The Adventure

In 2012 I set out to travel from the United States to South America, using nothing but my own body power. Most of the trip has been on bicycle. So far, I have completed three legs.

  • Across the United States: I started at the source of the Mississippi River in Minnesota and crossed nearly the entire country, north to south, following the Mississippi River, entirely on bicycle (except for paddling across the river). In this leg I learned to trust the people I meet, and that there are good people everywhere you go.
  • To the Mexico Border: I bicycled from New Orleans to Texas, kayaked approximately 150 miles in the Gulf of Mexico, and cycled inland to the border crossing. I learned that it’s hard to be away from those you love—even if you’re a wanderer at heart. And I found that I was capable of learning new skills quickly, like kayaking, and pushing myself through my hardest times.
  • Across Mexico: From the dangerous US/Mexico border to the beautiful beaches of Yucatán, I crossed the entire nation of Mexico in 100 of the most amazing days of my life. In this leg I learned to accept myself, to stand out and accept being different, no matter where I go.

So far I have traveled over 4,700 miles without using a motor, engine, or sail to help me. Often, I take long breaks in between legs and use more traditional means to travel until I start the next segment.

Currently, I’ve paused my journey to spend time writing. I hope to continue in the future.

Why go on an Adventure?

I set out on this Adventure for three reasons:

  1. To find my purpose in life.
  2. To learn something about heroism, by going on a journey like the ancient heroes once did.
  3. To understand the sacred and, if it be possible, to meet the gods along the way.

The journey has helped with all three goals. Most prominently, I now have a profound sense of my own purpose in life, and I know that I want to spend my life writing. My current quest is to understand what makes great literature great, and to push myself to make writing of my own that can stir the soul.

For this reason, I’ve paused my journey for the time being. I plan to continue one day, even if I’m an old man when I do. And I suspect it will be sooner than that. There’s something sacred about traveling slowly, with the wind in your face, and seeing the land as you go. I never wish to give that up.

For now, however, I’m focusing my results on my writing. You can see the results here.

Otherwise, here are a few highlights from the Adventure:

45 thoughts on “The Adventure

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    • Hi Sandra, thank you so much for posting and sorry for the slow reply :) It looks like Rutlege is only about a 1 day walk out of my way so I might just do that! Looks very interesting on the web site.

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  13. Reading this made me think of two people I know who you would enjoy knowing. Dr. Ed Chasteen of Hate Busters in Liberty, MO. He once biked across the US and relied totally on the hospitality of others, much like Peace Pilgrim did. I’m sure you know her story? And then my good friend Daniel Hickey. He grew up in Recife which appears to be your “final” destination on this route to Brazil. He has finally returned to Brasil to live, and has met and married the girl of his dreams. You can find both of them via fb in my friends list. This all sounds so exciting.

  14. Dave Scallon says:

    Hey, How is it going, been a couple of Months. I will offer up my prayers for you.

    Take care, May Lugh guide and protect you.

    Regards,
    Dave

    • Thank you Dave! I just completed my pre-trip to start learning Spanish. So far I’ve managed to make things work – thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot, each and every time.

  15. Blessed be! I am impressed and intimidated :) I’m at one of those points at life when it is time to create something new, always an intense endeavor. I’m looking forward to reading along with you on your journey. Best wishes, Meg

  16. Beatriz says:

    Hello Drew. Find your blog by Humanistic Paganism. You deserve lots of aplause and incentive, because what you are doing requires a _lot_ of courage. I don’t have much money to support you but I want you to know that, in case you need translations to portuguese, you can find me here =beatrizalbano@ymail.com. As a brazilian who never ever met the forest the whole world talk about it, maybe I’m not so much of a help, but the language I know, and little bits of our culture too, so e-mail if you need.
    Again, congratulations on your brave, mythical journey. One day I hope to be able to follow this footsteps.

    • Beatriz, thank you! This is a wonderful offer. I’ll eventually need to learn Portuguese.

      It sounds like you have thoughts of an adventure of your own… want to share? All adventures are welcome here, whether they’re like mine or not.

      • Beatriz says:

        Well, Drew, I want to have an adventure very much like yours, maybe including more europe and less america :D Right now I’m working on a plan to make a living on a computer. Once this is setled I’ll start planing the trip. I want to visit old temples of roman and celtic origin all over the old world, and yes, maybe find the gods there too.

        • That is amazing and very inspiring. I’m only partway up the mountain of internet freelance self-employment myself, but I’d like to help you get started in any way I can.

  17. Genevieve says:

    You sound like you are used to lots of layman style praise. You truly need to tone down your ego. You are not a Hollywood action hero, nor even a Bollywood or Nollywood one for that matter. Slumming through the U.S. in an idealized “trust fund style” manner, & mooching off day-shifters is one thing—doing so through Central America is an entirely different phenomenon—particularly with the Honduran / Nicaraguan seacoast route you’ve decided upon. You need much more than a smile in those parts…. Something tells me you’ll be e-mailing Mom & Dad for money too. While I don’t want to hear about your gringo ass getting maimed & killed, it would be good for you to get a little “black & blue” to knock you out of this little delusion you are immersed in, Mr. Professor Doctor, “Rogue Priest”. Good Luck, at least you’re trying, which is more than most people can say.

  18. Ed Royster says:

    Just found the site will be following I believe there is within us the desire to know. but the tools that we use prevent us from learning traditional methods of learning about self life and God do not provide real insight into the human experience One size does not fit all will foll

  19. Kellen Slaski says:

    Hi Drew, I’m from South Brazilmy hometown is Porto Alegre,I saw that I plan to stop in Recife but if you would like to extend your trip tithe south, you are more welcome to stay at my house. You inspired me to go out there and meet the world, after I finish college I might do something that would help me to understand myself better and help others! I am open for ideas! What’s your location as 8/24/12?? Be safe!

    • Bom dia Kellen! I’m glad you found me here. As of 8/24 I am on a family farm outside Melrose, Wisconsin, USA.

      When I get to Brazil I have no idea what exactly I’ll do but I’ll almost certainly explore around the country and meet people. I’d be honored to visit you!! When do you finish college? There are many ways to go out and challenge yourself and, of course, you are welcome to come join me on the Adventure if you like.

    • Tony I enjoyed meeting you too! Thank you so much for your help. Bicycling is an art form that I’m slowly learning. Every time I think I know what I’m doing I find out how much more there is to learn. What a beautiful way to travel.

  20. yash says:

    hey drew….
    my name is yash sharma…from india.
    i want great adventure jobs like travel into all country… nd get knowledge of nature after give all country people… im passionate for this job….
    I like adventure job…
    so pls give me sime advise

    • Hi Yash. Are you related to Sushi Sharma in MN, by any chance?

      I’m happy to provide ideas and advice, but I’d need to know more details. What kind of work do you want to do internationally?

  21. Dalton Ramirez says:

    I don’t know who you are, but I can’t help but absorb knowledge. I have big dreams. One of them, changing the world…for the greater good. I’m 18. And I’m gonna sleep outside tonight, somewhere on the street. My fears keep creeping into my mind, but I’m on a mission to set it free! So I have no choice. Seeing as you may have no choice either but To see your journey through, so I must see mine. Good luck amigo. Much love

  22. ray says:

    i signed up for this, but had to cancel for various reasons… please give
    us an update as to how things are going… i know things are hectic, but we
    are waiting… ray harder

    • Hey Ray!

      Thanks for checking in. I saw your Ask Me Anything as well and was just about to reply.

      We made it safely through the border zone. At this point I am in Cedral, SLP having completed the first two legs of the ride. The 3rd leg starts Sunday!

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