My first source of inspiration to leave on a long-term cycle tour was easily Dave Conroy, whom i hosted in 2011 when i was still attending graduate school at Rutgers University. Dave was the fist long-term cycle traveler i ever met, and might have also been my first source of intimidation though — he had essentially checked out of his “previous life,” and been cycling for a couple of years already, something i couldn’t even remotely imagine myself doing at that time.
Fortunately, he was not the only cycle traveler i got to meet back then — in the course of the following couple of Summers i got to host many more, and was positively struck by how different their motivations were — for Steve and Taylor, cycle touring was part of their gap year adventures, while Greg had used his bike as a tool to connect with people and places around his country, and i understood it to be part of a mourning practice for Odin. Although it took me another four years to finally get on the road myself, i eventually felt duly validated to ride on account of the underlying process and technical challenge — in other words, whatever it was about it that interested me the most at the moment.
Along my way over the past two or three years, there came yet another big surprise — while space for self-discovery and adventure were what first put me on the road, i gradually discovered and assimilated other dimensions into my process — most notably, i could have never anticipated how inspiring, energizing and fruitful my encounters with people along my path would have been!
So, you already have a reason to travel also — but you might not find out what it is until you surrender to the journey 😉
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Trelograms is a series of short inspirational and/or inquisitive reads written in counterpoint to my chronicles and concrete travel advice on cycle touring, hitchhiking or in general. The series title is a word play between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’). Follow the links to read more, and sign up for the Not Mad Yet mailing list to be notified when new articles go live and get other updates