365 days ago I set out with a goal to circumnavigate the world. I didn't know where I would land on the map, how I would get to wherever and who I would meet along the way. I just knew I had to make it back to the place I call home. Back to 77 Maple Rd.
I got a little choked up on the bike ride home this morning. Not because the air was cool and the rain stung with every frigid drop that slapped my skin, but because I started thinking of the last 364 days that got me to this point. The days and months and thousands of miles that all added up to the last day and the last 70 miles of open road separating me from the completion of my year long saga.
I thought about my ever-inspiring Bike & Builders that were crazy enough to ride their bikes across the country despite having never really cycled long distances before. I though about the sailors in San Diego doing the dirty work so students could have a safe transit to Hawaii. I'm always thinking about how much fun I had with my family in Hilo and the truly epic adventures we embarked on. I thought about Kegan and the Kiwi hospitality, Mom in Malaysia, trains through Thailand and of the very holistic experience I got in Zimbabwe. I thought about the shear magnitude of this great planet and the billions of people that are spread throughout it.
I couldn't have completed this trip were it not for the help I got along the way. I'm not just saying that to say it either. Really, I couldn't have left 77 Maple if mom didn't give me a ride! I'm so grateful for the people that helped me make it around. The support of my family and friends and the hospitality of total strangers really meant the world to me. I know I've got a lot of "paying it forward" to do.
Growing up my dad used to always say, "you only go around once." It usually served as a sort of justification to buy a boat or a fancy dinner. I don't think he ever expected me to take it literally. I still live by that mantra and I hope I always do. It seemed fitting when I started conceptualizing this trip. If there was one thing I had to do before I died it was to circle the world. I had to keep peaking over the horizon in order to put my place in this world on a tangible scale. I had to go around, just once, I had to do it.
See, what used to consume my mind was the world beyond the great US of A. "What's going on over there?" "Who are those people?" I went crazy trying to guess so one day I said, "fuck it, I'm going to find out." I only hit a handful of countries along the way but I caught the gist of it. It's vast. Couldn't tell you about the majority of the world's 195 countries but I've seen some shit and met some people. I satisfied my worldly thirst. For now at least...
As I stand, I'm 22 years old, unemployed and on the verge of broke. Well I'm beyond broke actually if you count student loans. I don't know what's next. I don't have a plan. I don't even know what to do tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'll make it to age 50 or if I'll see the sun rise on June 14th. And of the 8,322 days I've been alive, there is not one that I regret.
So I chased the sun for a year to see where it sets. To see what lies beyond. The further I went, the closer I got until one day I found myself right back where I started. Just like the sun.