Once Again, The Hardest Thing

I always think the hardest thing about any trip is the beginning. This time, it's no exception.

I had written about this in 2018 when I was embarking on my bicycle tour across America. This time it seems like the world is falling.

This past Friday, my parents came to Valley Forge, PA, for a convention. I happen to live in King of Prussia, just the next town over. My mom texted me to visit them and so I did.

As soon as I walked in the hotel room, shortly after a brief hello, my mom pretended to not know that I quit my job the week before. After I told her that indeed I had quit my job so I can bicycle the world, she immediately went to berserk mode. She screamed at me and told me how selfish I am and how stupid it is to quit a stable job. She told me that I don't respect, obey, and care for her, as I should since I'm Chinese. She went on to say that it's my fault that she suffered in America for six years working before marrying my stepfather. And on and on she went.

I just can't imagine that if I was a parent and my child is about to go on the adventure of his/her lifetime these would be the last words I would say to my child. Wouldn't it be better to offer support and encouragement?

After her tirade, I kind of wished that I would rather be hit by a car and die during my trip than to return to a mom like this. And it pains me to say it.

I don't remember a single time that my mom is supportive of any of my endeavors. And there was never any congratulatory comments after any of my trips. Not that I seek them. But if she was so worried about me in the beginning of my trips, you'd think she'd be glad to see me get back safely. Nope. I suppose all she wants for me is to work at a stable job for the rest of my life and live life like everyone else she knows.

Life is not like that. At least my life. I always say that life is a choose-your-adventure role playing game. You get to choose and decide the next move in your life, toward a goal that you define. Sure, you can follow the norm. If you do, then don't complain. I'd rather do what I want in my life.

I'm currently 39 years old. I think I've reached middle age. I feel my whole life has been told to me by my parents, and then the society, on what to do. I want to live the second half of my life the way I want. And a cycling trip is not a bad start.


  1. Hiattt you have our full sympathy. It is difficult for your mother to leave her Chinese values ​​behind her, but she too once started a new life in the United States. With this journey many insights will come your way, You know it won't be easy sometimes but make your dreams come true. Continue to share this with your mother, no matter how difficult she finds this. Never regret taking this step because every experience is valuable. we will follow you and hope to meet in Europe,
    Love Tom and Dineke

    1. Thanks Dineke and Tom! I hope to see both of you in 2 years when I reach Europe. Would love to visit The Netherlands and stay awhile. - Hiatt

  2. Hiatt, I consider you very brave. If you were my son, I would be worried about you too. My son recently told me he's quitting his job and travelling. I had mixed emotions. I am happy for him but nervous at the same time.
    Please do what you were meant to do. You hear the beat of your own drummer and need to live your own life. I wish you well on your trip of a lifetime. You will find another job when you're ready. Do this while you still can.
    Safe, happy travels!!!

    1. Thank you Anne for the perspective. At certain point, a parent should learn how to let go. At least that's what I think. - Hiatt

  3. Hiatt, I've been following your blog for several years now. I live in Bucks County and am an avid cyclist as well. I'm looking forward to reading about your travels. Though I'm not Chinese, I can relate to parents being unsupportive. At 39, you're definitely a grown man and can do with your life as you choose. Please, please go into this trip with an open heart and do not feel guilty. You are not selfish. And be safe. Everyone wants you to return in one piece, including your mom, even if she won't say it.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement! Often it's the people closest to me who do not understand me for some reason. However, I think this trip is my calling. I hope to make the best of it. And yes, I will do my best to stay safe as I've added a safety flag to the bike in addition to a reflective vest that I'll be wearing. Thank you again, to a friend I have yet to meet. - Hiatt


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