One year ago last night I leapt.
Yesterday, on the anniversary, I didn’t notice.
My mom asked me something one day. In that sort of wistful way, she asked: if you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
“Exactly what I am doing.”
The answer made no sense to anyone but me. It came out of my mouth without a thought; only later did I realize what that meant.
If I had tens of millions of dollars, I’d be going exactly where I’m going, doing exactly what I plan to do. I guess I’d just have nicer clothes.
Today I got new panniers. They are sweet panniers, mint.
Birthday gift from my father. We went to the bike shop together.
When I started the Adventure my panniers were not so great. Two tote bags, rigged with zip ties. The totes were cheap. Day 2 a zipper ripped out. Day 3 they started catching in the spokes. Things fail sometimes.
If my dad had offered to buy me panniers Day 1 I’d have jumped at them. But only because I like free things, and looking stylish.
I’m glad he didn’t. I only got panniers of any kind after weeks of challenge. Roadside repairs in the bleeding sun. Now the new ones (waterproof, bombproof) aren’t just style. I have an experiential appreciation of exactly what makes them good, and therefore I love them.
I can’t describe how exactly travel has gotten me to this state of mind, but it has.
This is no incremental change, but a revolution of spirit.
I am simply a different person today than 12 months ago, with wider skills, wider perspective, a better heart.
They tell me this is not the only way: and I believe them.
But it is much easier to cross the abyss of the heart when you have crossed an actual abyss.
Thank you for sharing my journey with me.