I am gratefully sitting in the Maple Leaf Lounge at YVR, waiting to board the plane. Desination: Santiago, Chile. The day has arrived! We - Jeff and me - have been planning this epic awesome amazing adventure for a year: cycling Patagonia and then hopping onto a boat to meet the penguins of Antarctica. How amazing is that?!?!
So, here is the thing about setting a goal and then being okay with the outcomes. My big goal? To ride my bike on every continent. This trip to South America and Penguinville would be five and six (Africa will come in a few years). Why is this important to me?
Having put down two wheels on four continents so far, I have found being on the bike to be such a simple yet powerful way to connect to others. The curious school children who surround me as I roll into a rural Indian village, fascinated and wanting to try it out. The young Nepali monks-in-training who stop their game of 'skiing' down a frost-covered hill on plumbing tubes to find out who I am and where I am going. Or the mom - gracefully balancing three of her children on her bike - smiling at me as we ride through farmland in Vietnam. The world is a big place and yet it feels smaller when I experience these moments of pure connection with another human being. Humanity in action. And it's just not the same in a car! :-)
So, this is why I have declared it. Riding on South America is a done deal. Yay! Antarctica is not. A tiny percentage of the world's population as travelled to the white continent, and a tiny tiny percentage of those have brought a bike. I am bringing a bike. And I will share my story with whoever will listen with the intention of inspiring enough people to say 'yes' to taking my two wheeled partner onto the snow and ice for a wee little ride around. Fingers crossed. Committed big time. Not attached (not really). I may 'crush' this goal this time. Or I may fail. The really important thing to remember is that me failing in this endeavour does not make me a failure. Side note: where in your life are you potentially calling yourself a 'failure' because your vision or goals didn't turn out the way you wanted? Well, stop it. Going after something that you really want with all your heart is courageous. So keep doing that. I will to.
*ps this photo is from our cycling trip through Northern India where we were super fortunate to connect with this family, from Pakistani descent and living in what is now India. We were curious about them. They were curious about us. We are all human.