Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. — Mark Twain
The World is an Interesting Place
The world is a big place. Endeavor to see it all. At the end of your life, you will be glad you did. Go places that interest you. Travel opens your eyes to the world and expands your mind to other perspectives. Go and experience people and places for yourself. Let your mind do its own thinking. Your life will be much richer for the effort.
People, places, and things are often quite different from what’s presented in the mainstream media. Experience the world first hand. See how the other half lives. Most of the time, it’s not what you think. The world over, most people are good human beings and are just like you — trying to get through the world the best they can.
The World Awaits
Traveling the world enriches your life and makes you a better person. Witnessing incredible sunrises and sunsets or starry nights puts you in tune with the vastness of the universe. Exotic lands enchant and inspire the soul. Stunning landscapes will take your breath away. And most of all, wonderful, welcoming, hospitable people will be there to greet you along the way, each with rich vibrant cultures and wonderful food. Experience those places you’ve only dreamed of.
Lost Time is Never Recovered
It’s time that you don’t have a lot of. If you’re not careful, there won’t be enough time to do the things you’ve really wanted to do once you find them. Life is short. You have less time than you think. Resources can always be worked out. It’s the lost time that you can’t. Time is the resource you can never get back.
Health is the second most precious resource. Poor health can rob you of time and quality of life. Take care of your body. You have to live in it all your life. You’ll never be as young again as you are today. Go now while you still have the time.
Get Your Rig Sorted and Go
It’s not about the bike. They are fun and I’ve ridden them since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, but bicycles are a mode of getting there. It’s the experience in the different locations while interacting with people along the way that counts.
Bicycle travel is about going places at a pace that will maximize the experience. Get a durable, reliable bike that will get you from point A to B and back. There is a wide assortment to choose from, and most will do a great job. Just make sure the bike is simple, durable, and dependable. Get yourself some decent clothes that will protect you from the elements. Put in a good tent, a sleeping bag, and perhaps a cook kit and you’re ready to go.
Don’t be afraid to travel without your bicycle. Travel isn’t about the gear. It’s about going places and experiencing things. Spend money on experiences, not things. You’ll be richer for it in the end.
Keep in mind, the less gear between you and the travel experience the better. Once you have that sorted, go. It’s that simple.
Security is an Illusion
Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing. — Helen Keller
We buy insurance to secure ourselves against sickness and death, but it’s still there. Eventually, we all get sick and die. True love fails. People fall in and out of relationships. Bad things happen to good people. It’s just the way it is. The world can be a dangerous place.
But life is about risk. It’s about accepting the challenges, mitigating the hazards, and going forward regardless. Chances are you’ll be just fine. If not, at least you’ll die living bigly doing what you wanted to do.
See the World While You Still Can
The world is changing and it’s not always for the good. Ancient cultures are vanishing to the ages. Historic locations are crumbling to dust or falling victim to the perpetual march of progress or war or both. Old traditions, customs, and dress are rapidly giving way to blue jeans, smartphones, and social media. Globalization is bringing us closer and closer together. We are all becoming the same.
When I first came to Shanghai, some fifteen years ago, there were no Starbucks coffee shops. Now there are over 600. In fact, the largest Starbucks in the world just opened in Shanghai. Starbucks coffee shops are popping up in cities all around China, along with other Western fast-food chains.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing Starbucks per se. It’s just a bit sad to see the homogenization of people and cultures.
Species of animals are going extinct at an alarming rate. When I was in elementary school, my third-grade teacher told our class that the oceans were the world’s endless resource that could never be exhausted. That isn’t true anymore.
Pollution, manufacturing, over-farming, and deforestation are harming the planet. On my blog, I try to show the beauty and wonder in the world I’ve experienced in my travels. Believe me, there’s plenty of ugliness too, and it’s spreading. Best go while there’s still something worth seeing.
If you really want it, you’ll find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse. See the world while you can. Time waits for no one, and it’s later than you think.
Cast Off Your Bowlines
What are you waiting for? When will you go and live your grand adventure? The only one who can truly benefit can be you. Enrich your life and the lives of those around you. Go, the trade winds are blowing fair. Travel bigly.