So this is it.
Nearly a year ago I changed my life forever. I quit a happy job for the sake of a difficult dream. I left behind a promising and realistic future to seek something strange and rare. Something which may not exist.
Yesterday I packed. For the first time in all my travels I made ready days early, and I can enjoy my final day before departure. (Thank you Kira Hagen for the advice.)
Today, I help my dad with farm chores and then go to the pub with my mom. We’ll have rum and coke and she’ll try not to cry. I love you, Mom.
Tomorrow that same dauntless mother and I road trip for a final few hours together. I go from Wisconsin to Saint Paul, MN. Mom returns to Wisconsin without me.
The next day is July 4. A holiday here: Independence Day. The day a Great Adventure begins. Early that morning I load into a car with the beautiful Beth Varro and, likely, my last latte for some time. Away we go.
Beth will drive us to Duluth, MN where my inventor friend Ben will gift me a bicycle. Since he’s an inventor I fully expect it’ll be tricked out with gadgets. A boxing glove on a spring will surely be among them.
And finally, Ben will drop me and my bicycle off at Lake Itasca, MN—the source of the Mississippi River. There begins an 8,000 mile trek by foot, bike and paddle, with an uncertain goal of either meeting the gods or reaching Rio de Janeiro or, ideally, both.
What I don’t know is everything else.
It will be a few days before I can check back in. The next time I look at Rogue Priest it will be somewhere along my travels. Maybe it will be all sunshine and rejoicing from now till then. But then again, maybe I’ll be amidst my first crisis or spending rainy nights huddled in a cold cocoon.
So let me beg a request.
Start the adventure with me. Take a moment to hit reply—even if you don’t normally comment. Please, share with me a few words. Maybe why you read this blog. Maybe what you hope I’ll find on my way. Or maybe a glimmer of your own hopes and big ideas, whether they’re traveling across continents or writing your first novel.
Spare a few words. I don’t know when I’ll see them or what condition I’ll be in, but I’m comforted to have you with me in spirit and I know it will give me the resolve to carry on.
Thank you, and welcome to the Great Adventure.