Where it’s at!
I have left a wonderful life. I lived in a charming bungalow in SE Portland with great roommates. I had a great job teaching the next generation how to use their bicycle to get around safely. I had a great community of bicyclists, some of whom I frequently went on drunken escapades, hurled insults at each other and slapped plastic balls at, took stuff from, and pedaled naked with. Sometimes, English, which I am good at, I could speak at friends. My family was an hour bike ride away and so was their food.
Now I am heading south where I will have none of those things for two years.
There are thieves, storms, an unfamiliar language blabbering over untamed roads. Food and water that will easily unsettle me and facilitate a rash to blossom on my bottom. And, of course, the inevitable broken bike parts. Why didn’t anyone try to stop me?
Well there were attempts.
“How about Europe, Jord?” my family had asked. It felt like being offered two dimes for one quarter. A lesser idea in disguise as a better one. Unfortunately, I’m not three years old and swayed by such tricks, but this trip will be all about retaining that youthful spirit and using it as a divining rod.
I want to go somewhere completely unfamiliar. I want to go where the land is still wild and yet traversable and only slightly civilized. I want to be forced to say “yes,” even if it is in a different language. And I want to do it all myself. I don’t want someone to grab me by the thumb and throw me into their car. I don’t want to be jammed into a plane and hurtled a mile high so I can’t see what I’m passing. I want to smell, hear, feel, and see everything that this hemisphere has to offer.
So it shall be me and my bicycle. My legs moving it’s wheels. The wheels carrying me across the highways of California, the deserts of Mexico, the rainforests of Costa Rica, the ruins of Machu Picchu, the ciclovias of Bogota, the beaches of Ecuador, the mountains of Chile, the shore of Lake Titicaca, the wine country of Argentina, the frozen plains of Tierra del Fuego, and whatever else may be along the way that I cannot now foresee.
And all the while I shall whistle and sing, exploring the great wonders of Latin America. Stay posted to see what I come across. Images will come soon as well as updates of my journey so far.