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, mostly 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:
- To find my purpose in life.
- To learn something about heroism, by going on a journey like the ancient heroes once did.
- 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 it means to make great literature, and to push myself to make writing that can stir the soul.
For this reason, I’ve paused my journey to write. 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 want to give that up.
For now, though, I’m focusing on my writing. You can see the results here.
Otherwise, here are a few highlights from the Adventure: