“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive”
I’m sure that you have all heard of the pay-it-forward movement, the idea that you do something kind for someone in the hopes that they in turn will do something kind for someone else. And for those of you who have been with me for a while, you already know about our debt to the world (which we will happily pay back for the rest of our lives) because of the amazing hospitality we have received through homestays, and the kind acts which seem to happen to us on a daily basis no matter where we happen to be. It’s these experiences, both big and small, which have made this lifestyle into the successful endeavor it has become, and so, to cap it off, here are a few pay-it-forward experiences that we have recently received, most of which came from other cyclists like us.
“It was amazing how you could get so far from where you’d planned, and yet find it was exactly were you needed to be.”
That’s right, instead of making our way through Europe as we had originally planned, I just bought two flights out to Buenos Aires where we will begin our year long adventure through the Andes! (When I told my best friend that on a complete whim only hours after first voicing the itinerary change idea I bought the tickets, she responded with “classic shi move!” so, as you can see, changing plans just seems to be what I do best). We have many reasons for this drastic itinerary change, some of which I will cover below, but first off, a huge thank you is in order. I was able to buy these two plane tickets with the money I have earned along the way from writing for another blog as well as the money people have donated throughout my trip in support of this blog. So, a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me out because without you flying to a whole new continent wouldn’t have even been on the table. In return, I promise to deliver as many beautiful pictures and cultural stories I can once we arrive, and trust me, cycling through those gorgeous mountains is bound to bring a whole lot of adventure!
“Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?”
“Blood squirts out and onto the squealing guinea pig, who is about to reach the same fate as his brother. The knife tugs at the skin and fur, eventually severing the neck. Two decapitated guinea pigs staring at me with vacant eyes. An unknowing sheep that my trekking partner purchased a few days back is about to receive the same treatment. I have definitely never seen my meals so up close and personal before, and I’m not so sure I want to make a habit out of this.”
Check out the post I wrote for a fellow traveler about a wonderful night I spent in the middle of the Andes!
Blood, Fur, and Guts: Life in the Peruvian Altiplano
“Somewhere between the bottom of the mountain and the summit is the answer to the mystery of why we climb.”
“Climbers struggle to survive through treacherous conditions just for the moments that make every hardship worth it. They do it for the beautiful sunrise above the clouds, for the star filled sky that portrays the immensity of our universe, for the comradery that is created between climbers as they struggle to test the limits of human endurance, and for the feeling of solitude and isolation only a fierce mountain can create.”
High Altitude Climbing In Peru
“When I was 5 years old, my mom told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, I told them they didn’t understand life.”
“I run beside a grandpa who’s pedaling his bicycle with a young boy on the back, and hold up my sign: an old piece of cardboard with the name of the town I am trying to get to written hastily in black sharpie. “Por favor,” I plead jokingly, causing both the young boy and his grandpa to chuckle and wave. There is no way they could pedal me and my backpack 300km to my next destination, but hey, it was worth a try….”
An article I wrote about one of many wonderful hitchhiking experiences I had while traveling through South America, more specifically Argentina, two years ago.
Hitchhiking to Happiness