Alluring Touring. — Day 1
2 October 2015
Open. Close. Open. Close.
Pack. Unpack. Repack…
Passport, Wallet, Ticket, Repeat
I’m in the basement room of friends’ San Francisco home.
My college pal Mariah is cozily nestled on the couch — feet up with glass of wine in hand. Her boyfriend Nevill, tall and slender, swings back n forth on his balance board with the ease of a surfer bro who looks like he came straight out of The Lords of Dogtown. As for me, I am lost somewhere in the outer outer realms of bag-packing-dom.
With an undertone of worry in her voice asks me, “Is there something I can help you with?”
Me: “No…I think, I think I got it all.” Right? Right. With a sheepish sigh I concede, “Ok, I am just gonna close it up for good and we can relax”
Nevill nonchalantly offers, “Hey, if you forget anything I can always run it over to you before your flight.
The omnipresent palpability of my pre-trip anxiety jolts me out of my internal checklist. Running on repeat for the last 24 hours, Mariah and Nevill’s futile attempts at coaxing me to relax finally prevail.
6 hours from now Mariah will be driving me to San Francisco International where I shall board a flight that commences a long dreamt chapter in my life — travelling solo through a foreign land.
I know not what to expect nor how to process my present emotions; yet, somewhere between cheek clenching nervous and bat shit excited suffice for now.
If you asked me a month earlier whether I’d be heading to Cuba, my more honest self would have said, “I’m not quite sure.” Nevertheless, a month later, I find myself in awe of the support bequeathed by family and friends to make this trip a reality.
To date over a $1,000 have been raised in personal funds. With some luck even more shall be raised for the charitable organization I ride for. This ride carries more than just the pledge to raise $1 for every kilometer I ride. In honor of Jimmy Fowkes and Kelsey McLean, I ride for all those affected by cancer. I ride to prove to myself and others that all dreams are possible when we begin to face the things that scare us the most.
I ride for the Children’s Cancer Association.
This has, without a doubt, been the riskiest thing I have done thus far.
- My car is sold; and, in it’s place a touring bike has been bought. We shall be best friends…I am sure of it.
- My college debt is paid ahead by a few months…hopefully a job along the way will extend this little cushion.
- I am traveling alone to a foreign country with foreign politics, spotty internet, and one whole Facebook friend (whom i’ve never met)…a grin, dare I say, might’ve just escaped my mouth.
Despite whatever insecurities lie in wake of my imminent departure I feel privileged to have the health and support, financial and emotional, to pedal Cuba and the Dominican Republic in stride.
As St. Augustine once proffered, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”