An Adventure is Calling

In the past few weeks I have been thinking, imagining, and dreaming. I no longer have the desire to pursue my financial goal while doing the conventional thing, which is work. With Covid cases decreasing and the warmer global warming weather in February, I feel a need for change.

This feeling has been dormant inside me for a long time, since 2018 when I met Tim Millikin from the UK during my cycling across America trip. Tim was the first person I met in real life who bicycled around the world. I didn't think it was a possibility until I met someone who did the impossible. Little did I know, there have been many people who have cycled the world before and after Tim.

World traveling was a dream of mine when I was in high school. Back then, I thought about becoming a doctor and being part of the Doctors without Borders organization. That goal didn't happen. As my dad would say later: "You have the brains but not the heart." Also the financial stress and more time in school didn't fit my personal tolerance. Even though I didn't become a doctor the adventure spirit still lives within me.

As I'm connecting the dots (as Steve Jobs would say), I realized that the travel bug has bitten me early. First, I flew from China to America with my grandma when I was 11 years old. I had to get accustomed to my new adopted country. I made my first big trip when I was 19 when I traveled solo on Greyhound buses around the US for 45 days. Ten years later, I traveled down the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico for 30 days. A year after that, I took a roadtrip up the Hudson River from New York to Vermont. That same year, my friend Ed and I did a roadtrip from Florida to Virginia. In 2016, I backpacked for a month in Western Europe. 2018 was my 100 days cycling trip from Conshohocken, PA, to San Francisco, CA. Lastly, in 2021, I reunited with Crispin, my cycling friend, for a bicycle ride on the GAP trail from Cumberland, MD, to Pittsburgh, PA, and back. The next goal for me is to cycle around the world.

I don't know how long this will take me. The average time for a world cycling trip is three years. Judging by the speed and distance of my 2018 trip, I'm guessing it'll take me longer since I like to enjoy my adventure by riding shorter distances and set up camp early. Also, I want to live on my bicycle for as long as I can as a global citizen. With that said, I can also see myself cycling for a while then get tired and do something else, such as volunteering somewhere. I might try WWOOFing, which is something I heard about a long time ago and wanted to try. Since change is constant and I like to go with the flow, as long as I cycle the world I don't think time matters.

I can also see myself traveling around the world without a bicycle. So the idea that I have to cycle the whole world is not set in stone. I have the flexibility of traveling using other methods when and if I choose. But cycling the world seems more like an adventure to me rather than just backpacking.

I'm planning to start my adventure in June of this year. The tentative route is to cycle north from the Philadelphia area up to Maine, then go into Canada and across it westbound. After reaching the Pacific Ocean, I will head south on the West Coast and go to Mexico, then Central and South America. When I reach the bottom of South America, I'll decided if I want to go to Africa or New Zealand.

I have all the things I need for the trip. But what I need the most now is patience. I'm also continuing to reduce my possessions, playing more guitar, reading as much as I can, and enjoying the settler's life before I go nomadic.