Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Quest for Freedom.

I have had an unusual holiday.  Never have I spent so much time by myself.

Originally Terry was to join me on my trip South, but due to a change in family circumstances, I shouted him a trip to LA.  So for the first time in 12 years his whole family was together.  The look on his face when I gave him the present was priceless and well worth it.

So on Christmas eve I found myself heading south on my own.  I was actually a bit apprehensive.  I had never been away for so long on my own, and on my bike.  I was looking forward to it, but being a pretty sociable sort of fella I was wondering if I would get bored or feel a bit alone.  People always say you should live on on the edge.  To me living life on the edge is different for everyone.  I personally think that the real definition is when you move our of YOUR comfort zone,what ever that may be, then for you, that is living on the edge.

But I discovered a few things about myself, and at times found myself doing stuff that I wouldn't ordinarily do.

Normally I am always in a rush to get every where.  Up early on the bike, ride for miles etc etc.  But when I was away I seemed to slip into some kind of "I will get there when I get there" attitude.  This attitude included everything from when I got out of bed, to how fast I ride, to spending a fair amount of time just sitting and looking at my surrounds.  Once I spent an hour looking at a mountain...yes just a bloody mountain.  Just taking in majesty that was all around me.

I began to get a sense of longing to be doing this all the time, that sense of freedom and no pressure. Of not being ruled by the clock, or computer, or what ever the next demand that is put on me.  Of course that sense of freedom is not new, every biker knows it, seeks it, almost demands it.  Isn't that why we ride? For a small moment in time we are in charge of our own destiny, our own decisions.  We are not being pushed and pulled in either direction, the direction we go is because we want to.  You never do a "trip" on a bike, you do a "ride".  A trip is what people do in cars, even then most don't even do trips.  No one doing a "trip" in a car chooses the longest, windiest road to get to a destination.  

So it got me thinking.  If I could do it all the time would I still love it. Would I still appreciate it, the way I was doing?  If I had endless freedom would the desire to "go" still be there?  

Like every one else I have restrictions on my life. Partner, Kids, Mortgage, business to run...the list goes on.  What if I throw off all those restrictions and just went....how would I feel?

After thinking about it I came to the conclusion that it is because of these so called restrictions that I appreciate the freedom more when I get it.  These "restrictions" are not restrictions at all they are my life, and my life is richer because of it.  

So for now thoughts of riding from Alaska to to the bottom of Argentina must go on the back burner.  But one day when some of these things that fill my life are gone. The kids have moved out, the business is sold, where the need for the big house simply ceases to exist, it is then and I only then it will be my decision to go...the question is though,  will I?









22 comments:

  1. I know the feeling buddy, family, house, responsibilities. One day I will also have the freedom to ride, I hope I will still have the desire. Alaska to Argentina sounds good to me.

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    1. I am sure you are a lot like me George, I am sure the desire will never leave.

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  2. Some questions are tastier than the answers. This may be one of them.
    ~k

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  3. Who hasn't got this desire to explore? It is a question of life and how we live it.
    But aren't family, partner, and responsibilities making you the person and personality you are today? Would you still be the same when you follow your desire and go on this quest? More questions than answers. Darn good mind game, Rog!

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    1. Ithink that is what I was trying to say, not sure i succeded. I suppose as bikers we all have a small desire for adventure.

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  4. Nicely put Roger. Even when the pressure is on, I have have a new outlook in life - 'I DON'T DO RUSH!'

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  5. Yes. You will go. But it certainly won't end up being the adventure that you were expecting when you started out. But that too is the fun.

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    1. Lori: very true and a very valied point.

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  6. Great reflections there Roger.

    We are who we are because of where we've been. And I agree that if we didn't have all the responsibilities, free time wouldn't be as sweet.

    If you had all the time and money in the world to do whatever you wanted where ever you wanted, wouldn't you eventually run out of things to do and miss home? I think I would.

    Maybe I'm just not that adventurous.

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  7. Trobaritz: I disagree I think you show a very adventourous spirit...and I agree, unlimited freedom =boredom!

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  8. Roger, a very thoughtful post. I genuinely believe that sustained deadline pressure is quite harmful to our health (and sometimes our relationships). Unfortunately it seems to be the hallmark of most working lives these days.

    I look forward to retirement in a couple of years for these reasons, however, I know that I wouldn't have much freedom unless I am financially sound as well.

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    1. Jules, Indeed it is true, you carn't have one with out the other, unfortunatly youth is wasted on the young!

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  9. Roger - I wish you the best on whatever trip you decide to take when all of your 'grown-up' responsibilities are done. I waited a long time to get my motorcycle license because of having a young family. I have learned to savour every ride, it brings me great joy. Continue to take your time and enjoy being on 2 wheels. Car drivers just don't get it and if they only knew what we knew - there would be no cars on the road.

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    1. Dar: I suppose deep down we all yearn for the endless road, reality though is very different. But as I have always said, any ride is a good ride. Continue to enjoy your journey, it just gets better and better as time goes buy. And you are right of course, car drivers will never ever get it.

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  10. WHEN you do your Alaska to Argentina trip don't forget I'm in the middle of those two places (sort of). Pick me up as you go by ok?
    And lately I too have been better at smelling the roses....rose smelling is a good thing to do.

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    1. Sounds like a plan....you have to fed me first.

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  11. Couldn't agree more Rog. The best ride is the ride through life. If you haven't seen the film "Into the Wild" watch it. Happiness is only real when shared.

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    1. I like that last quote of yours, very true.

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    1. Thanks Phillip, glad you enjoyed the read. Not sure I captured exactly what I was trying to read, but I think you get the essence.

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