It was 2pm and the jungle was getting steamy. I had already ridden about 100km and climbed a gigantic pass over the Cordillera Occidental mountains, and my legs were worked. After topping the pass, I had entered the jungle and it had rained steadily for 60km. I got to the town of San Juan Villalobos sopping wet, but feeling relatively good after the long downhill. I hadn’t been certain when the day started as to whether or not I would push on to Mocoa (making the day over 165km or 102 miles). I had lunch and checked the weather, and then decided to push for it.
As I climbed the hills outside of town however, something was wrong. I reviewed the factors at hand in my head- I knew there were no hotels on my remaining route, my legs were distinctly worked, it was hot and getting hotter, I didn’t have a full load of water, and I was in likely one of the most dangerous areas of my entire trip. I had decided to push ahead based solely on the fact that it was 2pm and I didn’t feel like I should be done for the day. None of the facts about the situation were good, nothing about the plan was solid and yet I was pushing my bike down the road thinking I would “just do it.”. Then I did something unusual, I turned around and went back to stay in the town.
I learned a few things that day- when nothing about the plan looks good, it’s time to change the plan. Sometimes you just simply know what you need to do. Not with dread, not with anxiety, but sometimes just with an imperative momentum. Many times in my life I have set goals and achieved them. I’ve pushed on, finished things out, done what had to be done. I’m very good at making plans and accomplishing them. In my 27th year, I look forward to learning how to be more flexible. Often we make plans on a conscious level, yet our unconscious mind, perhaps called our soul, also has a path that we must follow.
I woke up yesterday morning and realized that my unconscious path does not continue south. I don’t have the energy, the motivation, the purpose. More importantly, I don’t believe it is what I most want to do, which is why the first three elements are missing. I don’t even particularly feel motivated to explore Quito, a place I have never been before. I’ve had an incredible time here, but my soul requires application, and deep down, I feel that it is time. There are many, many factors that logically contribute to this course of action and that I explain logically and carefully. When I consider them, they all seem ancillary to the underlying momentum that I simply feel.
The feeling I’m talking about is reinforced by a number of more logical facts- pieces of the plan per se, that simply don’t look good. Continuing to travel would undermine my financial ability to pursue other opportunities that are rapidly approaching. The logistical elements of bicycle touring have limited both the cultural experience I’ve had here, and the wilderness experience I’ve had (you can’t ever leave your bike, but you also can’t effectively leave the road). To continue traveling south solo, I need to invest in developing (studying) my spoken Spanish. I could continue to list reasons, but the most important one is that I simply no longer feel like this is the right thing to be doing, and I don’t need any more of a reason than that.
I am excited to execute many of the ideas, act on many of the feelings, and move the direction that I seen open before me over the course of the past 7 months. The details are not complete, but the momentum is clear. The adventure continues despite the change in direction. I have no regrets, I feel no real conflict, but rather a sense of excitement about taking advantage of the flexibility that I have, and the opportunities that are now available to me. More plans will be shared as they become clear. Love to you all.
Go with it.
Flow with it.
“It’s called feeling,
and it leads to KNOWING.
and after that, there is less searching.”