I should write a few words on how/why this trip is happening. Why did I feel the need to do something so drastic as to quit my job and blow my life’s savings bumming around the planet? It went something like this:
Earlier in my life I made a couple international trips: Europe in 1996 to play hockey; Europe in 2003 for my first backpacking trip with a good friend from home, Derick. Great times.
Then I moved to Seattle for a job as a software engineer. As I mentioned, I had a great job and life. It was there I started to make many trips with my old travel buddy Bart: Rio de Janeiro, Banff & Jasper, Panama, Austin, Hawaii, and many more than I can remember. It became a passion. Every long weekend or vacation became an opportunity to go somewhere new and exciting. We would hike, camp, party. When we were out hiking in some foreign place Bart would mention how *that* was living life, and how we should quit our jobs to travel full-time. And then, one day, the he went and did it :) He quit and went on a big trip.
Still in Seattle, I continued to take full advantage of any days off to go on trips with friends or alone: California and NYC to party, Iceland for ski-mountaineering, Peru and Africa for trekking, China, among others that I am forgetting right now. I put a map up on my wall and put pins in it of places I had been.
Travel became an addiction that I could not satisfy with 3 weeks per year of vacation. Thoughts of quitting my job and traveling turned from something I considered doing to something I MUST do. I realized that if I didn’t do this, I would forever regret it. I would grow old and every day I think about how I should have done it. It became not IF I would do it, but WHEN. There were no longer any pros/cons to the situation. It was not something I could analyze and determine if it was the RIGHT thing to do or not. It simply HAD to be done at all costs: money, career, distance from friends and family, things I enjoyed doing (eg: I have played hockey every year for over a quarter century until now), etc. It became the obvious thing to do, and my only option. Not sure if all this makes sense to other people.
At the same time, I had started making regular weekend visits to Whistler, BC, for its great skiing/partying/biking and fantastic people. I was always jealous of all the fun people were having up there. I was always sad to leave there Sunday evening. So, I fixed that problem. An opportunity came up to move there in Oct 2007, to live with my good buddy Murray. I quit my job and moved.
I decided I would follow two dreams (being a ski bum in Whistler and travel the world) back-to-back. I spent the last (and best) year of my life in Whistler. I cannot begin to describe the good times I had. Then, last month, Sep 2008, I rode my motorcycle across Canada (with my dad on his bike, and my mom driving my car) from Whistler to my parent’s place in Cornwall, ON. A few weeks ago I started my trip and this blog. That’s it.
Last September when I moved to Whistler, it had occurred to me that I had (accidentally) ended up in a position in life that was perfect for this sort of adventure: I had no kids, no wife, no fiance, no house. No commitments at all. I wasn’t young, but it wasn’t too late in life. I had a little bit of money to fund this. The situation was ripe.
There you have it. Hmm… this post is a little deep and philosophical for a hockey guy like me :) The subsequent posts will be better, I promise. But, a few people were asking about this. And, I needed to get it in this blog so that 30 years from now I will remember what the hell I was thinking :)