The Varsity League
“Are you ready for more adventure?” Russ asked me, as we rolled down a quiet road on our way back from Corvallis last week. “What are you looking forward to?”
This has become a common exchange between us over the past few weeks, as we consolidate our belongings again and prepare to head back out on the road. In part, we’re having this conversation to make sure that we’re still in line with the one and only parameter of our travels – to keep going as long as it’s fun. Two years ago, we decided that we didn’t want to impose any artificial time constraints; we wanted to get everything that we possibly could out of this opportunity, and be able to cry uncle at any time. So, are we still having fun, do we still want to do this? Yes.
We’ve also been having this conversation because our preparations for this second trip are decidedly lacking in the same giddiness and exuberance that we experienced two years ago. We aren’t bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, hyper about every little detail. Rather, our decisions are much more serious and conscious. This lack of bubbly excitement is easy to mistake for a lack of interest, which leads us to wondering… How can we want to do this trip, but not feel ridiculously over-the-moon?
The answer lies in the fact that this is our second trip. We’ve moved up into the varsity leagues. We know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into, and what we’re leaving behind. As curious and intrigued as we are about what we’ll find on this next trip, there isn’t the same sort of giant mystery that was waiting for us two years ago. It makes this upcoming journey feel much more ‘adult’ – all of the cards are out on the table, and we’re still choosing to do this.
It’s an interesting experience to stand at the edge of a great adventure and know that your excitement lies in the subtleties, instead of an overarching exhilaration for everything.
Lest you start thinking that I have some sort of bad attitude about this next trip, know that I’m actually quite enjoying not being the giddy teenager. I like feeling like I’m making a well-thought-out choice to walk toward something new, instead of running away. I like this place of knowing that I could truly choose anything at this moment, and I choose to travel on my bicycle. I like that I’m not as drawn to the sparkly newness, and have the perspective to appreciate the small things. I like that we’re on the other side of the learning curve and can use our energy for bigger projects than learning how to hang food or pick a route or choose a good stealth camping spot.
So just what are we looking forward on this next trip?
Creating Compelling Content. We’ve found our voices, we’ve learned what we’re realistically able to create while we travel – now we get to take it further and build on what we’ve started. Writing, video, headbadges – we’re looking forward to creating a work routine in the midst of our travels that will enable us to follow through on all those projects we hoped to do the first time out.
Food. By the end of our last trip, I was feeling ill from not eating well, or even consistently. As I get ready to give up our “real” kitchen, I’m trying to not be nervous about the roller-coaster of eating while traveling. There’s a collective belief that you just can’t eat well while traveling, and it’s probably so well-known because it’s so easy for it be true. But I’d really like to prove it wrong, and find a way to eat healthfully and consistently, even as everything else is in flux.
Fishing. Russ has cast his line in all sorts of bodies of water where you would never expect a fly fisherman. Finally, we are headed through the north, and all those Mecca-like trout streams in Montana.
People. As always, our biggest excitement lies in the simplicity of meeting new people from all walks of life – having conversations about things we’ve never really thought about and finding friends in far-flung places.
If you’re excited for our Big Adventure. Small Wheels. trip and support our goal to invigorate bike and train travel, consider making a donation to allow us to go further and create inspiring videos along the way.