The Fears That Bind Us

We’re finally on the road.  Somehow, we’ve accomplished what we set out to do 6 months ago.  All of our lives are now packed onto and into two motorcycles that for the next two years will carry us over the length and breadth of two continents.

This past year found us questioning our pattern of existence.  Both of us were realizing that it was time for a substantial, fundamental change in our lives.  It was time for us to live by our own standards and on our own terms.

The mental shift from “I’d like to…” to “How can I…?” is subtle in language but tectonic in force.  As soon as we started asking specific “How can we?” questions, the answers started coming.  And before long came the realization that all the obstacles and all the fears that bind us to our present lives were created ourselves, and exist mainly in our heads.  People have asked us where we found the courage to do this, and it comes from the knowledge we gained by asking those specific questions and finding the answers, one by one, until finally the obstacles were gone, and all that was left was our own fear.  Our love of motorcycles and travel pushed us over the edge – there was no decision to be made, only an opportunity to grab right now before it vanished with the years.

Jalene and I have no more kids at home, no pets still with us, no big responsibilities at the present.  This is the time when we can just go.  So now, in our 50s, while we are still healthy and strong, the decision has come to just go.  Before our resolve failed us, we resigned our jobs, and started selling and giving away all the unnecessary stuff that our lives surround us with.

The garage sale netted $400, which started the process of letting go of all the crap we’d accumulated.  Work began in the administrative categories of health insurance, re-organizing our bank and credit accounts, vehicle registrations and licenses, contracting with a property management agency to rent out our house, and myriad other details.  The amount of work involved in “Quit your jobs, sell your crap, do what you love” is daunting.

Friends stepped up in unbelievable ways.  Patty offered her empty storage building for all our household stuff, relieving us of the need for paid storage, and letting us keep more for when we return.  Matt stored the air compressor, welder, and other bulky equipment, I hope he gets good use from them.  So many people did so many things for us that I don’t know where to start.  I’ll simply say that we are blessed with wonderful people all around us, without which we would be lost.

And then August 10, the target date for departure was at hand.  By some miracle we seemed ready.  I got up and watched my last beloved MotoGP race I’d recorded, and then turned it off for good (Rossi retaining the points lead).  By noon we had the last of the stuff out of the house.  The very last thing we removed was, of course, the cable modem, internet ‘till the end.  I boxed it up and strapped it on the bike, and turned it in to the Charter office, actually having a small credit due, the first ever that I didn’t owe MORE money to the cable company.  Just as we were finishing up the UPS truck arrived with the last parts shipment - spare fork seals to carry with us.  We locked the door, rolled the bikes out of the garage, fired them up, and said goodbye.

Post by Keith