Monday, December 27, 2010

Kii/Shikoku tour Day -1

I may get rained on, or snowed on

I may get a flat tire
I may get lost
I may hit a spot of frost or moss and slip and fall again
I may have to continue on despite being bruised or scraped or tired
I may have to eat the same boring curry over and over because I can't find good food without wheat in it
I may spend too much money
I may have a wicked head wind
I may question if this was all a good plan after all
I will likely get chapped lips and nose
I will likely shiver now and then
I will may swear into a headwind or a climb at the end of the day
I will probably get sore and tired muscles
I will probably want more sleep
I will probably want more food

These things may happen. I am totally ok with them. I'm choosing something that isn't supposed to be easy. I'm making a deal with myself to not complain about the cold or really, anything. I choosing to be grateful (as best I can). These things are, mostly, part of the plan. This isn't supposed to be easy; this is supposed to be kind of a pilgrimage. Though a pilgrimage to what or for what, I guess I'm not really sure.

I hope the elements and the kilometers, new and beautiful mountains and prefectures in Japan, will ground me somehow. Will bring clarity.

What I worry about most is not the weather or the potential mechanical problems. I most fear the loneliness. Don't get me wrong. I love traveling alone and I would miss the freedom of it if I did travel with others, but like a lot of this year, I've struggled to embrace being alone. I used to be quite happy living alone, loving the silence and the ease of going at my own pace. But after the year in South America with all the hostels and bunk beds and the tribe of El Parque volunteers... I've changed.

That said, though I am craving more social interaction in my life than I can fit into nonworking hours (working hours being warm and professional but not exactly friendly), I still believe in the value of holding yourself in a quiet space. I believe that clarity comes from not distracting yourself. I believe that whatever lessons I am learning with will grow and surface if I give myself that space.

And I believe that checking facebook and email constantly dilutes the experience.

And so, for the time I am traveling, I am going mostly media blackout. I play with my cellphone, checking crack-book, email, blogs far too much. I feel almost addicted to it. I miss those long south American bus rides that went on for days with nothing to do except doze and look out the window. Stuff happens in your head when you don't fill it with flashing lights. That said, if I do cave and check my email, I will most certainly appreciate any letters...

I will let people know that I am still alive and I hope to find some time to write all about it when I get back.

A poem that sums it up rather nicely

And finally, a Race Across America cyclist, in an interview explained why he trained so hard and did such crazy races. He says this
I learn how to beat the dark side of me, if you do that and then you race in yourself you are proud of yourself and that inspires me. For me, that's it.

And so the adventures continue. Keep my warm in your thoughts

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