I set out to find myself and my place in the world. I set out to quench the wanderlust instilled in me when I was torn from the life I knew and loved and relocated to a country where I would feel out of place for 23 years. The message I have carried is that of peace and understanding, of the joy of motorcycling and the importance of seeing the world and the abounding natural wonders. 12,000 miles over the North American continent has brought my message to many, but what’s more important is the messages I received from others.
Though I would not trade a moment of the hours spent beneath turbulent skies, surrounded by towering mountains, with songs of majestic lakes and rivers, in awe of endless oceans and prairies and forests, it was the people who made the foundations of my journey and they who have given me the vision for its continuation.
What I knew was true of Russians, I have discovered is also true of many others. I remember growing up in a place where every meal was not a given, where grocery stores were more empty than full. And yet I never recall not being offered food and drink whenever visiting a home, whether friend or distant acquaintance. The less people had the more adamantly they would offer. Like desert peoples not letting you leave without a cup of tea or coffee. This was something about which I thought little in the states. Being on the road, meeting people, staying in countless homes, I rediscovered this truth: the less you have, or at some point had, the more likely are you to welcome someone into your home, rather than just let them stay. There are exceptions to this, but they are only exceptions. Time and again these individuals and families helped restore my waning faith in humanity and America. Time and again they infused me with the strength to go on. In this Christian nation I have rarely met true Christians, but crossing North America brought me in contact with people who could teach the priests, preachers, popes and reverends a thing or two about what it means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. For an atheist who is sickened by the thought of religion, these people helped to restore my faith in the good that spirituality can bring.
North America was the try-out, the testing ground for my will, skills, desire and fortitude. Could I face myself through the hours of solitude, could I reflect on and appreciate the natural wonders of the diverse expanses of two of the three biggest countries in the world? Could I find the people and have the patience and wisdom to listen to them? Could I overcome the many weaknesses of my nature which so often subdue me into a functionless entity, devoid of purpose or benefit?
I wish the answer to all of the above were a resounding yes. I did survive the road, mechanical failures, nature’s guardians of her diminishing wilderness, and even myself. Though bruised and far from victorious in every battle, I did emerge from my wanderings the better for them. Regardless of my failures I believe my successes were great enough to justify my continuing on this journey.
If I can suffer the hardships of cirmcumnavigational travel by motorcycle, if I can endure with hope and positivity the challenges that will lay before me, if I can survive the trials of the unknown and the dangerous knowns, and then return and share the world with those who are afraid, or for whom circumstances have not allowed, to fly free, then it will have been worth it and the scars will not have been for naught, and the world will be a better place for the knowledge of those wiser than I that I will disseminate throughout.
I am eternally grateful to those who have supported me thus far. You are too numerous to list, and too humble to desire me to do so. But you know who you are, and so again I say thank you.