting those decisions when you fall and enjoying your successes for the right reasons.
I have a few days left before I conquer something I set in my mind over a year ago, alot has changed and its been a huge challenge. I failed at some things along the way, but as a person I have grown. I will be thinking of my dad this week, I will be thinking of my mum and the rest of my family back home. I cant hide away from the fact that this will be a dangerous ride at times but if the alternative is not risking it to live safely, then it is no decision at all.