Looking Back To See Forward

pilot dropping bombs

I like to do a yearly post, for myself more than anything. Putting it up online makes it more concrete though: I reflect on the previous year’s post and decide what the year ahead should look like. I can see if I was on track or veered away by reading the previous post, and it gives me a clear idea of where my path should be.

My post for 2020 didn’t have any grandiose dreams. I was focused on selling stuff, getting the rest into storage, then hitting the road. I did all that for sure. Veterans Charity Ride was quite a success this year. It has so much to do with the group itself, and you never know how the dynamics will work until you get on the road with each other.

This groups was truly dedicated to change and self improvement, and were open to sharing their not only their troubles, but their insights, which deepens the group’s connection. In fact, this year’s participants still have a group text going, months after the fact. It’s a good way to keep in touch as opposed to social media, and so I’ve stayed in that group text even though I don’t add much to it.

It was an especially good group of people on this year’s ride, especially for me, since there was a mix of old friends from previous years and new faces that really were there to get benefit from the program. Photo: Sara Liberte.

I think the 2hearts1horizon trip was a success too. I don’t know how you’d measure it other than looking back and deciding it was worth it. It was. I got to see so much of this country that I hadn’t seen before, and I met people I now consider friends. I also got to meet old friends and catch up on things, as well as seeing parts of the country I had seen before, but through a new lens. Not only have I changed since I was last riding on the east coast, but the east coast has changed.

My 2020 post also mentioned finding a new place once we got back, and that’s definitely a priority. It’s a several month process though, since I need to sell my old house, but it also needs fixing up first. That has put me on the hunt for a pick up truck so I can bring tools (and a motorcycle) and sleeping gear down, then make Home Depot runs as needed. It will be odd being back in the California desert, because that area has changed quite a bit as well. So much growth, everywhere I seem to go.

Once the house is on the market I can go out in search of my special place on the planet. Part of the 2hearts1horizon trip was to reconnoiter areas in search of a slice of the American pie. I felt most connected here on the coast, with southern Oregon giving several indications that it’s the right place to be.

Central Oregon offers a lot of what I’m looking for.

However, Kate has also decided not only where she is going to graduate school, but that she is going for a program that will probably take five more years of study. I’m flat out done with living the sprawling metropolis life, so I’m looking at properties about two hours away from the Bay area, where I can still see Kate regularly but also have a shot at a quieter life, with my own space for working on bikes and maybe even an old car. No more traffic, no more lines for everything, no more crowds. I need the sea of people to recede from my life.

But I’ll have an excuse to own a mile-eating motorcycle so I can do a week on, week off thing with Kate, and that is also a pretext for more traveling on my own. I’m finished with sidecar touring and am looking forward to riding more motorcycles that lean into the curves. Spending time in the garage, in a quiet space writing, and hopefully getting outside more are all goals.

person standing beach horizon ocean with motorcycle sidecar landscape

That’s something that I didn’t hit the mark on from 2020. I wanted to have a better diet so I didn’t gain weight on the big trip. Well, Kate was the official cook and I lost 18lbs under her direction, but gained it all back in a month of riding on my own. Damn you, gas station hot dogs…

Back in 2020 I also declared my desire to write a book about the trip. That seems a given, though I know it’s a long process. The trip itself only ended a few weeks ago, and I’m still digesting all I’ve done and seen. I have copious notes though because I knew I couldn’t just dive in and do some free-writing about what I did, then divide it by chapters and call it a book.

man writing laptop computer

No, this needs to be picked apart and refined, so that it tells an honest story of two people in search of a better understanding of who they are and what they want from life. It wasn’t just a motorcycle trip. And speaking of motorcycle trips, I’m already looking at the next one, hopefully for the summer. I deliberately left a lot of the center states out of our trip, because I’d like to do more in Colorado than just ride through. I want to spend a month or so just exploring it and parts of northern New Mexico.

I worry I will be in the middle of moving into a new house by then but you have to plan in order to know. I can’t let maybes hold me back. If I did that I’d still be living in my hometown, working a drive-thru window.

And so that’s it for now. Sell the house, find a new one to move into, get started on those long-forgotten garage projects, and get started on a book. Inside there somewhere is room for doing more with the Veterans Charity Ride and, judging from what I’m hearing, more with AdventureVet as well. Slap on a road trip to Colorado and you have a very full year… just the way I like it.

man with motorcycle sidecar sturgis rally.
Photo: Sara Liberte

2 thoughts on “Looking Back To See Forward

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