Reflections on El Camino

Back on the good o'l "Coastal Highway" which we maintain is not really a highway! This photo represents the first day we did real ADV riding. (Photo: Alex Washburn)

Back on the good o’l “Coastal Highway” which we maintain is not really a highway! This photo represents the first day we did real ADV riding. (Photo: Alex Washburn)

Nearly nine months have passed since Alex and I rode through the gates of Ushuaia realizing our goal of riding from San Francisco to the end of the world. When we got back people wanted to know what our favorite country was or the best experience of the trip and what I found was that it was hard to put this trip into the mini sound-bites people wanted to hear. Yes I have a favorite country from the trip, I have places I would like to go back and places I don’t ever want to go back, but they are all a part of one massive undertaking Alex and I completed.

Another thing that I think people want to hear is that you had a life altering spiritual experience that has moved the clouds of doubt from your life and everything is clear now. Unfortunately, for me, that was not the case. I’m not saying that this trip hasn’t changed me, it most certainly has, but in small ways I see in my every day life.

On the adventure to getting our bikes back from the shipping container (story to follow) a fellow biker and I found ourselves on the long road to LA talking about our trips and the experiences. One comment that he had was that he could remember every day of his trip distinctly for one reason or another, but since being back the weeks blended together and he could hardly remember what happened last week let alone a couple weeks ago. I find the same occurrence in my own life. I can run through almost every day of the trip in my head, but often forget what I did last week. It’s because during “Autopista End” every day was a new experience or a new place. I need that in my life now because at the end of it all, I won’t remember any given weekend I spent watching Netflix but I will remember crashing in Cusco.

The other thing I learned was that I needed to stop procrastinating with the goals in my life and need to take steps, even little ones, every day in achieving what I want. I don’t want to wake up twenty years from now saying that the best thing I did in my life was the Autopista End trip. I need something more than that.

Alex and I have talked about the phenomenon of the “Bucket List” in recent years and how you will overhear people saying, quite literally on a daily basis, “oh I am putting that on my bucket list”. I don’t have a bucket list anymore, if there is something I really want to do, I am going to find a way of doing it, of taking some step toward accomplishing it. It doesn’t mean it will happen this month or this year even, but if I keep taking steps toward it I will eventually succeed or realize it wasn’t what I really wanted. I would rather die in the process of achieving a goal than with a list of a bunch of dreams I never even attempted to realize.

This trip has changed me in ways I can’t really put into words and there are still some days where I think it was all a dream, that Alex and I are still planning this crazy idea we had so many months ago.

I would like to thank everyone that followed our blog, left us comments or helped us along the way. I would like to thank my Mom, for teaching me that “I can do anything, it may take me longer, but I will get there” and my Dad for keeping my imagination alive and young. But most all I want to thank Alex Washburn for without which this trip wouldn’t have happened. She is an amazing person that I have been fortunate enough to share my life with.

Onward!

4 Comments on “Reflections on El Camino

  1. Well said. Carpe Diem, YOLO and as the awesome old school band Kansas would so gloriously sing on the radio during my teen years- “Carry on my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done.”
    Bill

  2. A single idea turned into one hell of an adventure that you shared with the rest of us. We were with you each mile as you described your journey, the towns, people, and experiences you encountered. It was a please to meet you both upon your return and ride together on Alex’s birthday. I look forward to many more adventures with you both, even if they are virtual. 🙂

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