I chose this picture for my “Autopista Ended” post because I am a huge fan of irony. I think the fact that my only frustration cry of the Autopista End trip happening after only a week on the road and in Mexico (where I used to live) is hugely ironic. Later in the trip, Nathaniel was often frustrated by how not-frustrated I would get when shit started going south.
If you followed us from the beginning you will probably remember that Nathaniel and I got stuck at the bottom of the Baja Peninsula for nearly a week. We didn’t import our bikes properly, we didn’t have the paperwork to take them to the mainland and the whole fiasco had us repeatedly going back to the La Paz immigration office, which has very short daily operating hours. It was the definition of mañana. I believe I originally described the experience as Kafkaesque.
Thankfully, our initial roadblocks on the trip were not indicative of how the rest of it went. We had intended to do a trip breakdown and describe how we shipped our bikes home once they returned to the USA but our bikes are still not back… For all I know they are floating in a shipping container somewhere off the coast of Colombia so the ‘how we got our bikes home’ post is going to have to wait.
We’ve been home for 11 weeks, Nathaniel has been back at his job for 6 and we’ve been in our new apartment for about 3. It’s almost disturbing how you can go on an epic adventure and then integrate back into your old life so seamlessly. I think that is the strangest part about being home.
As long as you have a good support system and some money in the bank the first world welcomes you back like a drug addiction. The comfortable lives we lead are designed to keep us anchored to a place, to things. Having everything the American Dream tells you that you should want and still being unhappy is the ultimate first world problem. I know a lot of college educated 20-somethings that are now quitting their jobs for the same reasons we did (more or less).
My personal goal now that I’ve returned from Autopista End Part I (yeah that’s right – we are already talking part II!) is to remind myself daily what I really want to be doing with my money, my time and my life. I don’t need to use shopping as a form of entertainment. I don’t need to eat out so much. I don’t need so much stuff.
The biggest thing this trip did for me was help me prioritize my life goals in a new way – they aren’t priorities I just repeat anymore, they are truths I feel inside of myself and for that I will always be thankful.