With a little less than three months to go before I set out on a 3400 mile bicycle ride across Canada it is high time I get to telling my story of WHY this trip is important to me and what I hope it will inspire.
Bill Gates asked the question, “Can social media help end Malaria?”. This adventure is an experiment in such an endeavor.
My goal is to document a two month journey across the Trans-Canada Highway from East Coast to West that will start promptly on June 1st in Rockland, Maine.
Friends and family have asked all sorts of questions, but the most common one is, “Why?” and “What made you think of THAT?”. I mean really, couldn’t you just join a not-for-profit, donate time to raising awareness or take up a weekend job to make some extra cash and make a donation? Yes, I could. But this is about doing something amazing. This is about leaving my comfort zone and expanding my vision of the world that I know.
As of right now, I don’t have a profluent plan of action on how I’m going to tell the story of how and why I got started on this adventure. So, I’m going to ask for some patience on behalf of you, the reader. I’m not a writer… yet, but I’m going to take the advice of Brian Clark from Copyblogger, use his words of wisdom and see where it takes me.
And so, in my attempt to do just that, here goes:
Remember all those summers back in grade school? I do. Vividly. One of the things I dreaded the most was going back to class and having to write that damned assignment, “What did you do last Summer?”. I don’t know why I hated writing that so much, I look back now and think it was because I wasn’t sure how well my story would stack up against the others… even if I had enjoyed myself thoroughly. Perhaps it was the anticipation of not knowing what my other classmates had done. How much more productive was their summer, what were all the cool and exciting things they did or places they went and how would my story compare. I was constantly measuring and sizing up their stories, worried that I hadn’t done or seen enough.
Back in those days, lots of fun and cool things happened. None of it required preparation really. The days came and went and I greeted each new day with an eager heart and much anticipation, not knowing fully what the day had in store for me. Days just happened, time went by and it was wonderful. Life comes at you, and you react. If any preparation was needed, you knew you could get it done that week or in the few days following the present. Pretty easy huh?
Now life is different, we must prepare, we must make plans and we must have a goal. Without any plans, without any goals and without preparation you know what happens? We fall into other peoples plans and other peoples goals as long as we have sufficient preparation in doing whatever job or task they have planned for us… and it isn’t that great (and it isn’t that great, at least it hasn’t been for me). So, not wanting to become a soldier and drone, trained and prepared to tackle the current occupation assigned to me, I’m setting out to discover new limits, new boundaries and new places that so far are unknown to me.
Much of this blog will be a writing exercise, a diary of sorts with thoughts that will explain more and more each day the purpose behind doing a 3400 mile ride solo through Canada (which I chose mainly because of the summer weather and the fact that I know almost nothing about our neighboring country (shame on me)).
This blog will also be a manifestation of the provocative ideas of the many authors, writers, bloggers and speakers that I have followed and read over the past year. I see it as a “thank-you-adventure”, an adventure that may not have been possible had I not truly felt inspired and strengthened to do, had it not been for all wonderful words y’all put out into the world. In other words, this journey will be done in part as a way of saying “thank you”. Thank you for being an integral part of my life and for sparking the desire to accomplish something awesome. You can read more and follow the links assigned to such people in the “epic people” tab of this blog, which I will be continuously updating until the completion of the ride.
Another reason for this blog is that I hope it will serve as a guide, while not comprehensive and exhaustive, for those of you out there that have a big dreams and visions and how to go about reaching them. What do you want out of life? What do you want to leave behind? These are questions that I hope to acknowledge and in some way, form or fashion and provided you’re able to connect the dots, lead you to your next adventure (or at least get you started). And please, be assured that there will be many more that I want to shed some light onto as time goes by.
As I near the end of this post, I want to ask that as you read along in the future please write back and express your feelings either by comment, email or snail mail and let’s engage in a conversation. Ask me anything, and I will try my hardest to answer any and all questions regarding my “End Malaria” tour or life in general. Why do I ask for this favor? It’s because I realize that my weakest character flaws are procrastination and accountability. Yeah, I get things done… at the last minute, mostly. Accountability, well, that has to do with me not doing what I need to do for me, and doing what others need done. I’ll be the first one to help out in any endeavor that I feel is of great importance to those closest to me. Sure, I feel great in doing so, but I also “tsk tsk” myself when the day has run out and I’m left thinking, “Where in the hell did my day go, what happened with all that time!?” I feel that this exercise will help me cut through all the unnecessary and wasteful affairs that I engage in on a daily basis. This is your time and my time that we’re talking about. Now let’s get down to business! Go. Do it now.