21 comments


  • Wonderful reflection Russ! At least in those moments of sweet memory we can find the strength to savor the little joys that we find in the present. Having a reverence for time and experience is a wisdom few of us achieve before old age. You and Laura have taught us, your readers, that we can attain happiness without having to retire first. Cheers!

    July 12, 2010
  • shannon day

    beautifully said.
    we are out here in cyberland, following your journey and being inspired by your courage.

    July 12, 2010
  • Nice writeup, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the second photo here.

    July 12, 2010
  • Tina

    If only we can stop in the moment each time and savor it. I remember being at a Starbucks with friends drinking coffee late at night and laughing my ass off. We did this regularly and one night, it clicked in my head that this moment in time spent laughing with this group of people would not go on forever and I stopped and took it all in. It was perfectly wonderful.

    Soak it all in. I can only imagine as a couple, what a wonderful thing this trip has been to experience. I hope you make it to Germany too one day!

    July 12, 2010
  • Wow, in-freaking-credible! We so admire you two and this memory and how well you say it just goes to show one of the many reasons why. What an awesome life you two have, we can’t wait until it’s our turn. And we’re waiting with abated breath until your second year and the next chapter. It’s better than reading a book because we’re reading about it while it’s happening and it just keeps going and going and going and……
    You two are a total inspiration!
    Cheers and happy trails!
    Carl & Beth

    July 12, 2010
  • Beautifully written, and just as inspiring as your presentation was! It appears to me that the trip will be well worth it in the end.

    July 12, 2010
  • Meaux

    Wonderful! Beautiful essay! Stirs that longing to hit the road! Thanks

    July 12, 2010
  • Jimmy

    thanks for the post. It was great to see you in the new adventure cyclist! great photo of russ on the bridge!

    July 13, 2010
  • Tanya

    So many of us work hard to retire and get to do the things we dream of (if we live that long). You’re doing the things you dream of now- and I’m so envious of you.
    Beautifully written. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you in the next year.

    July 13, 2010
  • Jharte

    Awesome post. A tour most people think (dream) about. I know I do. Thank you!

    Jharte

    July 13, 2010
  • Beautiful words. Keep living to the fullest. Enjoy life in every breath. Thanks for the inspirations.

    July 15, 2010
  • [...] A Lifetime of Memories for a Shoeful of Dust | Russ Roca “Laura and I joke that we have traded in a “prime earning year” for a “prime living year.” We definitely have lived this year, maybe more this year than we have in the last five. And yet, the funny irony of it is that we really have nothing physical to show for it except for the strange tan lines on our feet. A few years living in town and you can amass roomfuls of stuff. A year on the road, living life as full as you know how and we have no trophies, no employee of the year plaque and by all accounts we probably have less than when we began.” [...]

    July 16, 2010
  • You’ve hit the nail on the head Russ! When we first took off to cycle with our children we were amazed at how much we learned each day and how we lived life to the fullest. Now, after more than three years on the road and 36,000 km under our belts, we still feel exactly the same. I look back through our photos from these three years of traveling and marvel at the diversity of what we have seen and learned.

    Yes – you will not regret it. You will know you’ve lived!

    Nancy
    http://www.familyonbikes.org

    July 17, 2010
  • Russ, Beautifully written. My wife and I spent 6 months backpacking the Appalachian Trail back in 2001. Although it was a shorter trip than yours, we were out long enough to experience the same feelings you are experiencing. Going back was the hardest. I never felt so alive as I did when we were living that adventure everyday. The monotony of a five day a week job is mind-numbing. Nine years later I still have trouble with it. I’m planning my first long distance trip since than for next year. The ACA Trans-Am route. Can’t wait to start living again.

    July 17, 2010
  • Albert Moreno

    Dude, you inspire me. This post and the You’re Doing it Wrong post reminded me why I’ve spent eight months preparing for my bicycle tour next summer. I needed this especially as I have been losing enthusiasm. I need to keep riding.

    I’ll be hitting the road over winter break just for a test run before the real thing. Thanks for inspiring me and reminding me of the dream. I’ve got my Adventure Cyclist maps and I’ll be poring over them until the day I take off. Thanks.

    December 07, 2010
  • Beautiful piece

    August 30, 2011
  • John

    Wonderful posts and a fantastic journey. Have really enjoyed following your adventures. Oh .. and I love those Bromptons. :)

    February 10, 2012
  • Ed

    Great entry, Russ. Thoughtful and honest. My wife and I have tried to keep our own lives as simple as you can for having a family of six, and I think our children have grown up to know that you don’t have to have lot’s of “stuff” to be truely happy. I worry about their futures as our country seems to be sliding into a time of madness, and yet, living simply is a very good way not to be as hurt by whatever bad future this country is heading for. I have always tended to look at my life the way Henry David Thoreau viewed “economy.”
    In our family my wife and I tried hard to leave the kids good memories: of sipping root beer floats on the back porch in summer, or camping and hiking in the mountains, of looking at the stars at night, of conversations around the dinner table. Simple stuff, but there is a value to all that that you can’t buy. It’s lived. It’s a cruel trick society plays on the majority of us that you’ll be able to enjoy your life AFTER you retire, etc. That’s a shell game, a card trick, a lie.
    Good luck with your adventures, both of you. Way to go. Thanks.

    Ed

    July 21, 2012
  • My travels were never long, but I do remember knocking on the door of a house outside Jefferson City, Missouri, to ask whether I might camp inside the family’s barn. Instead, they invited me in for rabbit (it tastes like…rabbit) and to sleep in the middle of their living room. Best night on the road, ever.

    And I think the word you’re looking for is “newstalgia.”

    February 04, 2013
  • Julia

    So, as a seattleite I have to know… you referred to the best hamburger in Seattle. Which one is it??

    March 19, 2013
  • It was at the time Lunchbox Laboratories when it was in the little shack in Ballard!

    Russ

    March 20, 2013

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