One aspect of our upcoming trip that gets me curiously excited is that we will be disconnected from modern society as we know it. There will be no smart phones, checking emails an unnecessary number of times a day, streaming movies, blog reading or whatever stimulation I’ve grown accustom to having at our finger tips. Call me a luddite at heart, but I often have endless daydreams of living in the old-fashioned-disconnected-world. Fortunately, our journey provides me an opportunity to turn my imagination into a reality. I long for a world where I am purely present with the sights, sounds, and feelings that are accompanying me. Where I am so dialed-in to my body that I know exactly what it is telling me AND I know how to respond. I want to live where I am connected with nature and my environment to the point that I savor every-single-second rather than moving so fast that I don’t recognize the changing of the seasons. It’s hard to picture my disconnected fantasy becoming reality without physically separating myself from the modern world. The year+ bike tour without news, smart phones, or really any piece of information technology will certainly drain my information-reading-stamina. Alas, how else could I leave the 24×7 advertisements, commercials, or social media behind without experience something as rich and rewarding as our tour?
Being on the road of a bike for months at a time in a nomadic lifestyle isn’t just going to affect my ability to be connected to information, its also going to affect the creature comforts I’ve grown to know as standard. Will there be moments of shock and fear knowing that I can’t simply use Google Maps to look up directions or the closest grocery store? What about knowing I can’t just take a nap on the couch if I’m under the weather? More importantly, given that we are riding bikes with limited storage space, what will happen to our modern-day desires for material possessions? Want a new pair of shoes? A new shirt? Forget it.
Finally, this post is not about what-ifs speculation on how a nomadic lifestyle is going to affect me, but rather being prepared for change and letting go. Letting go of the life I know, the life I’ve spent 30+ years building. This journey is really about hitting the reset button on my patterns, on my daily routine, and on what I choose value. It’s an opportunity to detach from an omnipresent consumption-based lifestyle and steer myself to a world of simplicity, adventure, and appreciation. Hello world, goodbye corporate ladder.
As part of my emotional preparation for the upcoming Scandinavia to Middle East Tour of Awesomeness, I have created a list of things I will be letting go (in absolutely no particular order).
LET GO LIST
* The Portland Timbers, specifically, the Timbers Army where I’ve clapped, cheered, and screamed for the last 7 years.
* An über comfortable bed, with 3 pillows, a white noise machine, and natural day light to wake me.
* Bike commuting without 100lbs + of weight.
* Regular self care: running (BuffMuffins4Life!!), the gym, acupuncture, yoga, rock climbing, and skiing.
* Playing soccer
* Access to a fridge filled with yummy goodness.
* Oregon beer
* Friends and Family
* Watching TV, movies, or sports
* Informative content: news, blogs, social media
* Easy-to-find vegetarian food
* Our not-making-the-journey pets: Maxwell, Ollie (cat), Nima (cat), Rupert (chicken), Big Rig (chicken), Mordecai (asshole chicken)
* Regular access to a washer, dryer, shower, sink, towel, stove, etc.
* Yard and house maintenance
* Our garden
* Green Dragon (our trusty 1992 Subaru Legacy)
* Daily smoothies
* FoxNews – sike-ums!