Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Life Lessons From a Convict

Three years ago, I walked 160 miles with a convict. As we took our first steps, he shared his first words: "It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured." We walked our miles in 43 hours over a span of five weeks. During this time, I learned numerous life lessons from the convict. The convict is Gregory David Roberts.

The convict, Gregory David Roberts.
(Image from: www.goodreads.com)

Gregory is the author of Shantaram, a novel that tells the story of a man named Lin. Lin, like Gregory, was a heroin addict and bank robber. Lin, like Gregory, escaped from an Australian prison. Lin, like Gregory, fled to the streets of Mumbai and lived life as a fugitive in the Indian underworld. At a lengthy 944-pages, I opted to listen to the audiobook so I could enjoy the novel while on foot. As I walked miles-and-miles of country roads listening to Lin narrate his story through my earbuds, I came to know and admire Gregory.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Being a Nomad During a Pandemic

As a bibliophile, I've read thousands of books and full well know that books cannot be judged by their covers. Many things, in fact, cannot be judged by their external appearances. That adorable doggie tied up outside the grocery store may have a wicked bark once you reach your hand within biting range. That well-dressed man seated in the driver's seat of that flashy sportscar may be drowning in debt. And that healthy-looking person who seems to be "overly cautious" in this new coronavirus era may not actually be so healthy after all.

This was the topic of an article posted today on CNN.com:

Click the image to read the article.

Ok, so I wasn't really in the article, but I felt as though I could have been. Though I may appear to be a healthy person (a vegetarian! who bikes thousands of miles a year!), like those featured in the article, I am also immunocompromised.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

My Gratitude Journal

For the last fifteen years, I have performed a New Year's Tradition that involves reminiscing on the closing year and setting intentions for the coming year. In the final hours of 2018, I established an intention to keep a Gratitude Journal for 2019.

My Gratitude Journal.

At the end of each day in 2019, I reflected on the day's happenings and recorded one thing from that day for which I was grateful. On good days, my gratitude flowed freely. On not-so-good days, I sometimes struggled to find something for which I was grateful. I always found something, though -- even if it was gratitude for waking up to one more morning of life.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Photo Journal: Flying High to Lopez Island

I like meeting new people — especially when those people broaden my horizons.

Meet my new friend, Larry. Larry literally flew me to new horizons.

Meet Larry.

Larry has an array of interests. One of those interests is piloting his Cessna 150. Larry likes to fly to places and then explore those places via land.

Suppose you were Larry. Suppose you wanted to fly your plane somewhere — let's say the San Juan Islands — to explore the isles. What might be a good way to explore once you've touched down?

Yes, you got it — a bicycle!

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Photo Journal: The Inaugural Pacific Northwest & Gulf Islands Tour

As you may recall, Don and I spent A Month Pedaling the Long Way from Montana to Washington. From Bellingham, our final destination, we would both be leading Adventure Cycling's inaugural Pacific Northwest & Gulf Islands tour.

The Pacific Northwest & Gulf Islands tour is a challenging 13-day, 595-mile route that traverses some of the most beautiful riding in the Pacific Northwest. The route includes many of my favorite places, both above and below the 49th parallel. I had waited for more than a year and a half to lead this trip. Suffice it to say that I was quite excited to get the show on the road!

This was our group of cyclists.
Front row (l to r): Greg, Barry, Cathy, me (Sarah), and Kitty.
Back row (l to r): Trina, Chris, Paul, Ron, Victor, Brielle, Don, Peter, John, and Ted.
Not pictured: Van. 

Bless the dear souls of these cyclists; these folks had no idea what they were in for when they signed up for this trip. With endless climbs, miles of hike-a-bike, and early morning ferries galore, this route is not for the faint-of-heart. Luck would have it, as there couldn't possibly have been a better combination of riders for the inaugural ride. Each and every cyclist was strong, adventurous, and impressively good-spirited.