Friday, the last day of the cross country trip, was extremely strange. after being a “lone rider” for over a month, I dropped off the bike at a trucking warehouse in Poway, California, gave it a big kiss on the tank, and took off in a taxi. I kept thinking about the next morning when I will see my family again. Five weeks to get here, and five hours to get back. Thank god for airplanes. Now I am back, and the bike is taking its own cross ocuntry trip in the back of a truck. I must confess that I miss it. This guy held my weight for over thirty days, carved away through the curves of the coast, climbed up and down 7000 foot on snow covered mountains, rolled proudly through the desert, and charged on metal grated bridges and loose gravel like a war-hungry trooper. Never slipped, never broke down, never asked for anything. What more can you ask for in a friend?
Pretty amazingly, it was exactly one year ago this week when I bought my first motorcycle. I remember the day I went to pick it up, waiting to leave the dealership’s parking lot, and for the first time turn into a real road with traffic. Now, a year later, on my second bike, I have already ridden 12,000 miles, half of them across the country. The magnitude of the adventure and the depth of the experience is almost impossible to describe. To leave by myself with only one year of riding experience, without taking any long prior trips, with two bags loosely held together with some bungee cords, was probably close to insane. Not to see my family for that long was most certainly insane. And still, the experience is definitely a worthy one. A shift in perspective can be minor on the surface but major at a deeper level. Similarly, being back home, everything looks the same on the surface, but very different on the inside. Imagine being in an electronics store and watching a movie you have seen before displayed on the newest huge HD flat-screen TV. It’s the same movie, but the level of detail and granularity is different – to the point where it’s not the same experience as before.
By far, the most difficult part of this five week trip was being away form Gili and the kids. Video calls and reading bedtime stories by phone only go so far, and about ten days into the trip it felt to all of us like it is going to be a year or two before we see each other again. Interestingly though, about 24 hours after we reunited it feels like I never went away. It was really hard, but it was OK. Kind of hard to believe or understand.
I look at my notes and at the pictures, and I realize that I am simply swamped and overwhelmed by thoughts, insights, and new questions. This has been a massive experience that will take some time to settle and break down into smaller pieces of structured ideas and concepts. Some folks who have heard me speak about my experience already said “you have that book already written in your head, haven’t you!”. And yes, it’s all there – but it needs to be written. In the meantime, I will continue to write here and post more materials and videos from my trip. Keep the comments and thoughts coming!