When leaving home for unknown lands there is a point where familiar roads recede into the rear view mirror and new horizons present themselves. That is when the journey gets real. Similar to sailors losing sight of land as they set off into uncharted waters I suppose.
Many people ask me, “why do you travel?” You will face the same questions the next time you return to the familiar after a long journey. For me it is the excitement that comes with sailing into uncharted waters. I have always dreamed of far off lands. Perhaps it started early on in life. The nice thing about getting old is that it gives you an opportunity to revisit the books you read in your youth. When I was young, before the age of the internet, I used to read books about adventure and the high seas. I prefered first person biographical accounts of early sailors and explorers like “Two Years Before The Mast.”
I am re-reading that book. It is like a ride report. Recounting the details of day to day life on an 1836 Clipper ship voyage around South America and up to California. Only this time I have been to the places and can see the images in my mind of the lands he visited nearly two centuries ago. I can remember the smells and hear the birds and see the dolphins shimmering just beneath the surface of the water as they race the ship and leap for joy. I have seen it first hand when traveling by boat with my motorcycle across the Caribbean from Panama to Colombia.
There is no substitute for travel. Books and ride reports are necessarily abridged versions of the experience. To really get to know the world it is necessary to travel there and see it for yourself.
Money comes and goes. Travel memories live with you forever and can bring a smile to your face as an old man. That is why I encourage people to get out and explore the world. I get messages from around the world of people thanking me for encouraging them through my stories to get out and explore the world. It is my job, and I will continue to do it for as long as I am able.