Life Lessons From a 7-Thousand-Mile Bike Ride

bike packing

Quitting your job and going out into the wilderness, maybe a little hard decision for you. But what if you could do that actually? What if you could really lead a life you’ve waited for so long? If you have all these queries into your mind then have a look at this guy, Jedia Jenkins. Jedia Jenkins decided to quit his job and biked all the way from Oregon to the southern tip of South America. His filmmaker friend Kenny Laubbacher went along with Jenkins to create a beautiful yet inspiring documentary film, where he shares his life experiences with you. He says,

“When you’re a kid, everything is astonishing. Everything is new, and so your brain is awake and turned on … Once your brain establishes a routine, it stops … the alertness goes away,” he says. By choosing adventure Jenkins is able to reactivate his brain and turn his “hundred years on this planet into a thousand.

Once upon a time, Jedidiah Jenkins from Florence in Oregon decided to live another life, or rather, starting to live a meaningful life with fullness, humanity and reality…In August 25, 2013, he chose a simple bicycle to achieve his dream. The routine is the enemy of time, your learning goes away, your brain turns off.  Travelling make you feel alive every single day and keep watching the world through kid’s eyes. Get out of your routine, explore newness, control your days and choose your life. Read his story and keep in mind that our life-time goes fast.

 I just turned 30, and I’ve decided to use this year to radically shape the rest of my life. I am about to leave my job and ride a bicycle for seventeen months, from Oregon to Patagonia. The need to do it hit me about three years ago when I read a quote from famed naturalist John Muir. “I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.” 

The newness of life and career and cities and friends began to find their comfortable patterns, and once you see the pattern, time speeds up. That’s why we hear old people always warning us of how fast life passes. It really doesn’t pass by any faster than those long childhood summers, but we just lose fascination, or I should say we lose wonder. We are no longer astonished by the way the world works. A famous cure for that is travel. Many of my friends do not find it surprising that I would do this trip, though my conviction to do it surprised me. I never thought I’d follow in my parents’ footsteps.  

My parents never pressured me to be a writer or a traveller. They never really pressured me to be anything other than myself. My journey is not a reaction to distaste. It is a reaction to an observable trend: human beings amass comfort and minimize risk as they age. I get it. I can see the value in that. But both of those things have a tendency to diminish character. It is a choice to look squarely at the decisions we all feel like we have to make and the priorities we all forget. 

I am 30 now, and I don’t want a mortgage. I don’t want property-based responsibility because I think it’ll change my brain chemistry. It makes you focus on protecting what you have rather than fighting for what could be. It seems like the observable transition from idealism to conservatism. As for now, I do not want that. 

I want to pursue wonder, appreciation, and adventure. I want to meet people and learn from them and write their stories and tell others. I want to become a man that pursues virtue and character and color and romance. It feels like the people in our lives who seem to have done that are the ones we love most. If I have a family some day, I want to give them a father full of stories and whimsy and love for being alive. I see too little of that. 

You may think I am prolonging adolescence and avoiding responsibility. Well, I can simply say that I am not impressed by grownups or their society. But I will also say that I disagree with you. The choice to pursue a dream, at the destruction of my comfort, with the loss of safety and certainty, all for the purpose of doing something that inspires others to a fuller life of wonder and creativity and quality. To me, that is growing up.  

Benjamin Franklin said, “either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” I like that. I intend to do both. 

Read more

Read The book:

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret 

Brene Brown reflects rather aptly on reaching midlife and not having lived your gifts;

“This is when the Universe comes down and puts her hand on your shoulders and pulls you closer and whispers in your ear..

I am not fucking around, you are halfway to DEAD, the armour is keeping you from the gifts I have given you, that does not come without penalty.

Time is UP !

Get out and life your dreams, do not dream your dreams.