I’ve always believed in heroism. By heroism I mean the idea that a small group of people can have a tremendous effect on the world, that we can do great things and that the world is better when we do them.
More than that, I believe in adventure. I believe that you can go on a real journey and discover, in the process, not only yourself but your calling in life, your highest beliefs, and how you fit meaningfully into the world.
And heroism often comes from an adventure like that.
Everyone has an art, a skill, a purpose in life. But most of us feel like we’re lost and wandering. The irony is that by actually wandering—by leaving behind the familiar and surrounding yourself with new people and places—you put your calling in life into much clearer focus.
All travelers feel this to some degree. It’s impossible to change your surroundings without also changing the way you think. Parts of you fall away as you’re forced to abandon your assumptions. The parts that remain become stronger. You gain a more definite sense of self, one that you’ve forged on your own, on a journey.
That’s why I started my own journey. For me, it’s a calling to South America. I’m going there slowly, bit by bit, on foot and on bike. For someone else it might be North America, or Europe, or Kamchatka. It might be by train or motorcycle. It’s not that I need South America or a bicycle to discover myself. It’s that the journey, wherever you start and wherever you go, is the great spiritual practice. To travel is to transform—it is meditation without the monastery.
Is this heroism? No. Not on its own. But it prepares you. You become more willing to be the first to act, to stand up and speak out for your principles. On a journey like this, you are on heroism’s trail. You find its spark, and that spark is generosity, and selflessness, and sacrifice. And most of all it’s the pursuit of your own excellence, of your own potential.
As the journey remakes you, you begin to do great things.
That’s why I accept companions on my adventure. I want other people to feel firsthand how even a small leg of a journey can so powerfully transform you. Not everyone is ready to go a thousand miles or more, but I believe that joining for just a short distance has a very real effect.
So I’m inviting you to join me.
This summer or fall, I pick up where I left off in Texas and head toward the border town of Laredo. That means I’ll have about 120 miles to go by bicycle. This is completely the US side of the border, and it will be delightful. It will be my final leg in the US.
This leg could be done in as little as two days or as long as four. We can set the pace to accommodate everyone who wants to come. You don’t have to be an experienced bicyclist, and the gear you’ll need is very basic.
If you want to spend a few days trying out the heroic life with me, this will be the last chance that doesn’t require travel outside the US. It’s a good way to experience the life of adventure, travel and self-challenge that I write about.
Are you interested in joining me for this leg? Leave a comment and let’s start dreaming. What do you want this trip to be like?
My book Lúnasa Days is available in paperback and on Kindle. Get your copy here.