Inspirations

Yesterday, I announced to my department at work about my bicycling trip. Some of them know about it already, so it was more of a formality than anything else. I'm still riding high with pumped up energy about the trip. I'm hoping this energy will last until my first day of cycling. The hardest part of doing anything is the beginning, whether it'll be going on a big trip or starting a company.
 
I'm not trying to break any new records on my trip (such as the one set by Christoph Strasser in 2014 when he bicycled from California to Maryland in less than eight days) nor I'm doing this for charity. I'm doing this because I want to see the country again, go to the places I've never been before, meet new people, understand them (or try to), and come back home with a renewed sense of meaning on life.
 
I'm not the first one to bicycle across the United States. The first time I heard someone did it was from my dad. Some thirty years ago, he was working in New York City. His coworker was in his early thirties back then when he decided to quit his job and ride his bicycle across the country. After he completed the trip, he mounted his bicycle in his living room.
 
When I told about my cycling trip to someone at work a few days ago, he told me he knew a friend who did it, too. Chances are, someone in your life has done something adventurous. I'm not the first and I'm certainly not going to be the last.
 
It would be nice to say that I was inspired by Magellan, Columbus, or some other historical person. Sure they played a part, but my real inspirations are from people who are alive today and whom I have met in my life. They are people like you and me, maybe a little gutsy. Here I like to give a shout to them.
 
The first person I'd like to introduce is Joe Bell (Facebook) Shortly after college in 2008, my classmate Joe and his friend Colin rode their bikes from New York City to the West Coast (The Roll). When I was hosting other travelers through Couchsurfing.com, I hosted Andre Ru (Facebook), who was traveling the world for two years. He's currently on his second world tour (World Trip Berlin). Then there was Mario Landeros (Facebook). He walked across the United State in a year and half to raise money for St. Jude's Childrens Hospital. Yes, you read that right, he WALKED across the U.S. (I'm not so crazy after all!) In 2016, when I was traveling in Europe, at a hostel in Madrid, I met Alex Grove (Facebook), who was cycling from Spain to eastern Europe. He has bicycled to numerous places around the world. More closely, my dear friend Sameer Godiwala (Facebook) has inspired me by traveling to many places around the world that I wish one day I could go to. And lastly, the family I know of who has traveled the most is the Eng-Rohrbachs. Despite the fact that they live in a small rural Pennsylvania town, they were able to schedule several yearly trips to other parts of the world.

The above are my personally connections. Of course, there are the ones in popular media you've probably heard about. Ewan McGregor (the actor) and his friend Charley Boorman documented their motorcycle trips around the world in The Long Way Round and The Long Way Down. I've seen both series and they are definitely recommended. The person who inspired McGregor is Ted Simon, who motorcycled around the world and wrote a book called Jupiter's Travels. Last year, I started reading the book The Man Who Cycled the World by Mark Beaumont, who bicycled the world. His trip is also documented by the BBC (YouTube). If traveling the world doesn't inspire you then there are others, such as Bill Bryson, who wrote a book called A Walk in the Woods about his hiking adventure with his buddy on the Appalachian Trail. It's now a movie by Robert Redford. And there's Into the Wild, a book and a movie about Christopher McCandless, who gave up everything to live in the Alaskan wilderness. There are numerous others.
 
My point is that I'm not crazy and there are plenty of adventurous people out there in the world. I hope this post assures you of that and I wish you're inspired in some ways as well.

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